The 5.5G era, as advocated by Huawei, presents a boundless opportunity for operators to upgrade and protect the investments while significantly improving network performance by tenfold. With upgraded downlink and uplink capabilities, as well as the introduction of innovative technologies like P-IoT (passive Internet of Things), the 5.5G era paves the way for a brand-new industry vision.
In a keynote titled, “Continued Innovation to Start a New Journey in the 5.5G Era,” at MWC Shanghai 2023, Yang Chaobin, Huawei’s Director and President of Huawei ICT Products & Solutions, highlighted the significant progress that Huawei has made in developing key technologies for 5.5G.
The 5.5G era presents comprehensive upgrade and evolution across key service fields, including wireless access, optical access, optical transport, datacom, and core network. 5.5G can offer downlink upgrade from 1 Gbit/s to 10 Gbit/s and uplink upgrade from 100 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s, meeting the requirements of more diverse industry service scenarios. In the IoT field, P-IoT technology is introduced for the first time in the 5.5G era, directly opening up a new space for 100 billion IoT and creating a brand-new industry vision, Yang Chaobin added.
Huawei is preparing to launch a complete set of 5.5G network devices in 2024 to prepare for the commercial deployment of 5.5G, Yang Chaobin announced at the event. The solution includes three components: 5.5G mobile network, 5.5 Gbit/s for fixed networks and Net5.5G.
Protecting operators’ investment
In the past four years, operators worldwide have made significant investments in 5G networks and it is crucial to protect these investments. Additionally, to enhance network capabilities, new frequency bands need to be introduced by combining different frequencies. Huawei believes that addressing this issue is important for the 5.5 GHz era.
Huawei suggests that the industry should focus on two specific frequency bands for 5.5G. The first band is 6 GHz, which is expected to be the most significant band in mobile communications for the next decade. Recently, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology allocated 700 MHz of spectrum (6425 to 7125) for mobile communications, marking the first major milestone in 5.5G development. Consequently, 6 GHz is expected to become the core band in the 5.5 GHz period.
The second band of focus is millimeter wave, which, with the help of ELAA (elevated LTE access and application) technology, continuous coverage of millimeter wave in urban areas and hotspots is now possible.
Significant progress in key technologies of 5.5G
In pursuit of enhanced network performance, Huawei has invested massively in millimeter wave technology and conducted extensive field experiments, achieving significant progress in key areas and resulting in a remarkable tenfold increase in network capabilities. This progress encompasses advancements in ultra-high bandwidth, ultra-large antenna arrays, and the utilization of cutting-edge technologies such as ELAA and MBSC (massive MIMO blade site solution controller).
ELAA for 6 GHz and mmWave to achieve 10 Gbit/s downstream experience
To achieve the ambitious goal of a 10 Gbit/s downstream experience, ultra-broadband spectrum resources play a crucial role. Huawei’s ELAA technology has been tested and proven successful in addressing the challenges associated with coverage capability and mmWave coverage. The results of field tests conducted in Chengdu and Hangzhou have exceeded expectations, showcasing the ability to deliver a peak downlink experience of 10 Gbit/s and demonstrating impressive mobility experience, Yang Chaobin added.
Optimizing spectrum usage to achieve gigabit uplink experience
Recognizing the increasing demand for uplink rates in the era of digitalization, Huawei has focused on improving uplink capabilities. Through continuous innovation and research, Huawei has developed solutions such as SUL (standalone uplink) and FSA (flexible spectrum aggregation) technologies. These solutions aim to make full use of existing spectrum resources and enhance the uplink capacity. Verification in various scenarios, including coal mines and steel mines, has demonstrated the ability of these technologies to meet the 1 Gbit/s uplink requirements. Applications such as HD backhaul, panoramic remote control, and optical quality inspection have greatly benefited from these advancements, improving production safety and operational efficiency.
5.5 Gbit/s IoT capability, opening up 100 billion connections
With the introduction of RedCap and P-IoT technologies, the 5.5G era promises to support full-field IoT and enable the connection of up to 100 billion devices. RedCap, as a native 5G technology, offers an optimal balance between performance, power consumption, and cost. Its capabilities have been successfully verified in practical applications, particularly in industries such as electric power, paving the way for broader deployment in the coming years. P-IoT, a groundbreaking technology that combines cellular networks and passive tags, has demonstrated impressive results in terms of coverage distance and identification accuracy. With applications ranging from precise positioning to sensor data transmission, P-IoT is expected to find deployment in various sectors, including smart warehousing, logistics, animal husbandry, transportation, and retail.
5.5G intelligent core network: AI native reactivates NaaS business opportunities
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a basic necessity across industries. Huawei’s 5.5G intelligent core network capitalizes on native AI technologies to enhance network capabilities. The intelligent core network focuses on three aspects: O&M intelligence, network intelligence, and service intelligence, all aimed at delivering a better experience and meeting the diverse needs of industries.
50G PON leads the F5.5G ultra-broadband network era
50G PON technology plays a vital role in the F5.5G ultra-broadband network era, providing a 10G experience. Its advantages, including increased bandwidth, reduced latency, and the ability to implement multiple functions on one network, make it suitable for various fields. Huawei’s technical verifications and pilot applications worldwide have paved the way for the commercial use of 50G PON. Huawei expects that 50G PON will be put into commercial use by the end of 2023 and will enter the small-scale commercial use stage in 2024.
Net5.5G builds a new-generation industry digital network foundation
Net5.5G addresses the digital transformation needs of various industries, offering high-quality access, ultra-broadband transport, and an 800GE AI Fabric architecture. These capabilities facilitate seamless industry data access, efficient data migration to the cloud, and the release of computing resources, unlocking the potential for digital innovation.
Huawei’s vision of the 5.5G era represents a transformative step forward in telecommunications, offering significant opportunity for operators to innovate and upgrade their network while protecting their investments. Through continued innovation in network performance and revolutionizing the IoT space, Huawei is poised to unlock new possibilities and lead the way towards a connected future where industries thrive and users enjoy enhanced connectivity and experiences.