Huawei Launches 5G-A Pioneers Program with Global Operators

Huawei, in partnership with leading global 5G-A operators, launched its 5G-A Pioneers Program in Shanghai on Tuesday, reaching agreements to pool wisdom and drive the development of the next-generation mobile network.

Jay Ian Birbeck

June 27, 2024

4 Min Read

Huawei and its operator partners jointly launch the 5G-A Pioneers Program in Shanghai, June 25, 2024. [Photo Courtesy of Huawei]

Huawei, in partnership with leading global 5G-A operators, launched its 5G-A Pioneers Program in Shanghai on Tuesday, reaching agreements to pool wisdom and drive the development of the next-generation mobile network.

The event brought together major 5G-A operators, including China's big three – China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom – as well as Hong Kong's HKT, UAE's du, and Oman's Omantel, to share their experiences and strategies for 5G-A deployment.

David Wang, Executive Director of the Board and Chairman of the ICT Infrastructure Managing Board at Huawei, emphasized the importance of the industry working together to roll out 5G-A technology.

"As we look towards 2030, it is crucial for the entire industry to continuously enhance 5G-A technology, promote the sustainable development of the 5G industry, and fully realize the vision of 5G transforming society," Wang said.

5G-A delivers vastly reduced latency and increased speeds compared to current 5G networks. Yet, operators at the event showed that 5G-A offers more than just technical upgrades, presenting examples and plans to create new revenue streams and business opportunities.

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator, is deploying the first commercial 5G-A network. It already covers 250 cities and counties in China, with plans to expand nationwide by the end of the year and fully commercialize by 2026.

The company is testing 5G-A to build novel industry applications. Initial commercial use cases will be available by year-end, with large-scale deployment planned for 2025.

China Unicom has also made significant progress in 5G-A deployment. The company plans to further expand the coverage of 5G-A carrier aggregation for nationwide deployment.

Besides speed enhancements, China Unicom has shown 5G-A's potential in industrial manufacturing by using deterministic network capabilities, offering 4 ms latency and 99.999% reliability. Now, China Unicom aims to scale up these scenarios to boost revenue growth as part of its 5G-A strategy.

China Telecom's showcased its deployment of 3CC (Three Component Carrier), a technology that combines three frequency bands to boost network performance. This enables peak downlink speeds of 5 Gbps and uplink speeds of 1 Gbps, even in high-traffic areas.

The company projects annual revenue growth of several percentage points with the expected penetration of 5G-A applications in these emerging sectors.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's HKT said it had successfully deployed mmWave Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology, to provide ultra-high-speed internet to remote villages and islands, ensuring uninterrupted service even in extreme network load situations. This deployment ensures that these underserved areas can enjoy uninterrupted service even during periods of extreme network congestion.

The use of mmWave FWA technology, which operates on high-frequency bands, allows HKT to provide fiber-like speeds wirelessly, eliminating the need for extensive and costly infrastructure in challenging terrains. This breakthrough showcases the potential of 5G-A networks to revolutionize internet access in rural locations.

The UAE's du has made significant strides in 5G-A development, launching the first 5G-A "Future Home" demonstration project with Huawei in Dubai in 2023. The company aims for nationwide 5G-A deployment within three years. Additionally, du emphasized the green potential of its 5G-A rollout, with 20% of its sites running on green energy and all sites using deterministic network capabilities to reduce energy consumption.

Omantel, Oman's leading carrier, sees 5G-A as an opportunity to connect the country's sparsely populated areas, having successfully tested 10Gbps speeds using mmWave technology. Additionally, it has deployed 5G RedCap devices at customer locations to provide reliable 150Mbps internet connections. The company plans to launch more 5G-A services this year, positioning itself at the forefront of 5G innovation in the Middle East.

The event emphasized the importance of dialogue platforms like the Global Pioneers program, noting that such collaboration will be crucial as operators focus on exploring new use cases to boost revenues from 5G-A in the coming years.

Huawei and the operators agreed to pool resources and jointly promote 5G-A development in six areas: "Concentrating Pioneer Operators," "Creating Pioneer Cities," "Upgrading Business Models," "Building High-Quality Networks," "Driving Business Innovation," and "Promoting Ecosystem Prosperity." The common theme across these areas is the potential for new sources of growth.

"Huawei looks forward to working hand-in-hand with the industry to build healthy 5G-A ecosystems, upgrade 5G-A standards, and share in the benefits of 5G-A development. Together, we will bring the intelligent world into reality faster," stated Wang.

MWC Shanghai 2024 is being held from June 26 to June 28.

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