There are more than 700 million 5G subscribers, more than 200 commercial 5G networks, and 5G has been deployed across 10,000 scenarios.
5G as an industry is growing exponentially, and will impact society on many levels for years to come. Organizations are exploring new 5G opportunities and driving innovation with new 5G applications that change people’s experiences and enables industry innovation.
Ronald van Loon is the CEO and Principal Analyst of the Intelligent World and Huawei partner, and had the opportunity to attend Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022 in Barcelona, Spain to learn about the latest innovations in 5G. He was able to interview Flora Miao, VP of Wireless Operating Department, Huawei about the latest 5G-Advanced news and innovation.
The diversity of 5G applications is growing, and mobile network traffic is correspondingly increasing at a rate of 50% per year. By 2030, mobile networks will surpass fixed networks. Industries from healthcare, entertainment, supply chain and manufacturing, and more are impacted by 5G as they discover new ways to enhance their capabilities and deliver new products, services and experiences to consumers.
The world will continue to witness 5G evolution firsthand, as businesses showcase their latest developments and knowledge at events like MWC. MWC had some impressive live broadcasts, from playing basketball in extended reality (XR) to skydiving in virtual reality (VR), and these capabilities are made possible with 5G.
The focus for consumer driven 5G applications will be centered on creating immersive experiences, like 8K Ultra High Definition live broadcast, which was used in the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022. The low latency high image broadcast delivers an exceptional experience to viewers.
Organizations have new opportunities to apply 5G advancements to drive innovation and growth across their industry, and prepare for a future that’s enabled by 5G. With the right technology foundation and partnerships, businesses can create new 5G products, services, and solutions that enhance their business capabilities and deliver exceptional experiences to consumers.
5G is expanding rapidly, and new commercial deployments and industry adoption need to expand from hotspots to encompass complete continuous coverage for what Huawei calls the “5Gigaverse.” This ubiquitous gigabit network will empower and evolve 5G capabilities, helping organizations reimagine how they can deliver 5G experiences. These solutions are helping organizations embrace 5G and cloud more completely to enable a smart and sustainable world.
Huawei wants to enable organizations’ 5G capabilities and build a technology foundation and architecture that enables software, service providers, and carriers to digitally transform and achieve success through new case developments.
5.5G was initiated in 2020, as industry applications were becoming more sophisticated and began to raise the requirements for 5G. Greater network speeds and low latency are driving the evolution of 5G and now that consumers are interacting more with virtual environments like AR and VR, new capabilities are required to maximize the effectiveness of 5G technology and enhance consumer experiences.
Huawei has defined new scenarios for 5.5G: UCBC, RTBC, and HCS and these scenarios improve network capabilities by 10 times, improve connection accuracy, and greatly speed up uplink and downlink rates. This will expand 5G capabilities so organizations across industries can explore new ideas, developments and use cases.
4G technology evolved into LTE Advanced Pro. Just like 4G in this scenario, 5G technology is evolving into 5G-Advanced and it will enhance network capabilities through an architecture of integrated technologies like Cloud Native, Edge Network, and network as a service (NaaS).
The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) develops and defines protocols for mobile communications. 3GPP proposed 5G-Advanced and Huawei discussed the technology research and standardization required that will take 5G to 5G-Advanced. Organizations are going to focus on key research areas for 5G-Advanced, including:
- Upgrades for larger capacity, wider coverage, better experiences.
- Uplink experience and capacity improvement for enhanced 5G-Advanced network capabilities.
- Bridge the physical and digital worlds.
- High-precision positioning to expand new applications.
- The integration costs of energy efficient IoT in one 5G network.
- Low carbon efficient green networks.
- AI for opening new 5G fields.
The world is digitizing quickly as IoT device usage expands, and consumer behavior and expectations for innovative quality experiences are rising. AI is shaping new business capabilities and consumer experiences, and digital and physical realities are being blended together by extended reality. 5G-Advanced standardization will help organizations determine the impacts of 5G on their business and what it takes to digitize infrastructure and operations.
5G-Advanced will go commercial between 2024 to 2025. Organizations need to start exploring their technological and business options for these new 5G standards now, because it could take 2 to 3 years to prepare for it.
GSMA, an organization representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide, plans to implement a 5G-Advanced community for industry stakeholders to explore key directions, technologies, and applications scenarios of 5G evolution. The community will enable a platform for connecting with peers, sharing their knowledge and requirements for building an ecosystem to support each other and drive businesses forward in a new direction:
- Collect consumer and vertical requirements on telecom and research high value use cases and business models.
- Improve industry awareness of 5G-Advanced, promote 5G-Advanced marketing brands and push for industry cooperation.
- Drive joint innovation on 5G-Advanced solutions and applications between operators, vendors and vertical players.
Extended Reality (XR)
The extended reality market will generate $1.5 trillion in GDP by 2030. XR devices are becoming more affordable and more development tools are being adopted. The current OpenXR standard, an API that helps organizations develop Mixed Reality (MR), is supported with almost all major platforms. That means more companies can make larger scale XR deployments.
Many organizations have begun to realize the potential of XR by exploring different business models and industry deployments, and releasing new innovations over the last few years. Industry partners and carriers can expand their opportunities for the XR industry by following XR development and keeping with key practices.
Through research and partnerships, Huawei outlines factors determining the future trajectory of XR. Traffic demands for content and cloud service capabilities double every 18 to 24 months. This indicates that this will consume more network bandwidth and cloud resources, but the cost to produce XR will decrease. This information has been presented at MWC as a basis to guide organizations in how they can create a foundation for success that enables the use of XR.
If organizations build their infrastructure to prepare for increases in network bandwidth and can access and utilize cloud networks efficiently, they can expand their XR partnerships, deliver exceptional XR services and experiences, and build their own frameworks for releasing XR applications.
Enabling 5G Capabilities
The future will be a world driven by new experiences like XR and built on a foundation of 5G capabilities. MWC gives a glimpse into what’s possible now and in the future when businesses work together to drive innovation and opportunity.
MWC helped to drive awareness to 5G so that organizations can be better prepared to meet the demands and requirements for a 5G future, and bring new opportunities to their business and customers.
By Ronald van Loon