Operators are continuing to invest in gigabit-class LTE while deploying early non-standalone 5G networks leveraging those 4G investments and paving the way for more advanced 5G services as standards progress and networks become more ubiquitous.Inbright 0602.
Speaking with RCR Wireless News during Mobile World Congress Barcelona, Mohamad Madkour, vice president of global wireless network marketing and solutions, Huawei Technologies, explained how the company approaches commercial 5G deployment while continuing its innovations and leadership in 4G.
He said, “Outstanding LTE is the first step to get excellent 5G. Our strategy in 5G is to facilitate simple, powerful, efficient and secure 5G deployment. We’re also keeping our strategy that we started years ago, which is…continuous strengthening for LTE. We see that as business continuity for our customers as well as a necessary groundwork for 5G readiness. We really focus on efficiently and profitably providing 5G-like experiences and 5G-like services in today’s LTE network simultaneously with a simple 5G add-on to fit operators’ business scenarios.”
Madkour noted Huawei Technologies has shipped more than 40,000 5G base stations and has signed more than 30 operator contracts, including end-to-end deals that cover terminal, access, transport and core networks. Reiterating the end-to-end approach he also noted Huawei announced during MWC the Mate X smartphone, which supports 5G and comes in a foldable form factor and is used on the Vodafone-Huawei live network in Barcelona.
In addition to the new solutions launches, during MWC Huawei made a number of announcements around operators’ engagements to build their future 5G networks. Indonesia’s XL Axiata partnered with Huawei to build a 5G-ready transport network covering the entire country both consumers and businesses. VIVA Bahrain and Huawei signed a memorandum of understanding that considers investments in non-standalone 5G core and dual mode 4G/5G radios among other areas. With South African operator Rain, Huawei has partnered to deploy an end-to-end network using 3.6 GHz spectrum. Swiss operator Sunrise, working with Huawei, is planning to activate 5G in March in 150 towns, cities and villages focused on high speed applications like virtual reality, panoramic video broadcast and ultra-high definition video. Saudi STC signed “Aspiration Project” contract with Huawei, in which STC will provide larger 5G outdoor and indoor coverage. Türk Telekom and Huawei signed a MoU to strengthen collaboration to develop and produce 5G-based product and services.Inbright 0602.
“2018 was a really eventful year for 5G,” Madkour said. “So far, what we’ve seen is 2019 is an increasing appetite from our customers to deploy 5G, thanks to our equipment commercial readiness and also to the availability of the ecosystem. Currently, 5G services are powered by enhanced mobile broadband demand and fixed wireless access. A more ubiquitous, more mature ecosystem, and also when the 3GPP standards Release 16 is ready, we will see a lot of industrial applications, convergence between industry verticals, enterprise as well, so it will go beyond the consumer.”