Is 2024 set to be the year of cutting-edge 5G technology?

During the Mobile World Congress (MWC), many companies showcased their cutting-edge 5G offerings, while Huawei unveiled a range of products as part of its commercial launch of 5.5G.

The technology known as 5G initially faced slow adoption but is now experiencing rapid growth, with telecom companies demonstrating powerful offerings at this year’s MWC.

A variety of tech companies at the Barcelona event shared their future plans, with AI emerging as a prominent topic. However, the focus was on the development of 5G technology, with companies introducing new concepts such as ‘advanced 5G’ or 5G-A.

Research from GSMA Intelligence revealed that 5G has seen the quickest uptake compared to previous generations, signaling a promising future. Companies like Ericson and Nokia are expanding 5G-A to different regions as the technology continues to advance.

Amidst discussions about 5G-A, Huawei announced its plans to launch its own version of advanced 5G known as 5.5G commercially in 2024. After testing the technology in over 20 cities worldwide, the Chinese tech giant is partnering with operators globally to position 5.5G as a potential game-changer across multiple industries.

The Capabilities of 5.5G

According to Huawei, 5.5G can achieve download speeds of 10Gbps and upload speeds of 1Gbps, supporting billions of connections to meet the increasing demand for data and fast connectivity.

Eric Zhao, Vice President of wireless solutions at Huawei, stated that 5.5G will enable the realization of innovative services, upgrading IoT capabilities and facilitating diverse types of IoT connections and industry connections.

Zhao also highlighted the impact of 5.5G on connected vehicles, a market expected to reach over $136 billion by 2032.

Having been in preparation for the commercial launch of 5.5G, Huawei discussed the potential applications of the technology at last year’s MWC, with multiple operators worldwide validating 5.5G capabilities on their networks.

During this year’s MWC, Huawei announced collaborative agreements with telecom companies globally to promote 5.5G technology applications in various sectors.

With a comprehensive set of “digital and intelligent transformation solutions,” Huawei is targeting diverse industries to adopt 5.5G technology.

Additionally, Huawei is leveraging AI to enhance the efficiency of its 5.5G offerings, introducing the Telecom Foundation Model to help carriers optimize their networks.

Huawei’s ‘0 Bit 0 Watt’ capabilities contribute to sustainability improvements by reducing energy consumption on radio frequency networks while enhancing user experiences.

Views on Open RAN

Huawei’s infrastructure supports multiple 5G frequencies without interference, positioning the company as a comprehensive provider of cellular network hardware.

In contrast to companies exploring Open RAN technology, Huawei is navigating a distinct path by addressing technical challenges such as cybersecurity risks and power efficiency adjustments, a capability showcased in its 0 Bit 0 Watt offering.

Efforts to enhance Open RAN technology continue globally, with projects like Energise in Ireland and the US government’s investment in a 5G Open RAN standard.

A Glimpse into 6G

While the focus at MWC was on advanced 5G, discussions around the next generation, 6G, were also prevalent. Huawei views 5.5G as a stepping stone towards 6G evolution, preparing for future advancements in network technology.

Anticipated to be significantly faster and more reliable than 5G, 6G could unlock innovations like mixed reality and global automation. However, the timeline for its deployment remains uncertain.

Industry experts suggest that the deployment of 6G networks may not occur until after 2030, with ongoing technological advancements geared towards a smooth transition to 6G.

Working in collaboration with industry partners, Huawei is committed to enhancing spectrum and energy efficiency to pave the way for the future of 6G.

Discover how upcoming tech trends are reshaping the future in our latest podcast, Future Human: The Series. Stream now on Spotify, on Apple, or on your preferred podcast platform.

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