Huawei's Preparing for 5.5G

At the 2020 Global Mobile Broadband Forum, David Wang, Huawei's Executive Director, said that 5.5G will be an evolution of 5G and that he looked forward to working with industry partners to define 5.5G. Together, Wang said, they can improve real-time interaction experience for individual users, enhance cellular IoT capabilities, and explore new scenarios, including Uplink Centric Broadband Communication, Real-Time Broadband Communication, and Harmonized Communication and Sensing.

2020 is the year of 5G deployment at scale, with 800,000 base stations installed globally and 110 commercial networks now live. Devices are becoming more affordable and diversified, with the lowest price in China now below CNY1,000 ($151) and 5G models accounting for 60 percent of total handset shipments in the mainland.

Wang said it’s the right time to think about 5.5G to ensure the continuous evolution of 5G, which he tipped to be around for the next 30 years. He said 5.5G may not be the most accurate term to describe the ongoing evolution or upgrade. “The name is not important. What is important is the concrete evolution or improvements we must make in the industry. While Huawei may be the first to use the 5.5G term, we are just one of many players, and I wouldn’t say Huawei is leading the initiative,” added Wang.

No actual 5.5G standard exists, and Huawei’s strategy is arguably based more on marketing rather than any official technical evolution. Huawei was also the first a few years ago to coin the concept of 4.5G. The company expects 6G will arrive on schedule, in 2030.

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