Huawei explains 5.5G and how it could transform industries
Huawei has been lately increasing efforts and resources to boost the adoption of 5G technology in a number of verticals such as manufacturing, ports, airport, healthcare and mining, among others.
The company is seeing significant opportunities for the telecom industry to start monetizing investments in 5G with the implementation of 5GtoB projects and expects the transition from current 5G technology to ´5.5G´ technology will pave the way for a greater adoption of digital projects in a number of key verticals.
During Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona, Huawei highlighted the main features of future ‘5.5G’ networks, the company’s brand name for advancements in areas like integrated sensing and communication, Level 4 autonomous driving, “all-scenario IoT” concepts and green ICT. The vendor also claimed that 5.5G will lead to a 10-Gbps experience for users, enabling immersive and interactive services.
Huawei further stated that these future networks will enable a 10-fold improvement in latency, positioning accuracy and reliability. And according to the Chinese vendor, Passive IoT technology will enable an increase in the number of connected things from current 10 billion to 100 billion in 2030.
In the coming years, Huawei expects 5G private networks to become increasingly capable, adding that their scope of application will expand by 10 times. Huawei also predicts that the number of 5G private networks deployed at a global level will increase from current 10,000 to 1 million by 2030.
According to the vendor, there are no specific spectrum bands for 5.5G, as all bands can be used for this technology. However, operators may face some challenges as the spectrum already allocated to the mobile industry is not sufficient for 5.5G, according to the company. However, Huawei noted that 6 GHz band will be a key band for the so-called 5.5G technology and that it has been urging telecom regulators globally to reserve this spectrum band for mobile operators.
5.5G, or 5G Advanced, will be specified by 3GPP Releases 18, 19 and 20, after which 3GPP’s work will focus on 6G, which will hit the market around 2030.
Meanwhile, during Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2023, Huawei unveiled plans to launch a set of commercial 5.5G network equipment in 2024.
Huawei also highlighted it has been working with multiple players across the industry on R&D and verification of key 5.5G technologies, adding that it has collaborating with more than 30 operators around the world on technological verification and application pilots for these technologies.
Huawei has also been working on applying AI-native technologies to 5.5G core networks to enhance network capabilities and availability. According to the company, this would allow AI capabilities to be delivered to the very ends of networks, so that they can better serve several industries.
Sabrina Meng, Huawei’s rotating chairwoman and CFO said in her keynote speech at Mobile World Congress Shanghai that 5.5G technology will not only connect people better but it will also create incredible new business opportunities with more targeted support for industrial needs in domains like IoT, sensing, and advanced manufacturing,
While the telecoms industry, at large, is pinning great hopes on public and private 5G for enterprises, many mobile operators still don’t yet have concrete examples of how to monetize 5G-based enterprise services at scale. But Huawei, working with operator partners in China and elsewhere, claims to have real-world examples of how to make enterprise 5G pay. Huawei has invested heavily in R&D and partnerships in the B2B segment around the world with the main aim of monetizing 5G for digital transformation in major industries such as logistics, transportation, mining, agriculture, and healthcare.
In an interview with RCR Wireless News, Paul Scanlan, advisor to the President of Huawei´s Carrier Business Group, noted that future 5.5 technologies will significantly improve efficiencies, operational costs and safety in several vertical industries due to the benefits in terms of uplink capacity.
¨We realized as we were starting the deployment of 5G into industry that 5G does a much better job in terms of uplink than 4G, and one of the key factors of 5.5G is the improved uplink. And that will support video, predominantly for industry and consumer in a much better way than traditional 5G,” Scanlan said.
Scanlan also highlighted the fact that 5G technology is already improving the day-to-day operations of a number of industries in terms of safety for workers and production efficiency.
The executive also emphasized that vendors, industries and operators need to cooperate in order to enable the implementation of private networks in different areas such as ports, mining, healthcare and manufacturing, among others.
“We’re trying to demonstrate that it can be done with the right regulatory policy, the right talent, the right investment models, educating telecom operators that there is more business to be done other than just selling SIM cards. But they have to understand that they are a platform for this transformation. So whether it’s public network, private network, one of the key components is collaboration.”