Huawei announced they will launch a complete set of commercial 5.5G network equipment in 2024 at the 5G Advanced Forum during MWC Shanghai 2023. Huawei’s Director and President of ICT Products & Solutions Yang Chaobin who made the announcement said the company intends for this launch to mark the beginning of the 5.5G era for the ICT industry.
5G deployment progressed rapidly over the past four years and is already yielding significant financial gains. Today, there are more than 260 commercial 5G networks worldwide, serving over 1.2 billion users, and there are already 115 million gigabit F5G users. With service models and content continuously evolving, breakthroughs in technologies like glasses-free 3D are creating unprecedented immersive experiences for users. However, these new services continue to require stronger 5G network capabilities. The industry has widely agreed that 5.5G will be a key milestone in 5G evolution, and that it is fast approaching.
Huawei proposed the concept of a “5.5G Era”, based on an end-to-end solution that integrates comprehensive evolved technologies including 5.5G, F5.5G, and Net5.5G. This solution would protect operators’ previous investment in 5G, while also improving network performance by 10 times. This 5.5G Era would feature 10 gigabit peak downlink speeds and gigabit peak uplink speeds to meet increasingly diverse service requirements. It would also refresh the industry vision by using new technologies like passive IoT to unlock a market of 100 billion IoT connections.
Yang explained, “With a clearly defined standardization schedule, the 5.5G Era is already poised for technological and commercial verification. In 2024, Huawei will launch a complete set of commercial 5.5G network equipment to be prepared for the commercial deployment of 5.5G. We look forward to working with all industry players to embark on the new journey towards the 5.5G era.”
As an advocate for end-to-end 5.5G solutions, Huawei has been working with multiple players across the industry on R&D and verification of key 5.5G technologies. Significant progress has been made in this verification process, specifically for extremely large antenna array (ELAA) which underpins 10 gigabit downlink, flexible spectrum access which helps realize gigabit uplink, and passive IoT which can enable 100 billion IoT connections. 50G PON is another key technology that can enable 10 gigabit speeds for F5.5G ultra-broadband networks, and is expected to be extensively used in homes, campuses, and productions in the future. Huawei has worked with over 30 operators around the world on technological verification and application pilots for these technologies.
In addition to the development of key technologies for 5.5G wireless and optical access networks, Yang announced that the company has been working on applying AI-native technologies to 5.5G core networks to continuously enhance network capabilities and availability. This would allow AI capabilities to be delivered to the very ends of networks, so that they can better serve numerous industries. Net5.5G promises 10 gigabit access, ultra-broadband transport, and microsecond-level latency over AI networks, allowing it to serve as a next-generation network foundation for industrial digitalization by providing high-quality network access.
The industry is still in its earliest stages of developing a vision for 6G, and only just beginning related research into key technologies. This is why many have turned to 5.5G as their milestone for future development. The 10-fold improvement in network capabilities in the 5.5G Era is set to enable numerous industries to unleash the productivity of digital technology.
MWC Shanghai 2023 runs from June 28 to June 30 in Shanghai, China. Huawei will showcase its products and solutions at stands E10 and E50 in Hall N1 of Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). Together with global operators, industry professionals, and opinion leaders, we dive into topics such as speeding up 5G prosperity, striding towards the 5.5G era, and intelligent digital transformation. 5.5G creates new business value in areas like connecting people, Internet of Things (IoT), and Internet of Vehicles (IoV), supporting countless industries as they move towards an intelligent world. For more information, please visit: https://carrier.huawei.com/en/events/mwcs2023
Image caption: Huawei’s Director and President of ICT Products & Solutions Yang Chaobin