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By Alithea De Jesus

Even before the pandemic, tech experts and business leaders around the world have already a foresight of how the 5G will change the landscape of the business across various industries. Hence, the Global 5G rollout is progressing quickly.

China being the forefront of the 5G technology has invested in their own technological advancement backed by their meticulous research and development programs that paved the way for having over 600,000 base stations deployed in more than 300 cities, supporting more than 160 million 5G connections across the country.

Interestingly, the 5G services in China now deliver speeds in the hundreds of Mbps, and a wide array of 5G services have already been utilized in more than 20 domestic industries such as healthcare, ports, steel, power grids, mining, and manufacturing to name a few. This proves that the various applications of 5G have evolved from technical verification to commercial deployment. As of September 30, 2020, China’s three major operators have implemented over 5,000 innovative 5G projects and signed over 1,000 5G business contracts.

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution because every industry has vastly different requirements. There are four observations on the best ways to drive 5G innovation for industry applications.

Mukti-applications of 5G

First, the industry needs to identify real needs based on specific business scenarios. While many industries have shown that they are ready and willing to embrace 5G, Hu stressed the need to develop a concrete set of criteria for specific scenarios and assess whether or not 5G is the right tool for the job: “This is how we can identify the real needs that are worth investing in.

Huawei proposed four criteria for assessing real needs: technical relevance, business potential, value chain maturity, and standardization. Based on these criteria, four typical scenarios that demonstrate a real need for 5G include remote control, video backhaul, machine vision, and real-time positioning.

Second, networks need to adapt to different scenarios. Networks are the foundation of competitive 5G services, so network equipment, together with network planning, construction, maintenance, and optimization, must be able to meet the requirements of an incredibly diverse range of industrial use cases. This requires operators and vendors to work together and keep innovating based on in-depth insight into industrial challenges.

Third, a thriving industrial 5G device ecosystem is key. Huawei estimates that the average price of 5G modules will level out at around US$100 by the end of 2020, and hit US$40 by the end of 2022, which will greatly enrich the 5G device ecosystem.

Fourth, telecoms operators need to develop new capabilities to serve business-facing 5G markets. 5G technology is a critical element in digital transformation, but it’s not a full solution in and of itself. So beyond connectivity, telecoms service providers need to build a range of adjacent capabilities in areas like cloud operations, industry application development, and end-to-end system integration. At the moment, there is a noticeable lack of comprehensive solutions to meet these needs in the enterprise market.

Telecoms operators are in a good position to provide these services. By focusing on connectivity, they can solidify their position as a connection provider in markets where existing network solutions are no longer sufficient. If they develop cloud and integration capabilities on top of that, operators can then provide a combination of connectivity, cloud, and integration services. Different roles have different capability requirements, and Huawei has doubled down on its commitment to helping carriers transform their portfolios as needed.


Huawei Deputy Chairman Ken Hu spoke about 5G’s increasingly greater value for industries at the 2020 Global Mobile Broadband Forum last November 12

The Evelotion and Future of 5G 

Each generation of mobile communications technology has reigned for about a decade, before being superseded by a new standard. 5G will be the major mobile communications technology until 2030 and will likely be in service until 2040. The development history of 2G, 3G, and 4G over the past 30 years shows that, even within each generation, continuous evolution is necessary to fully unleash the potential of the technology and advance the development of the industry.

Connecting people is the basic function of 5G. Mobile networks were first created to keep people connected, anytime and anywhere. Between now and 2030, 5G will increasingly help people interact with the virtual world in real time and deliver a truly immersive experience. 5G-empowered VR/AR has made interaction between the physical and virtual worlds a reality. However, to deliver an XR Pro and holographic experience, cellular communication will have to provide higher speeds: The average access speed will need to increase from the 120 Mbit/s that supports today’s 4K video streaming to the 2 Gbit/s necessary for 16K video. In addition, lower interaction latency will be needed; the current 20 ms will need to be brought down to 5 ms. To meet all these requirements, 5G needs to keep evolving.

Connecting things is a major extension of 5G. Huawei’s vision and mission is to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. Connectivity and computing will be the building blocks of this intelligent world, and 5G will be the most critical connectivity technology. Looking ahead to 2030, cellular networks will carry more than 100 billion connections, and most of them will be carried by 5G. This is orders of magnitude higher than the 1.3 billion IoT connections we have today. 5G needs to keep evolving to meet the ever more diverse and complex needs of IoT across all scenarios.

The experience of connection between people needs to be improved and scenarios of connection between things need to be further refined. In preparation for the day when 5G will support 100 billion connections, Huawei has proposed its vision for 5.5G. The company will shape the development and evolution of the 5G industry, inject more vitality into 5G, and create new value for the development of our societies and industry upgrades.

“5.5G is Huawei’s vision for the industry. It is an enhancement and extension of the three standard 5G scenarios defined by the ITU – eMBB, mMTC, and URLLC.

The introduction of REDCAP means more device types will be available, providing the diverse range of devices needed by broadband IoT in the mMTC scenario. Optimizations in latency with a certain level of reliability allow for smart manufacturing like remote motion control in the URLLC scenario. As industry intelligent upgrades accelerate, a diverse range of IoT use cases will emerge and 5G use cases will also diversify. For example, some use cases require both massive connections and super large uplink bandwidth; some need communication and sensing capabilities. Therefore, 5.5G will cover three more scenarios than 5G: UCBC, RTBC, and HCS.

Going beyond the original three application scenarios to six, 5.5G will take us beyond the Internet of Everything, enabling the intelligent Internet of Everything.

The new scenarios enabled by 5.5G will create new value for social development and industry upgrades.

First, UCBC will accelerate the intelligent upgrade of industries. Built on the foundation of 5G capabilities, UCBC will enable a 10-fold increase in uplink bandwidth. This is a perfect fit for manufacturers who need to upload videos in machine vision and massive broadband IoT, accelerating the intelligent upgrade of industries. UCBC can also greatly improve user experience with mobile phones in indoor scenarios, with its deeper coverage and larger uplink capacity.

Second, RTBC will deliver an immersive, true-to-life experience. RTBC supports large bandwidth and low communication latency. The goal is to deliver a 10-fold increase in bandwidth with a given latency and a certain level of reliability. By achieving these goals, we can give users an immersive experience when they interact with the virtual world.

Third, HCS enables autonomous driving. HCS is designed to enable connected cars and connected drones, scenarios in which autonomous driving is the key requirement. By applying the beam scanning technology of Massive MIMO to the sensing domain, HCS can offer both communication and sensing functions. In indoor scenarios, HCS is capable of providing location services.

Fourth, sub-100 GHz usage pattern needs to be restructured to maximize the value of spectrum. To realize the industry’s vision, 5.5G needs to use more sub-100 GHz spectrum for full-band uplink and downlink decoupling and full-band carrier aggregation on demand.

Fifth, with AI, 5G networks have limitless intelligence. The 5G era will see more frequency bands, and more types of devices, services, and customers than any previous generation. 5.5G needs to fully integrate with AI to address all these complexities.

Wang concluded his speech by saying, “Unified standards and industry collaboration are the core DNA that shapes the success of the global wireless communications industry. The development of 5.5G requires collaboration between all parties up and down the value chain.”

On behalf of Huawei, Mr. Wang put forward three proposals.

First, all industry stakeholders should start working on 5.5G within the 3GPP framework as soon as possible.

Second, the industry should work together to drive a thriving 5.5G industry ecosystem by making the most of the sub-100 GHz spectrum to provide diversified network capabilities and devices and overhaul cellular IoT.

Third, the industry needs to further integrate 5G into verticals to create more use cases and accelerate digital and intelligent transformation.

Huawei looks forward to working with industry partners to define 5.5G and build a better, intelligent world.

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