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Huawei launched the RuralLink solution at the Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2022 (MBBF 2022). Through site-level innovations, this solution enables green sites, site simplification and easy evolution. This makes it possible for operators to build mobile networks that allow for positive business cycles in rural areas while connecting those who are still unconnected.

The mobile Internet becomes more accessible to people and devices, signaling the arrival of a fully connected, intelligent world. In this context, equal access to mobile connectivity for all has become the cornerstone of economic growth. Nonetheless, there are still 450 million people who are not connected to mobile networks, most of whom live in rural areas where stable main power and good transportation are not available.

Huawei's RuralLink solution uses unique innovative technologies to solve the difficulties associated with communications. In the areas where fiber is difficult and costly to deploy, thanks to unique microwave fronthaul capabilities, RuralLink uses microwave to replace optical fibers to extend RRUs far away, which reduces network construction costs.

By co-using BBU with existing macro site, RuralLink does not require a BBU to be deployed, which helps reduce site power consumption. By allowing a site to operate with just four to five solar panels, RuralLink is also easily adaptable to the areas that lack stable main supplies. The solution features a simplified design that enables all devices to be mounted on to a pole, and its site deployment does not require fencing or concrete construction.

As such, site construction is so easy that it could be completed in just three days. RuralLink also supports 2G to 5G services, laying the foundation for network experience upgrade.

RuralLink has already been deployed by China Unicom Inner Mongolia in rural areas. This operator has seen significant improvement in the proportion of areas with good coverage and notable increase in area traffic and average user-perceived speeds. While fulfilling the communication needs of the local people, the RuralLink site deployment also lays a solid foundation for the development of local e-commerce, tourism and smart agriculture.

Aaron Jiang, president of Huawei wireless singleRAN product line, noted the significance of RuralLink: "Rural areas have a huge demand for mobile communications. Huawei is committed to providing leading coverage solutions for rural areas. Featuring green sites, site simplification and easy evolution, RuralLink helps operators bring mobile connectivity to rural areas and expand the benefits of digital connectivity to all."

The Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2022 is hosted by Huawei, together with its industry partners GSMA and GTI. This annual forum gathers mobile network carriers, vertical industry leaders and ecosystem partners from around the world to discuss how to make 5G a commercial success as well as other high-priority industry topics like green development, intelligence and 5G evolution.

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