Critical for operators to redefine 5G business models, says Huawei

Undeterred by the cancellation of what would have been a totemic global showcase for its 5G products, Huawei reveals its 5G strategy for 2020 at London forum

Huawei has taken to the UK to reveal its 5G plans for 2020. Ryan Ding, executive director of the board and president of Huawei’s carrier business group, delivered a keynote at its new 5G product launch in London. He outlined the company’s 5G go-to-market strategy and where its technology could add value throughout the ecosystem of the next-generation infrastructure, and gave details of a 5G partner innovation programme.

Ding said the new products and programme were part of Huawei’s aim to build a thriving 5G ecosystem and make it a commercial success.

He said 5G had developed beyond imagination in terms of deployment, ecosystem and experience, and that the networks were the foundation for the 5G business. He revealed that, to date, Huawei has been awarded 91 commercial 5G contracts and shipped more than 600,000 5G Massive MIMO active antenna units (AAUs). Ding added that as a leading global 5G supplier, Huawei was committed to developing the best end-to-end 5G technology.

Specific products that the company will take to market include what Huawei claimed was the industry’s highest-performance 5G base station, which supports all scenarios, and the Blade AAU, which had what it described as the industry’s highest level of integration.

The Blade AAU can work under all sub-6GHz frequency bands and support 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G networks, it said. This, said Huawei, addresses the issue of limited space for antenna installation and reduces the total cost of ownership by more than 30% when compared with existing systems.

Huawei also claimed it was the first supplier in the industry to provide industrial 5G modules for vertical applications.

The company said it firmly believes that with the ultra-high bandwidth offered by 5G, users will be able to enjoy immersive augmented reality and virtual reality (AR and VR) experiences. It added that as 5G enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) matures, high-definition video services will drive the massive growth of 5G B2C services, but there is also huge potential for 5G B2B services.

Huawei and operators have jointly released 5G white papers and explored B2B applications in order to drive 5G applications in various industries.

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At the London launch event, Ding showcased the company’s recently released live broadcast backpack, embedded with a 5G module, which is designed to makes live broadcasting easier.

Striking a more general note on B2B applications – such as new media, campus, healthcare and education, where Huawei and its global partners have worked together on multiple 5G projects – Ding stressed that in the 5G era, operators can provide differentiated experiences and charge users based on more metrics. These include data volume, latency, bandwidth and the number of connected devices.

And because this made it possible to monetise 5G, Ding said it was critical for operators to redefine their 5G business models now.

Announcing details of the 5G partner innovation programme, Huawei said it plans to invest US$20m into innovative 5G applications over the next five years, something it believes will contribute to a thriving 5G ecosystem and accelerate the commercial success of 5G.

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