PRESS RELEASE: At its Global Analyst Summit (HAS) 2022, Huawei launched its commercial 5G indoor positioning solution. This is the first time the industry has provided a toB-oriented 5G positioning solution. The positioning offered by this solution is accurate to 1–3 [email protected]%, which enables a tagless implementation for indoor positioning in complex use cases, while supporting open standard interfacing with industrial applications. This enables enterprises to implement reliable, secure and differentiated E2E 5G positioning on their campuses, giving new impetus to the digitalization of the industry.
5G positioning was introduced in 3GPP version 16 and frozen in June 2020, with a design accuracy of 3 [email protected]% inside. President of Huawei’s DIS product line, Marvin Chen, said Huawei has verified 5G indoor positioning in many industries, such as manufacturing, warehousing and transportation. Checking showed that the positioning accuracy reaches 1–3 [email protected]% line of sight (LOS) indoors. Exceeding 3GPP requirements, such a high level of positioning accuracy and reliability enables most commercial applications to adequately locate personnel, equipment and materials. “With 3GPP working to increase positioning accuracy to within 1m, Huawei, as the leader of the 5G positioning industry working group under the 5G Application Industry Array (5G AIA), will continue to promote changing standards, researching requirements, capacity improvement and industry collaboration,” Chen added.
Huawei’s 5G indoor positioning is distributed among 5G base stations and core networks. The 5G base station is Huawei’s LampSite Enterprise Edition (EE), and its main functions include positioning signal measurement and communication. The 5G core network provides an onsite location service (LCS) module to calculate positions based on reported signals and provide an open standard interface to third-party platforms and applications that require location information. Huawei’s 5G indoor positioning solution has achieved three goals: scenario adaptability, deployment convenience, and low power consumption.
With common positioning technologies, to provide accurate positioning in LOS, base stations must be placed in a well-calibrated manner, which increases the cost of deploying these positioning technologies, especially in enterprises where signals are often transmitted non-line-of-sight (NLOS) due to bulkheads. To solve this problem, 5G positioning supports uplink time difference of arrival (UTDOA), which is ideal for LOS use cases, and fingerprint-based positioning of the intensity of the field, which is optimal for NLOS use cases. In its commercial version, Huawei’s 5G positioning solution incorporates a new feature: simultaneous localization and radio mapping (Radio SLAM). Aimed at automating fingerprint generation, optimization and calibration, this feature eliminates the need to repeatedly collect fingerprints in changing environments while reducing uptime and increasing accuracy. This adds additional convenience to quickly implement positioning in NLOS scenarios.
As signals may arrive at different base stations at different times, UTDOA requires additional beacons to correct the time of arrival of signals so that positions can be calculated more accurately. More often than not, site acquisition, high costs, and O&M difficulties are the huge barriers to the commercial expansion of 5G positioning. To help overcome these obstacles, Huawei has developed an AI-based big data clustering iteration algorithm to optimize signal latency at these base stations. By removing the need for additional beacons, this algorithm allows companies to maximize the potential of UTDOA positioning on their campuses.
5G positioning can be implemented for CPEs, mobile phones and industrial terminals with internal modules insensitive to energy consumption, such as pallet trucks, material tractors, AGVs, mobile care vehicles, cell phones and tablets. Huawei has also actively promoted low-power high-precision positioning (LPHAP). By the end of 2022, low-power positioning chips that can be used for more types of positioning terminals will be available in markets to support one-year standby time. This will further diversify the applications of 5G positioning.
Huke Hu, Vice President of Huawei Cloud Core Network Product Line, shared Huawei’s strength in 5G positioning. “With abundant accumulation and experience, our solution meets the latest needs for scenario adaptability, platform openness and service reliability of enterprises. Through flexible scenario adaptation, positioning can be implemented locally in different campuses to support differentiated service requirements.With open standard interfacing, positioning platforms in different industries can flexibly use our positioning capabilities.This will be the key to high availability of 5G indoor positioning which has a broad perspective.
Combining multiple IT and OT services into a single 5G network has proven to be particularly useful in transforming industries with digital approaches. So far, this practice has been carried out on a large scale in many countries. Positioning and communication on a single network will reduce investment and simplify operation and maintenance. With commercially available 5G E2E positioning and its ecosystem maturing, this will enable more capabilities and more applications for 5G to serve vertical industries.
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