Photo taken on Jan. 31, 2023 shows visitors trying smart devices at a new Huawei store in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. [Photo/Xinhua]
Yang Chaobin, senior vice-president of Huawei, said: "The rapid growth of 5G has led to new service requirements that are becoming more diverse and complex. Such changes demand stronger 5G capabilities."
Yang said that as 6G is still in the early stages of research, 5.5G is a necessary and natural evolution of 5G, which has become an industry consensus.
Huawei laid out five major characteristics of the 5.5G era — 10 Gbps experiences, full-scenario interconnection, integrated sensing and communication, autonomous networks and green information and communications technology.
Yang called on the global telecom industry to jointly promote 5.5G development in four areas including setting clear roadmaps for industry standardization and a clear strategy for spectrum, which is fundamental to wireless networks.
Huawei and leading Saudi Arabian telecommunications operator Zain KSA signed a memorandum of understanding last month for the"5.5G City" joint innovation project.
Under the MoU, both parties will work together to promote technological innovation for 5.5G evolution and expand scalable offerings to individuals, enterprises and government customers. Additionally, they will strengthen the digital infrastructure and build a global 5.5G evolution pioneer network, providing a strong engine to achieve the national digitalization goals outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.
Abdulrahman Al-Mufadda, chief technology officer of Zain KSA, said, "Our commitment to driving digital transformation has been made possible by combining innovative technology investments with pioneering digital solutions across multiple fields, including cloud computing, fintech, business support and drone technologies."
The cooperation came as 5G is now in the fast lane after three years of commercial use. By the end of 2022, global 5G users exceeded 1 billion, gigabit broadband users reached 100 million, and more than 20,000 industry applications were put into use, according to data compiled by Huawei.
Leading operators in China, South Korea, Switzerland, Finland and Kuwait have already achieved 5G user penetration rates of more than 30 percent with more than 30 percent of their traffic coming from 5G, Huawei said.
Network intelligence and connectivity insights provider Ookla's latest 5G City Benchmark Report showed Huawei has played an important role in 5G network construction in all of the top 10 cities among the world's 40 most 5G-enabled cities. Performance results in these 10 cities show 5G networks constructed by Huawei offer the best experience.
Last month, Huawei also revealed a collaboration with Botswana's Debswana Diamond Co (Pty) Ltd on the world's first 5G smart diamond mine project.
Debswana's Head of Information Management Molemisi Nelson Sechaba said that the Huawei-enabled smart mine solution has been deployed at Debswana's Jwaneng open-pit diamond mine. The project started operation in December 2021.
At present, Huawei's 4G eLTE, an advanced version of 4G technology, provides stable connectivity for the Jwaneng mine, connecting more than 260 pieces of equipment, including drilling rigs, excavators, heavy trucks and pickup trucks. This enables interconnection between the mine's production, safety and security systems, Sechaba said.
The Jwaneng mine is the world's first 5G-oriented smart diamond mine, which means the hardware equipment such as base stations used in the mine's digital transformation support network has upgraded to 5G, Huawei said.