Lighting Up the Future with 5G
2020 has been a difficult year. During this time, Huawei worked closely with its customers to cope with the challenges of COVID-19.
ICT infrastructure is essential in the fight against the pandemic, and network connectivity is a must-have for all of us. Huawei is proud to have supported the stable operations of over 300 networks across more than 170 countries.
Keeping Businesses Online
During this crisis, we helped operators provide online services to end users, minimizing the impact on their business. In Indonesia, for example, users order WTTX services online, and activate the services themselves. There is no need to send engineers out to do the installation. In 2020, Huawei helped operators attract 22 million new wireless home broadband users worldwide.
We also worked side by side with operators to increase network coverage in remote regions. Our RuralStar solution connects 50 million people across over 60 countries. People can easily access telemedicine services and work from home.
The Arrival of 5G
In 2020, 5G developed faster than we had expected. The whole 5G industry achieved impressive growth. More than 140 commercial 5G networks have been deployed in 59 countries. Over 50% of these were built by Huawei.
The ecosystem is also maturing. In China, more than 68% of smartphones shipped were 5G phones. Eleven months ago, that figure was only 1%. In addition, more than 200 5G modules and industrial devices are now available, supporting wide 5G application in many verticals.
5G is developing especially fast in frontrunner countries. In South Korea, 5G has covered 90% of the population. In China, there are 800 thousand 5G base stations, serving more than 220 million users. In the Middle East, one Saudi Arabia operator attracted more than 110,000 5G FWA users in the first year. This service alone accounted for 6% of their total revenue.
Best networks are the foundation of business success. Huawei has consistently focused on technology innovation to support our customers.
In South Korea, LG U+ provides the best networks despite having 20% less spectrum. According to a Speedtest Intelligence report, user experience of LG U+ networks is 25% better than other operators in the country. LG U+ delivers an average downlink speed of over 600 Mbps in Seoul – the fastest in the world. This is because they have achieved the highest spectrum efficiency with Huawei’s 64T64R AAUs and multi-antenna algorithms.
In Switzerland, site acquisition is difficult and is slowing down 5G deployment. Sunrise has solved this problem with the Huawei Blade AAU. It supports both sub-3 GHz bands and C-Band. No additional antennas are needed to deploy 5G, which speeds up site acquisition from 24 months to 6 months. According to P3’s tests, Sunrise’s networks have ranked number 1 for five consecutive years in Switzerland. I believe Huawei’s technologies and services have played a meaningful role.
Read more about the deployment history here: Sunrise and Huawei Jointly Achieve 1st Commercial 5G 3D Network Deployment in Europe
New 5G Services
5G redefines traditional telecom services. Short message is upgrading to 5G Message. 5G Message not only supports traditional text messaging, but it’s also a portal through which end users can enjoy OTT services, for example, hotel or air ticket booking. We estimate that, by 2025, China will have 900 million 5G Message users. The potential market opportunities for operators will be worth more than US$10 billion.
Voice service is evolving to Enriched Calling. Enriched calling supports video ring-back tone and multimedia menu. Here’s an example. When you call a help desk, a multimedia menu shows up on your screen. You can instantly choose the service you need without having to listen to long pre-recorded instructions. This service now has more than 120 million users in China, where 4.5 billion calls are made with video ring-back tone every month.
5G AR is no longer for the early adopters. It has become part of our daily lives in things like education, entertainment, fitness, and travel.
In South Korea, 5G AR services bring real business value. Take LG U+’s AR Kid Library as an example. They use AR to show the books of well-known publishers and offer children an immersive experience, attracting more than 110,000 users in the first three months. LG U+ has released over 3,000 pieces of AR content.
At a Chinese dance show that’s had more than 500 million views online, the audience could watch the “bullet time” moment of the dancers from any angle. Operators in China have deployed free view live streaming in more than 20 stadiums to support entertainment and sports content. It is attracting more people to 5G.
5G doesn’t stop at improving our daily lives. Today, 5G is being used in more than 20 industries across 50 plus countries. 5G is becoming part of the core production processes of many verticals. It makes production safer, more intelligent, and more efficient. 2021 will be the first year with large-scale 5G industry applications.
5G in Action
Hunan Valin Xiangtan is an iron and steel producer. With 5G, workers no longer need to work in noisy and high temperature environments. They can control cranes and machines remotely in a comfortable room. Currently, they have eight 5G-powered cranes in their workshop.
Shanxi Yangquan Coal has deployed 5G network in its mineshafts, 534 meters underground. Now, daily mineshaft inspections are done by 5G robots. The number of workers needed underground is cut by 50%.
Guangdong Midea is a manufacturer of home appliances. They have set up a microwave oven assembly line using 5G and AI. With these technologies, they have replaced manual spot checks with automated inspections. This has increased defect detection rate by 10 percentage points.
As we can see, 5GtoB creates huge value. But scaling up 5G industrial applications is still a huge challenge. Operators will need new capabilities in network planning, construction, maintenance, optimization, and operations, in order to achieve “0 to 1”, and replicate success from 1 to many.
What Does this Mean in Practice?
First, complex environments, diverse industrial devices, and strict SLAs all pose high requirements. We must be able to build networks to meet those requirements.
Second, operators need to build service and ecosystem enablement platforms, provide standard products and services, and create healthy business models.
Third, operators need to clearly define their capability boundaries. They must improve their own capabilities to offer integrated solutions for verticals.
5G is lighting up the future. We will keep innovating to help our customers build the best 5G networks and achieve greater business success.
Click the link to learn more about Huawei’s 5G solutions.
Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.