Sergey Nivens - Fotolia
Huawei and mobile network operator China Unicom will implement one of the world’s first 4.5G networks in support of a smart city project at Disney’s new Shanghai resort.
4.5G is a stepping stone between 4G LTE and true 5G – similar to how HSPA+ bridged the gap between 3G and 4G. It potentially offers gigabit download speeds, vastly reduced latency, and the ability to support many times more connections per cell to better enable the internet of things (IoT), according to Huawei.
“4.5G will be a key requirement to an all-online world and is the fundamental technology for carrying out national ‘Internet Plus’ strategies across all industries,” it said.
Huawei added that the main objectives of the agreement it has signed with China Unicom and Shanghai Shendi will be to promote smart applications, to engage Shanghai as a smart city, to upgrade internet industries, and transform information services.
Note that Huawei and China Unicom have already worked together on a 4.5G pilot programme.
The introduction of the IoT and associated smart applications at Shanghai Disney will “further contribute to the modernisation of Shanghai as a tourist destination”, Huawei said.
Huawei and China Unicom plan to use the network initially to help Disney manage its park through smart parking applications, people flow management and smart wristbands, which are already in use in its US resorts.
Further service applications such as 4K ultra-high definition video services, virtual reality and connected vehicles will be deployed between now and 2018, said Huawei.
Shanghai Disney, which is scheduled to open in 2016, will be Disney’s second resort in China – its Hong Kong resort first opened its gates in 2005. Situated in the Pudong area of the city and covering nearly 1,000 acres, the park, a joint venture between Disney and the Shanghai Shendi Group, will cost about $5.5bn.