‘We have shipped 10,000 base stations for 5G,’ says Huawei boss

20 November 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Huawei has already shipped the vendor’s first 10,000 5G base stations, the company’s chairman Ken Hu announced in London today.

“5G will start a technology revolution,” said Hu, who is the current rotating chairman of the Chinese equipment company. “It will bring new power to all ICT technologies, and trigger sweeping changes in business. There will be new opportunities the likes of which we’ve never seen.”

He encouraged industry partners to adopt a fresh mindset as they define new devices, develop new applications, and make new breakthroughs in experience. This, he said, is key to maximising the value of 5G.

The new mobile technology will turn connectivity into a platform, he said. With 5G, wireless access networks will go beyond pipes, providing seamless, ubiquitous, and limitless connectivity for all people and all things.

Everything will go online, he said. Right now, most things are offline by default, and most electronic devices are not connected. With 5G, being online and connected will become the default for everything, said Hu, who was speaking at a Huawei conference for mobile operators.

The world will go all cloud, he added. Supercharged with 5G, the cloud will provide massive computing power with instant transfer speeds and near-zero lag. This will make intelligence on demand available for everyone, everywhere.

And devices will be redefined. With AI support across devices, network, and the cloud, devices will go from plug and play to what Hu called “plug and think”. T

“From all angles, 5G is ready,” Hu said. “It’s ready to use, it’s affordable, and most importantly, demand is real. Of course, there are still some barriers to 5G deployment.”

Hu went on to discuss challenges with spectrum allocation and site deployment. Specifically, mobile operators lack spectrum resources. To help speed up deployment, Hu recommended that governments accelerate the process of harmonising and releasing continuous bands of large-bandwidth 5G spectrum, and at a total cost lower than 4G.

“In the meantime,” he pointed out to mobile operators in the audience, “in addition to C-band, all bands can and will eventually be used for 5G, including 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz bands.”