China Unicom and ZTE Made Spectrum-Sharing Breakthrough Using SuperDSS

Recently, China Unicom and ZTE enabled SuperDSS, the industry’s first Tri-RAT dynamic spectrum sharing solution, in China Unicom Henan Branch live network, which implements fast 5G deployment and legacy 3G service guarantee simultaneously. The test result shows average 35% throughput improvement within same bandwidth comparing with LTE/NR DSS while maintaining legacy 3G voice experience, greatly improving spectrum utilization efficiency.

SuperDSS offers a great solution for those operators who are enthusiastic about rolling out 5G with DSS but are unable to do so with limited spectrum as 2G or 3G legacy services still matter. SuperDSS enables quick 5G roll-out while offering smooth transition of legacy voice service, empowers 2G or 3G, 4G and 5G triple RAT dynamic sharing over the same spectrum with flexible and efficient scheduling capability, in which, 2G or 3G bandwidth can be adjusted according to service requirements, so more bandwidth can be used for LTE and NR sharing and improve LTE and NR user throughput accordingly. Taking 20MHz bandwidth for example, to have 2G/3G service, at least one GSM frequency or UMTS carrier will be reserved, so the LTE/NR DSS can only be performed in 15MHz bandwidth, which is not the optimal way of spectrum utilization. With SuperDSS, 2G or 3G, 4G and 5G can share all of the 20MHz bandwidth dynamically according to service requirement, so as to maximize spectrum utilization.

China Unicom spares no effort in exploring innovation for field network modernization, among which, dynamic spectrum sharing is without doubt the hottest topic. Since 2015, ZTE has been working closely with China Unicom in spectrum sharing involving 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G, from GSM/LTE dynamic spectrum sharing to UMTS/LTE dynamic spectrum sharing, and now SuperDSS with UMTS/LTE/NR dynamic spectrum sharing, helping China Unicom Henan improve user experience based on our deep understanding of the network and user behavior.

ZTE has the industry most comprehensive multi-RAT dynamic spectrum sharing solution Magic Radio Pro, supporting up to seven scenarios inter-RAT sharing (GSM/LTE, UMTS/LTE, GSM/UMTS, LTE/NR, UMTS/LTE/NR, GSM/LTE/NR and etc.) with five radio technologies(GSM, UMTS, LTE, NB-IoT and NR) as ZTE is dedicated in the innovation of spectrum sharing field since 2014. Besides inter-RAT dynamic spectrum sharing among FDD modes, ZTE further explores the spectrum sharing possibilities and capabilities, SuperDSS is the key innovation of ZTE Magic Radio Pro solution in 5G era. In China Unicom Henan, the sites empowered with ZTE Magic Radio Pro solution are more than 10,000 and will further increase in the 5G evolution.

Based on our technology know-how and valuable experiences in commercial deployment of dynamic spectrum sharing, ZTE spectrum sharing solution will continue to help operators explore new possibilities and flexibility in 5G and network migration, bringing the most advanced technologies for even the most subtle yet important requirements. We have every reason to believe that SuperDSS will benefit China Unicom and global operators to address the challenges of 5G evolution and business development sustainability.

Vodafone claims dynamic spectrum sharing first

The point of DSS is to allow smooth transitioning between 4G and 5G by allowing them to share the same spectrum, dynamically.

Vodafone reckons it’s the first to demonstrate this handy tech over a couple of low frequency bands (700 and 800 MHz). It announced it on a blog late last week, but kept so quiet about it that we only just found out. As if to demonstrate the folly of a complete Huawei ban, the Chinese vendor was involved, but so was Ericsson and, inevitably, Qualcomm.

The specific first was the simultaneous use of two bands on one 5G NSA device. Only the 700 MHz band did any dynamic sharing, however, with the other one used as an ‘anchor’ whatever that means. Light Reading attempted to shed some light on it here. It looks like DSS has never been a thing before, so this is quite a big deal.

Outside of technological milestone gathering, this matters because it should minimise the disruption caused by the switch to 5G. For operators it means that, in terms of spectrum, they don’t have to hold on with one hand before letting go of the other and will effectively make refarming a thing of the past, at least in theory.