5G, A New Era

Ryan Ding, Huawei Executive Director and President of Carrier Business Group, shared his views and vision for 5G with the industry at the "5G is Now" Summit during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018.

During his remarks, Ding noted: "Looking back, we can see how technology has driven social change: 2G kicked off an era of global communications; 3G and 4G brought us mobile internet; and 5G marks the start of a new, intelligent world, with all things sensing, all things connected, and all things intelligent."

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Ten years ago, when 4G was still just a pipe dream, it was hardly imaginable that we would be buying plane tickets, booking hotels, ordering taxis, and paying bills… all at the touch of a phone screen. Smartphones are our portals to the digital world. And in the coming 5G world, networks will connect things, as well as people. It will be a world where all things are sensing, all things are connected, and all things are intelligent. We are going to see the emergence of many things that we cannot imagine today. On the roads, self-driving cars will communicate through the 5G network, and traffic jams, accidents, and parking problems will become a thing of the past. Groceries and other purchases will be carried to us through the air by drone, arriving in our hands within minutes. The blind will perceive the world using assistive technologies. 5G will be the portal to the digital world for everything and every person.

Steam engines unleashed huge productive power, ushering in the industrial era. In the future, 5G will also be a game changer for many industries. Therefore, industries must invest in 5G as early as possible to get a head start on digital transformation. 5G is a major opportunity for carriers, and as digital transformation spreads, the opportunities for carriers will grow bigger. The connection of all things will create a new trillion-dollar market.

5G, Act Now

5G cannot be deployed overnight. It requires the transformation of the entire network, and we must act now.

  1. Site modernization:
  • Antenna incorporation: The space at sites is too crowded to accommodate 5G antennas. To prepare antennas for 5G deployment, we must upgrade existing antennas so that they can support 5G spectrum.
  • Air interface cloudification: Cloudified 5G air interfaces enable the dynamic sharing of 2G/3G/4G/5G spectrum, making it easier to migrate more spectrum to 5G.
  • Indoor digitization: The existing distributed antenna system (DAS) is barely capable of supporting 5G. Therefore, we need a digital system to support the smooth migration to 5G in the future.
  1. Bearer network upgrades: The deployment of 5G bearer networks takes longer than access networks, so carriers must act now. For 5G networks to meet transmission needs, we need 10G for sites, 50G for metro networks, and end-to-end 200–400G for backbone networks.
  2. Operation automation: 5G will make network operations even more complex. The existing operating model will cause high OPEX that carriers will find difficult to sustain. Therefore, carriers must evolve towards automated and intelligent operations to effectively respond to their customers' needs in the 5G era.
  3. Architecture cloudification: Data center-centric, cloudified architecture is the foundation for automated and intelligent operations. This architecture offers strong computing power for networks and users. Cloudified architecture can create synergies between cloud and networks to better serve a digital industry and provide one-stop services to enterprises more quickly.

5G, Join Hands with Huawei

There will be myriad uncertainties in the 5G era, and carriers will need a reliable strategic partner to see them through. Working with Huawei, carriers will see a lot of benefits in the 5G era.

  • Carriers will work with six 5G industry alliances and over 300 partners worldwide. Huawei has worked with partners from multiple vertical industries to develop extensive 5G use cases. With the support of Huawei, the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) was established in September 2016, and the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5GACIA) was established in October 2017. Huawei X Labs has worked with over 270 global industry partners to develop 5G applications and has released ten 5G use cases. We are now working with our partners on 47 projects involving innovative 5G applications.
  • Carriers will gain access to a full range of 5G solutions. In 2018, Huawei will launch an end-to-end 5G commercial system based on 3GPP specifications. Huawei's wireless access network products are a portfolio of base stations with multiple bands (sub-3GHz, C-band, and millimeter wave) and multiple forms (macro stations and micro stations). These base stations can adapt to various scenarios, such as tube towers, and rooftop and other poles. Among these base stations, the most noteworthy include the world's smallest 3D-MIMO and a new BBU platform boasting the strongest processing capabilities to date.
  • Carriers will benefit from US$10–20 billion of R&D investment. In 2017, Huawei invested over US$12 billion in R&D, ranking 6th globally, and plans to invest CNY5 billion in 5G R&D in 2018. Huawei will continue to invest US$10–20 billion in R&D every year. The company now has over 5,000 staff working on 5G R&D.
  • Carriers will partner with over 300 top 5G scientists. Since Huawei deployed the world's first 4G LTE network in 2009, we have engaged in 5G R&D and recruited over 300 of the world's best wireless scientists to work on 5G development. To date, Huawei has established more than ten 5G research centers in countries including France, the US, and Germany.

Huawei helps its customers build 5G networks. More importantly, we are committed to working with global industry partners to help our customers succeed in their 5G business. We will help customers build better 5G capabilities in every area, from technology and ecosystem, to applications, AI, cloud, professional services, and consultancy. Together, let's move towards a fully connected, intelligent world.


Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.