Telco’s 5G investments to be ‘protected’ in the 5G-A era: Huawei

Huawei had previously said that it planned to launch a complete set of commercial 5.5G network equipment in 2024

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES—Chinese vendor Huawei believes that previous investments made by operators to deploy 5G network infrastructure will be protected with the future launch of 5G-Advanced, or 5.5G networks, said Huawei’s president of wireless solution, Cao Ming.

During a media roundtable at Huawei’s 14th Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF), held this week in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, the executive said that 5G-Advanced networks will not require large investments by operators in new network architecture and will be launched using 5G Standalone (SA) networks.

He also said that Huawei is working with its partners to make sure that future 5.5G applications, devices and services will be fully compatible with current 5G networks.

Huawei had previously said that it planned to launch a complete set of commercial 5.5G network equipment in 2024.

Commenting on the main features of 5.5G technology, Cao said that 5.5G would offer a tenfold increase in speed over current networks, as well as lower latency and more efficient power consumption for consumer and industrial uses, including VR games and connected vehicles.

“5.5G is already in the phase of accelerated commercialization around the world,” Cao said. He went on to say that chipsets and equipment for 5.5G have been already launched by industry players and nearly 20 countries around the world have the spectrum ready for the provision of 5.5G following auctions of mmWave spectrum.

He added that several operators globally have already verified the capabilities of 5.5G technology in their commercial mobile networks. Most of these telcos are based in China, the Middle East and other Asian markets. Cao mentioned that a number of operators in the Middle East had already signed 5.5G MoUs with Huawei.

Cao also called the industry to work to develop 5.5G chips, applications and devices with the aim of developing a full ecosystem for this upcoming technology.

The executive highlighted that future 5.5G networks will have a huge positive impact in industries as it will help different sectors to improve efficiencies and embrace a full digitalization.

“For industries to improve productivity and embrace digital transformation, 5G and 5.5G will have a big role to play,” Cao said.

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. Release 18 is expected to be frozen during the first half of next year.

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