China Unicom’s Network Technology Research Institute has selected Ranplan Wireless as a preferred supplier for a complete platform for HetNet design, optimization and management, the latter company said in a release.
The announcement of an initial order for $400,000 was made after extensive commercial and technical evaluation, the company said. China Unicom’s Technology Research Institute will be using Ranplan Professional to plan, simulate and optimize small cell and DAS solutions for in-building and dense indoor/outdoor urban environments such as stadiums, campuses and business districts.
The research institute also plans to use Ranplan Collaboration Hub, a cloud-based project management and workflow tool, along with Ranplan Tablet for onsite in-building site surveys, building modeling and simulating in-building coverage performance predictions.
By using intelligent building and network modeling along with automated design techniques, China Unicom engineers will be able speed up network planning time and reduce the costs of deployment, Ranplan Wireless noted.
Ranplan Professional is an all-in-one, heterogeneous planning, optimization and simulation solution for 3G, 4G and 5G NR small cells, DAS and Wi-Fi networks across indoor and outdoor environments, which also integrates with macro-cell networks.
The Technology Research Institute is a subsidiary of the China Unicom Group and is engaged in technology and application tracking, development strategy research, market and management research. It is also building a new technology business development and product incubation base for the Chinese wireless communications market.
“We are very proud to have won the trust of one of the world’s largest mobile operators at a critical junction in the transition from 4G to 5G, characterized by an increased emphasis on cellular indoor mobility in close coordination with the outdoor environment,” said Per Lindberg, interim CEO of Ranplan Group. “It is our hope that China Unicom, as well as its ecosystem partners, will benefit from our suite of software that not only helps perfect the initial deployment of radio nodes, but also their subsequent performance within day-to-day operations.”
Ranplan Wireless has recently highlighted that it expects the focus on 5G to shift indoors during 2020, as mobile operators aim to focus on controlling the indoor environment to deliver 5G connectivity.
The company noted that while some 80% of mobile data is consumed indoors, only around 2% of buildings currently have dedicated cellular networks, because operators rely on outdoor macro cells for coverage.
However, as 5G signals — particularly those at millimeter-wave frequencies — struggle to penetrate walls and circumvent physical structures, operators will focus on the deployment of small cell or DAS networks in buildings and dense urban environments, such as hotels, shopping malls, offices, stadiums and campuses.