Investment in 5G-Advanced is set to pick up as 75 percent of 5G base stations will be upgraded to 5G-Advanced by 2030, five years after the estimated commercial launch, global technology intelligence firm ABI Research said.
5G-Advanced will bring enhancements on mobile network capabilities and use case-based support to help mobile operators with 5G commercialization, development of Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML), and network energy savings for an automated network.
“In 5G-Advanced, Extended Reality (XR) applications will promise monetary opportunities to both the consumer markets with use cases like gaming, video streaming, as well as enterprise opportunities such as remote working and virtual training,” said Gu Zhang, 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure Principal Analyst at ABI Research.
AI/ML will become essential for future networks given predictive rapid growth in 5G network usage and use case complexities which can’t be managed by legacy optimization approaches with presumed models. System-level network energy saving is a critical aspect as operators need to cut the deployment cost but assure network performance for various use cases.
The upgrade of 5G network infrastructure is expected to be faster in the consumer market than enterprises, the report said.
ABI Research forecasts that 75 percent of 5G base stations will be upgraded to 5G-Advanced, while in the enterprise market the ratio is about half. 5G-Advanced devices per radio base station will gain traction around 2024 to 2026 at the early stage of the commercial launch because devices will grow more aggressively than network deployments.
The commercial launch of 5G-Advanced will take two or three years, but the competition has already started. Leaders such as Ericson, Huawei, Nokia, ZTE, and Qualcomm have trialed their solutions with mobile operators across the world.
China Mobile, at a conference on the achievements of 5G-Advanced on June 6, 2022, unveiled its first-ever 5G-Advanced E2E industry showcases, along with Huawei and other partners, and released a white paper on new capabilities and development prospects for 5G-Advanced.
China Mobile announced plans to promote the convergence between 5G-advanced innovation and industry chains. The white paper proposed three directions for 5G-advanced: high-quality networks, intelligent and simplified networks, and low carbon goals, along with 10 key technologies based on the three directions.
China Unicom proposed three technical solutions for 5G-Advanced: smart new vision, smart high uplink, and smart super sensing on May 15, 2022 at its conference covering innovations and practice achievements. These technical proposals will form a crucial part of its new efforts to explore new capabilities of 5G-Advanced, including 10 Gbps downlink, Gbps uplink, and new spectrum deployments.
China Telecom launched Super TimeFreq Folding for 5G-Advanced at a joint conference on May 10, 2022. This solution works on the 3.5 GHz band, and supports an up to 100 MHz of equivalent uplink width and 1 Gbps of uplink peak rate, while reducing E2E latency for 10 ms to below 4 ms.
China Telecom also shared its new plans for improvements of this solution by using the mmWave band, potentially to cut the latency even below 1 ms. This level of ultra-large capacity and high reliability will provide industry customers with better and more cost-effective solutions to accelerate digital transformation.