An Jian, the President of Carrier Networks Business Group at Huawei Middle East, speaks about the adoption of 5G technology in the region
Is 5G really ready for mass adoption?
The industry is already prepared with 5G mature technology, terminals, and commercial uses cases. As of September 2019, Huawei has signed over 60 5G commercial contracts and shipped more than 400,000 Active Antenna Units (AAUs). 27 of the 40+ commercialized 5G networks are built by Huawei. In terms of the 5G ecosystem, Huawei Middle East is currently cooperating with over 70 local partners to explore and enrich the various 5G practice.
What benefits does 5G bring along for end-users?
End users will not only experience ultra-high speed with low latency through their 5G smartphone but able to enjoy the new eMBB services including high-definition 5G live broadcast, 8K VR live broadcast, 5G mobile game and much more. In China, Huawei has cooperated with operators and partners to perform 4K/8K live broadcast for several times. With intelligent connectivity formed by 5G + AI + IoT, we believe 5G-enabled new services such as e-health, smart education, remote driving and more, which will definitely change the lifestyle of human beings.
How will 5G revolutionize Industry 4.0, Smart Cities and Automation?
We believe that the impact of 5G and AI on the internet of things (IoT) will be able to promote the Middle East countries’ plan for economic diversification, from boosting industrial processes to enhancing sustainability. With the advancement of the 5G commercial process, 5G innovative applications emerge in an endless stream, including smart media, smart manufacturing, smart agriculture, intelligent transportation, and more. Through fruitful explorations with our partners, 5G-enabled services such as 2B Dedicated Access, Virtual Campus Network, and CCTV backhaul are already launched in the Middle East.
What sort of challenges can companies face when deploying 5G services and networks?
The first challenge is talent and 5G partnerships. To explore more 5G business, more collaborations from vertical industries is crucial. However, most entrepreneurs have limited knowledge and a good platform to join the 5G business. Hence, Huawei’s launch of the 5G OpenLab in the Middle East to focus on the B2B market, providing the local vertical industries with a real 5G network environment in which they can experience and innovate the latest 5G applications with operators and partners. By doing so, we hope more and more local vertical partners can join the 5G journey with us.
Second is the high cost of the 5G spectrum. Currently, few countries are still offering expensive spectrum. This will cause financial stress, especially in the initial stage. Aligned with GSMA’s opinion, we think that a reasonable price is essential to promote the 5G industries so that the government will obtain a greater benefit in the long run. The third is the challenges of difficulties in 5G site deployment, limited footprint or load, and high OPEX. In response to these issues, Huawei offers leading lean sites solution that enables rapid 5G deployment and protects customer investment.
With this in mind, we will keep enhancing our collaborative partnership in the Middle East to cultivate a strong and inclusive 5G ecosystem—in turn building a fully connected, intelligent Middle East.