Huawei will soon trial its “TubeStar” cellular base stations in Australia.
The Chinese company unveiled the TubeStar in late 2017 and said the product’s design allows the deployment of a macro base station on a footprint of just two square meters compared to the 30-to-60 square meters required for many base stations.
Huawei says the design means a base station can go without a dedicated tower, cabinet and equipment room.
TubeStar is also designed to house equipment for multiple carriers and multiple services, and is pre-cabled to make installations easier.
The product is also designed to look pretty: radios and other electronics are housed within its slim shaft rather than protruding.
That all adds up to a package Huawei feels will be more acceptable to state and local authorities, cheaper to install and also offer lower total cost of ownership.
Satisfying governments matters because 5G will need more base stations, so giving carriers a smaller option should make life easier as they seek new installations.
A pretty design can also help to mollify residents’ concerns about new wireless infrastructure.
Carriers also all-but-admit that infrastructure sharing is now essential: low prices for mobile data mean pressure on operating costs which in turn means less appetite for discrete infrastructure.
With cell sites also scarce, and soon to become scarcer as competition hots up for 5G placements, equipment capable of housing multiple carriers’ kit will be in demand.
Huawei’s program director of delivery and service Dan Birmingham revealed news of the trial at the company’s Australia and New Zealand Partner Convention. He did not reveal when or where the trials will start.
TubeStar’s already been trialled in several nations and deployed in Brazil.