Huawei Takes More Low-Key Line on 5G

Huawei's Ding YunWhilst the hop to 4.5G does not mean that Huawei has lost sight of a great jump to the elusive fifth-generation, in a recent interview with Global Telecoms Business, director Ding Yun has offered an unusually humble insight to the Chinese company’s focus on 5G.

“the aim to get 5G off the core network … is very much on the agenda”

Whilst 4.5G, set to be deployed commercially in 2016, will have 10 millisecond latency and the ability to connect 30 billion things in the IoT, 5G will slash latency to just 1 millisecond and over treble the potential for connected devices to approximately 100 billion.

4.5G will remain centrally controlled, with the company unable to change the network architecture at this time, but the aim to get 5G off the core network in order to allow machines to communicate directly is very much on the agenda.

“this is very new for us”

Ding made several modest confessions which seem rather out-of-line with CEO Ken Hu’s often bold and adventurous approach to the subject, conceding that ‘we haven’t discussed the business model yet’, ‘this is very new for us’ and ‘we are still in the phase of defining 5G’.

“the latency requirement of one millisecond ‘comes from this car manufacturer, not from Huawei’”

Ding also tentatively informed that Huawei is working with a large car maker, but admitted that ‘this is still an ongoing project, we are still discussing whether we should announce it’. He did add that the latency requirement of one millisecond ‘comes from this car manufacturer, not from Huawei’, suggesting that industry bodies are driving standards requirements for the network.

Following the acquisition of M2M specialist company Neul, Ding asserted that Huawei is still on the look out for small companies with innovative solutions. ‘A big company like Huawei can’t always be so innovative. We plan for a number of technology acquisitions annually.

“licensed and unlicensed spectrum together for 5G”

‘They’re usually like Neul: we cooperate for some time and then we start the acquisition’, he continued. ‘Neul will become our headquarters for this specialist area, but they will have their independence technology-wise. We will increase our investment in Neul’.

Ding also outlined that Huawei is working with industry partners on unlicensed spectrum for the technology, declaring that: ‘The idea is you can use licensed and unlicensed spectrum together for 5G. I’m not sure yet what we could achieve with that. But we believe the consumer could have a much, much better experience’.

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