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Huawei is the proud Strategic Partner of Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit’s 17th edition. In line with this, the President of Huawei Middle East & Central Asia Carrier Business Group, An Jian, had an exclusive interview with Telecom Review about the innovative 5.5G technology.

In its vision for an intelligent world, Huawei is championing the implementation of the next phase of 5G. Please share the key 5.5G achievements in 2023.

The term "5G-Advanced" denotes the advancement and extension of 5G technology, signifying its role as an intermediary step and foundational bridge towards the development of future wireless technology. This advancement is set to elevate the technical prowess of communication networks, with a minimum tenfold increase in capacity over standard 5G. As we transition to 5.5G, Internet of Things (IoT) connections are expected to surge from 10 billion to a staggering 100 billion. Reliability metrics aim for a notable improvement, reaching 99.999% to 99.9999%, and indoor positioning accuracy is set to enhance from less than a meter to the precision of centimeters.

Moreover, 5.5G is anticipated to bring about transformative capabilities such as comprehensive sensing, passive IoT and embedded intelligence. 5.5G differentiates itself from previous generations by incorporating sensory communication capable of conveying complex multisensory data, including taste, touch, smell and potential thought. This breakthrough enables unprecedented cross-sensory communication, promising unique user experiences and catalyzing digital and intelligent transformation across various sectors, stimulating growth in areas like naked-eye 3D technology, the low-altitude economy and the internet of everything.

In 2023, significant 5.5G deployments were witnessed, notably at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, where 13 stations delivered exceptional network performance, reaching peak speeds of 10Gbps. These developments underscore the substantial progress in 5.5G capabilities, with regional operators leading testing and verification efforts, including mmWave with 3CC bandwidth carrier aggregation.

The maturity of the 5.5G ecosystem is evident with the introduction of devices like 3D pads that don't require glasses, RedCap CPE and cameras, as well as mobile handsets and CPEs with 3CC carrier aggregation (over 260 MHz in total), all planned for release by the year's end.

From a policy perspective, regional regulatory bodies have been instrumental in fostering 5.5G development by aligning their vision statements and spectrum policies with a 10-Gigabit future.

With networks maturing and infrastructure growing, 5.5G becomes key for the digital economy. What is the role of industry partners and regulatory authorities in the ecosystem?

As networks mature and infrastructure expands, 5.5G technology emerges as a key player in shaping the digital economy's future. Going beyond the capabilities of 5G, 5.5G offers faster speeds, lower latency and enhanced connectivity, making it essential for industry partners and regulatory authorities to collaborate closely.

Industry partners, encompassing telecommunication companies, device manufacturers and technology providers, play a critical role in developing and deploying 5.5G networks. Through R&D investments, they create cutting-edge hardware and software solutions that leverage 5.5G's full potential. This includes developing 5.5G-compatible devices, infrastructure and applications that can deliver high-quality services to consumers and businesses alike. Therefore, collaboration between industry players is vital for ensuring seamless interoperability and avoiding fragmentation within the 5.5G ecosystem.

Regulators are equally crucial in establishing clear and supportive policies that foster investment, innovation and competition in the telecommunications sector. Striking a balance between network security, consumer rights and an environment conducive to industry growth, regulatory frameworks lay the groundwork for efficient spectrum resource allocation. Additionally, authorities can allocate spectrum resources efficiently, making them available for 5.5G deployment and encouraging healthy competition among service providers.

Moreover, these bodies facilitate standardization efforts to enhance 5.5G technology's compatibility and interoperability, promoting global cooperation.

What use cases and improved real-life experiences will be more evident by utilizing 5G-A’s technological innovation?

The deployment of 5.5G brings forth an abundance of anticipated use cases and improved real-life experiences as the technology continues to evolve. Designed as an enhanced version of 5G, 5.5G promises faster data speeds, lower latency and improved network reliability, leading to transformative advancements in various domains.

  • Ultra-fast internet: 5.5G facilitates seamless downloading of large files, pristine media streaming and real-time digital interactions, redefining engagement with digital realms and remote work ecosystems.
  • Immersive entertainment:5G excels in naked-eye 3D single-view entertainment, enabling multiple viewing angles and immersive 3D conferencing in the business domain.
  • Augmented and virtual realities:5G is a cornerstone for enhanced augmented and virtual realities, transforming gaming, learning, healthcare and exploratory travel into engaging and lifelike experiences.
  • Smart cities:5G's expansive connectivity enhances the vision of smart cities, enabling smarter urban planning, optimized energy use and elevated public security through advanced sensor networks and intelligent infrastructure.
  • Healthcare: 5.5G's reliability and responsiveness support telemedicine, facilitating remote surgical procedures, patient monitoring and expanding healthcare access to remote regions.
  • Vehicle-to-everything (V2X): The exchange and sharing of intelligent information among vehicles, people, roads and the cloud places high demands on communication networks in terms of latency and bandwidth. Experts predict that in the future, intelligent vehicles will generate network traffic exceeding 300 GB per month, potentially reaching terabyte levels. 5.5G technology can support the rapid data exchange necessary for this integration between vehicles and urban infrastructure, heralding an era of autonomous vehicles characterized by safety and efficiency.
  • Industrial automation:5G enhances operational efficiency, minimizes operational pauses and amplifies productivity.
  • Bridging the digital gap:5G delivers high-speed connectivity to rural areas, fostering educational, commercial and communicative growth.
  • Entertainment industry:5G transforms the entertainment industry with interactive experiences, enabling ultra-high-definition streaming and multi-perspective enjoyment of live performances.
  • Retail sector:5G facilitates new dimensions of customer engagement through AR-driven trials and enables data-informed inventory management with passive IoT in real-time.

In essence, 5.5G is not just an upgrade; it heralds a new era of digital supremacy, touching every aspect of modern life with connectivity that transcends current limitations and shapes tomorrow's realities.

RedCap and Passive IoT are major drivers for 5.5G innovation. How will Huawei continue to cooperate with carriers globally to foster these technologies?

As a leading ICT technology company, Huawei places innovation at its core, actively driving the evolution of 5G and leading the way in 5.5G technology. Leveraging Reduced Capability (RedCap) and Passive Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, Huawei envisions a collaborative partnership with global carriers, emphasizing technological capabilities and strategic synergy.

Huawei's approach involves creating robust partnerships through various joint efforts, including innovation labs for testing new ideas, shared research projects to explore possibilities and co-investments to support developing and deploying new technologies. This inclusive strategy invites carriers to actively participate in shaping the future of telecommunications rather than working in isolation.

Huawei is actively engaged in creating international technology standards, collaborating closely with organizations that set these standards. The company is not only emphasizing the importance of standards but is actively working to integrate RedCap and Passive IoT into globally accepted standards. The goal is to ensure the smooth functioning of these technologies worldwide. Huawei is committed to progress and shares its expertise with carriers globally through training programs and providing technical documents, contributing to the widespread availability of advanced technology.

Huawei emphasizes the integration of RedCap and Passive IoT technologies into carrier networks globally. This integration ensures these technologies work together smoothly and can be adopted everywhere. Huawei is committed to progress and shares its expertise with carriers worldwide through a program that includes training and providing technical documents, part of the company's broader aim to make advanced technology widely available.

AI is making its way into various industries. How will 5.5G support this fast-evolving transformation in the coming years?

As we move into the 5.5G era, its integration with AI is expected to revolutionize many sectors by providing the high-speed, low-latency and reliable connectivity that AI systems require for optimal performance.

5.5G will be a critical enabler for advanced AI applications, including autonomous vehicles and remote medical procedures, by offering the necessary network improvements to support these technologies.

The introduction of 5.5G will push edge computing from a conceptual stage to an essential part of business strategy, allowing for more immediate data processing at the source rather than in distant data centers. This will lead to transformative changes in urban development, manufacturing and the Internet of Things (IoT), propelling us toward more efficient and insightful operations across the board.

For the IoT ecosystem, 5.5G will play a central role in creating a seamlessly connected world where AI can work harmoniously with billions of devices, facilitating large-scale automation and data analysis. This will lead to smarter residential, agricultural and urban infrastructure, boosting productivity and fostering better environmental management.

Nonetheless, the deployment of 5.5G brings to the forefront the need for robust security measures to safeguard sensitive information and maintain privacy. The technology is poised to fulfill the complex demands of AI-driven systems while prioritizing sustainability, aiming to support the expansion of AI capabilities without exerting a negative environmental impact. Overall, 5.5G is anticipated to lay the groundwork for significant strides in industry innovation and the broader application of AI.

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