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The Telecom Review Excellence Award for Best Middle Eastern Vendor and Best Middle Eastern 5G Innovation (Vendor) went to Huawei Middle East. May Li, VP of solution marketing, Huawei, shares her company’s vision and technological development in the advancement towards a 5.5G era.

Many operators in the region have commercially launched 5G services. What are your views of overall 5G development in the region?

5G has been in the region for over three years. There are 17 commercial networks launched with over 16 million 5G users across the region, including over 1.3 million home mobile broadband users and 45,000 business users. The early launch of 5G networks has brought massive benefits to the carriers in the region.  For example, in the first year launch of the 5G network in Kuwait, we have seen carriers’ overall profitability increase by 13%. The success of the 5G network depends on a number of reasons. One of those is well-balanced spectrum policies across many countries.  Secondly, it is the innovative services launched by different carriers such as home mobile broadband as well as business services. Lastly, it is the fair and open business environment that encourages carriers to select better technology to deploy networks without any restrictions. 

Can you share with us the future of 5G evolution?

5.5G will bring more advanced features to the networks. This concept of 5.5G was outlined by Huawei back in 2020, and 3GPP officially launched 5G Advanced in 2021. What we see in the 5.5G evolution is that there will be a whole bunch of new wireless technologies that can provide better capacity, better coverage and better spectrum efficiency. In addition to that, we will see the deployment of passive IoT that utilizes RFID technology with wireless technology to reduce the cost of IoT devices and make them more energy-efficient, using less or no power at all. Together with RedCap and NBIoT, passive IoT will provide 100 billion connections that we envision with significant acceleration of industrial digital transformation. Another technology that we are looking at is sensing technology.  This will totally help to transform business scope in the communication networks. Altogether, we envision more advanced and superior user experience. We will address some of the bottlenecks, for example, the video uploading bottleneck we experience in 5G networks, and enable billions of connections to help with the industrial transformation.

Huawei’s vision is to connect people and organizations for a future intelligent world. How can carriers prepare themselves for this transformation?

The future intelligent world that requires ubiquitous intelligence to integrate the virtual and the physical worlds that will generate and transmit a massive amount of data. Huawei predicts that, by 2030, there will be 200 billion connections worldwide, and data will reach 1 Yottabyte every year, a 23-fold increase compare to now. As a result, there are increased demands for intelligence, resiliency, security and efficiency in the networks. To meet these demands, Huawei have proposed concept of 5.5G Era, which give carriers comprehensive views of what required to be ready for the future intelligent world. In addition to the 5.5G evolution in wireless network, the 5.5G era includes F5.5G technologies for fixed network, Net5.5G for IP networking, together with telco cloud based 5.5G core, AI enabled level 4 autonomous driving network and -layer green development in the site, network and operations, the future 5.5G era will:

  • Improve seamless user experience by 10 times
  • Extend communication business connectivity to sensing
  • Enable wide ranging of applications with diversified computing
  • Break through the existing limits in storage architecture with data-centric storage design
  • Achieve L4 high autonomy communication network with full stack AI native autonomous driving networks (AND) transformation
  • Meet sustainability objectives with green development solutions
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