At the Win-Win Huawei Innovation Week, David Wang, Executive Director of the Board and Chairman of the ICT Infrastructure Managing Board of Huawei, delivered a keynote speech titled “Innovation, Lighting up the 5.5G Era”. In his speech, Wang spoke about the next evolution of 5G technology, which the company has termed, 5.5G, and the industry’s innovation roadmap for the next five to ten years.
“Looking ahead to 2025, the sheer diversity and magnitude of network service requirements will create huge new market potential,” said Wang. “We’re here to discuss these opportunities with operators and industry partners, and explore the innovations we need to help pave the way for 5.5G.”
Huawei proposed 5.5G for the first time at the 11th Global Mobile Broadband Forum in 2020, and F5.5G (or fixed 5.5G) at the Global Analyst Summit this April. Since then, the industry has been simmering with new ideas and best practices.
A wealth of new requirements will raise the bar for next-generation ICT infrastructure
According to Wang, new developments in digital technology need to support a truly real-time, engaging, and more immersive experience in the digital world, and gradually make a 10 Gbps network experience available everywhere on the planet.
On the industrial front, digitalization has already entered the fast lane. AI will be fully integrated into enterprise production processes, and the size of the 5.5G IoT market will grow rapidly. Collaboration between robots and people in complex scenarios will impose greater requirements on next-generation industrial field networks.
Currently, bottlenecks in computing, such as memory walls, unbalanced utilization of data center resources, and low energy efficiency, are hindering the rise of new computing demand. To address these challenges, the industry needs to innovate at the architecture and system levels to boost computing supply.
Six features of 5.5G – New value for digital life and development
The first is a 10 Gbps user experience. 5.5G will deliver a 10 Gbps experience through MIMO technology that boasts larger bandwidth, higher spectrum efficiency, and higher-order modulation. With next-generation technologies like FTTR, Wi-Fi 7, 50G PON, and 800G, F5.5G will bring a 10 Gbps experience everywhere.
At the event, Wang proposed Net5.5G for the first time, defining the evolution of IP networks to meet the rising demand for computing power by intelligent applications. “As digitalization takes hold, intelligent applications will see large-scale commercialization and computing resources will be located across multiple clouds,” said Wang. “Enterprises need to make use of computing power from multiple clouds at lower costs, with greater agility and flexibility. To this end, we need to keep innovating and build out the IPv6 Enhanced system to help the industry thrive. This is why we proposed Net5.5G.”
Second, the business scope will go beyond connectivity. 5.5G will go beyond connectivity to include sensing, which will result in a wealth of new scenarios and applications. Wireless sensing and fiber sensing technologies will be used in vehicle-road collaboration and environment monitoring. Passive IoT will integrate cellular and passive tag technologies to create 100 billion potential connections. 5.5G core networks will redefine architectures and foundational technologies to enable new service scenarios, such as industry private networks, industrial field networks, and new calling.
Third, diversified computing will enable diversified applications. In the 5.5G era, computing architectures will be redefined to increase computing efficiency by 10-fold through chip engineering and full peer-to-peer interconnection architectures.
Fourth, data-centric storage will break through existing limits in storage architecture. Future storage will improve storage performance by 10-fold through data-centric hardware and software architecture and diversified data application acceleration engines.
Fifth, full-stack AI native will make L4 highly autonomous driving networks (ADNs) a reality. ADNs have become a common goal of the industry. Full-stack AI native, from network elements to networks and services, will accelerate breakthroughs in ADN technology. The results of new innovation, such as compression algorithms for hundreds of network indicators and unknown fault identification by AI foundation models, will be widely applied in the 5.5G era.
Lastly, developments in green technology and system-level innovation will increase energy efficiency. The ITU-T has adopted Network Carbon data/energy intensity (NCIe) as the unified energy efficiency metric to guide the industry’s green development roadmap. Huawei has developed innovative solutions for green sites, green networks, and green operations to increase network capacity and cut energy consumption per bit. These solutions will empower operators in the 5.5G era.
“As we move towards the 5.5G era, all industry players need to work together to bring standards to maturity and cultivate a thriving industry,” said Wang. He proposed three recommendations to conclude his speech.
The industry needs to work closely together to define the vision and roadmap for 5.5G.
The industry should define technology standards within the standards frameworks set by 3GPP, ETSI, and ITU.
All industry players should work together to promote a thriving industry ecosystem by incubating more use cases and accelerating digital, intelligent transformation.
The Win-Win Huawei Innovation Week is held from July 18 to July 21 in Shenzhen, China. Together with global operators, industry professionals, and opinion leaders, we dive into topics such as 5.5G, green development, and digital transformation to envision shared success in the digital economy. For more information, please visit: https://carrier.huawei.com/en/events/winwin-innovation-week.