On my recent trip to China, I was invited to visit Huawei Head Quarters in Shenzhen. I was expecting the usual “here is our office, here is what we do” but instead of the coffee-biscuits-PowerPoint routine what I saw completely changed my perspective on who Huawei is and just why they are a world leader in both the mobile and enterprise.
Huawei offices are made up of a city sized campus, complete with private roads, shuttle busses, restaurants and shops. Security is of course very tight and pictures were only allowed to be taken at specific areas. Cameras were everywhere as were the neatly dressed chaperones who very politely ensured I stuck to the program and not veer off-track. At one point shoe covers were mandatory when exploring the data center and the NOC which.
Even with all the understandable restrictions, here are some of technology items that stood out:
Huawei’s Cell phone tower equipment:
As we depend on our mobile phones for everything we do, the cellular phone requires a signal to be able to send and receive data. This signal is provided by the antenna equipment that the phone connects to and this is carried around the network. Traditional “Cell phone” towers are unsightly but are a must in order to carry the cell phone signal. Huawei has developed several solutions to ensure that signal-hungry mobile devices always have connectivity without ruining the aesthetics of the landscape with cell phone towers.
Some of these solutions include the Wideband AAU (Active Antenna Unit) which is the world’s first ultra-Wideband 365 MHz “tower” that is not only powerful but is 75% smaller than its High Tower predecessor.
Huawei has an even smaller and antenna designed to be concealed and blend in with its urban environment. The Easy Macro antenna is a high performance Macro site that can carry and boost the LTE signal. Due to its shape and design, it can be mounted as part of the telephone poles and don’t stick out as being unsightly.
Huawei has also used existing public telephone booth to boost the 4G signal for the people walking by. As the booth structure already exist which make them ideal places to hide the cellular equipment without changing the urban landscape.
Indoor Signal Boosters:
As we use our mobile device indoors, there are times when the cell phone signal is so poor that a dead zone is created. Huawei has several indoor solutions to boost the signal eliminating this problem. As these are indoor solutions, the aesthetics are carefully considered and these antennas blend into the office lighting infrastructure. In China a reward is given to anyone who finds an area that does not have cellular coverage.
Portable Data Center Solutions:
Huawei has created a procedure that allows for an entire Data center to be deployed within 10 weeks. The data center is built to customer specifications inside a “shipping container” and then it is loaded onto a truck to be delivered tot he client’s site. This modular system is weather proof so it can live outdoors and is even stackable so expansion is simple.
There is also the ManageOne MicroDC which is a solution launched by Huawei for simplified management and agile operation for a smaller data center that can be deployed inside the office. The “box” contains everything the customer needs including biometric security to provide physical access to the equipment.
Huawei has placed a major emphasis on creating safer cities. This includes video technology, control centres and communication with emergency staff. One of the equipment is a a two radio that not only delivers sound, but also video and has capability to share the video with other emergency agencies. In a disaster situation being able to see the issues could literally mean the difference between life and death.
LTE 3CC Carrier Aggregation
Huawei was able to demonstrate how their equipment is able to aggregate data signals from multiple vendors using different technologies and provide the optimum data stream to a user who is travelling in a car. By using LTE, combined with HSP+ and WiFi, the user experiences high bandwidth. In China it is very common to see people streaming high definition television on their mobile phone without losing a signal or picture quality. This is even possible whilst travelling on the subway underground.
Even in the connected home Huawei has a strong foothold. Huawei has a series of devices that are connected to the home system and to an app the allows its user to remotely control and monitor items such as the Electricity, Water and Gas. The system also allows for remotely switching items on and off such as lights and air-condition units. Even the TV that is streaming content is able to request additional bandwidth when wanting to stream high definition movies.