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Huawei Rotating CEO Ken Hu Outlines Vision for Super-Connected 5G World at MWC 2015
It is my pleasure to be here to continue the discussion on 5G. I have learned much from previous speakers. Now I would like to share my points of view from three different aspects:
– Why do we need 5G,
– What 5G is, and
– How we can get to 5G.
First of all, why do we need 5G?
The answer may vary depending on your perspective. In my view, 5G will help us overcome some of the challenges which cannot be fully addressed by existing technologies, particularly in terms of the number of connections, network latency, and speed.
First, number of connections.
Although 4G has achieved several thousand connections within each cell, it is not enough to meet the future demand of the Internet of Things (IoT) in a fully connected world.
With 5G, the number will reach one million per square km, which is an exponential growth. 5G networks will have the capability to reach over 100 billion smart nodes, this will help us get everything in our lives connected: from our toothbrushes, glasses, watches, running shoes to containers, forklifts, and even robotic arms – the list goes on and on. This capability is also extremely valuable for many industrial applications.
Second, Network latency.
The latency of 4G networks is less than 50ms, which is only half that of 3G. However, applications such as self-driving will still require much lower latency than 4G networks can offer.
For example, on a 4G network, a self-driving car travelling at 100 km/h will continue to move 1.4 meters from detecting a failure to applying the brakes. This can be the difference between life and death.
On a 5G network, the same car will move just 2.8 centimeters, and this is comparable with the standard of Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS).
Since 5G can reach a latency of one millisecond, this will make the response speed of 5G networks 50 times faster than that of 4G.
Next, I’d like to show you a video about transportation. This is not a real application of 5G … however it probably will help us to get a sense of how the technology can affect our life.
Consumers always want faster speed. Although 4G is 10 times faster than 3G, it is already behind the market demand for video content once 4K becomes the standard.
5G can achieve a peak speed of 10 Gbit/s which is nearly 66 times faster than 4G. This means that the time required to download an 8G byte high-definition movie will be reduced from over 70mins with 3G, to 7 minutes with 4G, and to 6 seconds with 5G.Which is amazing.
Let’s take E-health as another example. With 3G, we can store and check health records online. With 4G, we can use high-definition videos for emergency consultation. With 5G, more advanced applications such as interactive 3D brain imaging will be available for remote diagnosis.
Connections, latency and speed – These are the things we will rely on to bring the Internet of Things ( IoT ) and Industrial Internet into reality.
Next, let’s talk about what 5G is.
Huawei began research on 5G about six years ago. Although the standards for 5G have not been fully defined yet, we believe that 5G will differentiate itself from existing mobile technology in the 3 ways we’ve just discussed:
At the same time, I believe that 5G is much more than an upgrade of technology.
5G will become a platform that will enable new applications, new business models, and even new industries, and it will also become an enabler of many disruptions.
Although now it is hard to predict how 5G will affect our life, I am positive that the association of technological innovation and human imagination will lead us to a brighter future.
In my view, there are 3 key actions that need to be taken:
- Open collaboration across industries
- Heavy investment in technological innovations
- And evolutionary commercialization strategies
First, the development of 5G requires more open collaborations across industries.
In the past, the telecom industry has led most of the technology and standards development for telecommunication networks, while other industries and stakeholders have had limited opportunities to participate.
When public telecommunication networks failed to meet the needs of vertical industries, many industries established their own standards and rolled out various private communication networks. This has resulted in fragmented and inconsistent standards of communication.
Let me share a personal experience about the Internet of Vehicles (IoV).
I once talked about a joint pilot project for automatic transportations with several leading automakers. Unfortunately, no consensus was reached due to the lack of a unified standard. For example, In the automobile industry there are standards like WAVE from US and Europe’s C-ITS. In the telecommunication industry, there is also a discussion on LTE-V standards from 3GPP. The problem is that too many standards mean no clear standard. Regrettably, because of this, we were not able to pursue the joint pilot project.
We hope 5G will be developed in a different way.
We would like to see the telecom industry open up and collaborate with vertical industries, with other industries getting actively involved in cross-industry dialogue and cooperation.
Only in this way can we best understand the shared needs of vertical industries for 5G networks, let business needs drive standards development and technological innovation, and eventually make 5G networks the key enabler of the future industrial revolution.
We also hope that governments and industry organizations like GSMA and NGMN can play a more proactive role to enable dialogue within and across industries. We look forward to seeing an “open road” with the forthcoming 5G technology.
Second, 5G needs intensive technological innovations.
We believe that intensive technological innovations will enable 5G to reach Ultra-high bandwidth, ultra-low latency, massive numbers of connections, and super-fast mobility, etc.
We have seen enormous innovation within the industry and the effort will never end. I will just mention a few of them.
A New air interface. We believe new technologies will increase spectrum efficiency at least 3 times from 4G. For example, Huawei has developed a new air interface , which include SCMA, F-OFDM and polar coding and so on. We have found that this new air interface can not only significantly enhance spectrum efficiency, but also allow for more connections and ultra-low latency.
Virtualized architecture will create an open and software-defined architecture for 5G networks. This will enable tens of thousands of applications such as IoV, smart grids, and mobile broadband on a single physical network. This will make it possible for 5G networks to satisfy the demands of different vertical industries and become the new infrastructure for the entire digital world.
All-spectrum access means 5G access will use frequency bands under 6 Gigahertz. It will allow carriers to build up a single wireless access network with unified access technology, therefore significantly optimizing their operational efficiency. And it will also create a more consistent experience for the end users.
Last but not least, I’ll talk about evolutionary commercialization strategies.
On the road to 5G, many innovations will emerge and many of them should be applied and integrated into existing 4G networks to enhance network performance and user experience. In Huawei, this is why we are working closely with several operators on 4.5G solutions while heavily investing in 5G research.
For example, in LTE-M, which is one of our 4.5G solutions, we leverage 5G innovation achievements to 4G networks to provide 100 times more connections and fully meet the demands of M2M applications like meter reading.
We believe that such evolutionary commercialization strategies will help to maximize the return on investment from 4G, stimulate market demand for 5G, and help mobile operators extend their market leadership from 4G to 5G era.
Ladies and gentlemen, today, it is clear that the famous prediction that “the world only needs 5 computers” was wrong. Likewise, our imagination of the future digital world is quite limited as well.
But we know very clearly that the future world is super-connected, and a new round of industrial revolution will make the future world super intelligent.
I am quite positive that this will present enormous opportunities for the telecom industry, and I do believe that technological innovations – especially innovations in 5G – can help us get there faster. The doors to the future digital world have just opened up, and we are at the beginning of the beginning.
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