Science & Technology

Huawei proposes ‘5.5G’ focused on industrial uses, autonomous driving

Shanghai, China, Nov 13 (epa).- Chinese technology company Huawei today proposed an evolution of fifth generation (5G) networks called “5.5G”, which would focus on improving connections to allow industrial use and areas like autonomous driving.

In a forum on telecommunications held by the company in the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai, David Wang, president of the Huawei investment review board, said 5G will be the mobile standard in the world before 2030 and could continue to be used until 2040.

“During the lifecycle of 5G, we need to continually improve its capabilities,” he told forum attendees, including senior managers from major Chinese telephone companies and industry associations.

Wang said the objective that his company – among the world leaders in the development of 5G technology – has set, is for the so-called “internet of things” to increase its connection numbers to 100 billion in coming years, much higher than the allowed by the 1.3 billion supported by current networks.

However, that goal is still difficult to achieve for 5G networks due to “deficiencies” in areas such as positioning or upload speed.

“We cannot meet the requirements of various assumptions,” the Huawei executive said.

Therefore, the technology company proposes to replace the current “triangle” of specifications that make up 5G networks – made up of eMBB (improved mobile bandwidth), URLLC (ultra-reliable low latency communications) and mMTC (massive machine communications) – with a “Hexagon” in which three more would be added.

The new classifications for 5G services for which Huawei is seeking support from the mobile industry are UCBC (Upload Centric Broadband Communication), RTBC (Real-Time Broadband Communication) and HCS (Combined Communication and Senses).

The first two would focus on 5G industrial applications, which need reliable networks that support a high number of simultaneous connections and that allow, for example, real-time control of machinery.

In figures, UCBC would multiply the bandwidth for uploads by 10 while RTBC could reduce the latency to just one millisecond.

On the other hand, HCS would aim to complement the positioning systems for autonomous vehicles or drones, since, Wang said, current systems such as GPS are not effective for situations such as driving in tunnels.

The executive also revealed plans to increase the spectrum currently used in 5G networks over the next 15 years and to “decouple” download and upload connections, as well as to integrate these next-generation networks with developing technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Since 5G has only been in operation for a little over a year, Wang said he wanted to calm companies in the industry and said 5.5G is “just a name, we could have called it 5G Plus or 5G Evo. (…) It will be a smooth transition between (different) generations of standards, which will evolve in a way that also protects investments.” EFE-EPA


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