ZTE has partnered with Thailand’s AIS (Advanced Info Service) on the world’s first dynamic RIS (Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface) trial in an mmWave network at the AZ centre in Bangkok.
This collaboration explores new possibilities in the field of millimetre-wave communication, offering a low-cost, low-carbon solution for deploying millimetre-wave networks at scale.
RIS is an innovative multi-antenna technology that utilises electromagnetic metamaterials. RIS enables the extension of base station coverage by intelligently reflecting or transmitting base station signals, resulting in improved coverage at a low cost and with low carbon emissions. By incorporating dynamic functionality, ZTE’s RIS technology achieves beam sweeping and user tracking, effectively enhancing the coverage range of base stations and ensuring an optimal user experience even when the user is on the move.
During the trial, ZTE adopted the dynamic RIS product in the AIS millimetre-wave network with a 400MHz bandwidth. This implementation led to a substantial enhancement in millimetre-wave signal coverage. Users were able to consistently maintain a peak downlink rate of over 1.6Gbps and an uplink peak rate of over 260Mbps while moving within an office room larger than 400 square metres. This performance was more than three times that achieved without RIS under obstructed circumstances.
Millimetre-wave, as a crucial frequency range in 5G networks, offers the advantages of large bandwidth and capacity. However, due to its transmission characteristics it encounters significant challenges in terms of long-distance transmission and penetration through obstacles. Through the collaboration between ZTE and AIS, dynamic RIS technology has been successfully implemented in millimetre-wave networks. This technology effectively overcomes propagation obstacles and enhances coverage range and transmission speed.
This collaboration represents an important milestone in the field of millimetre-wave communication, signifying a significant stride in the commercialisation of dynamic RIS technology. The implementation of this groundbreaking technology will usher in revolutionary changes to the global communication industry, establishing a stronger network foundation for the development of future smart cities, industrial IoT, and other domains.
Wasit Wattanasap, Head of Nationwide Operations and Support Business Unit of AIS, stated, “As Thailand’s leading mobile network operator, we are committed to advancing communication technology and popularising 5G networks. Our collaboration with ZTE has provided us with the opportunity to explore the application of RIS technology in mmWave communications. We believe that this technology will accelerate the arrival of the 5G-A era and deliver unprecedented communication experiences to users.”