An overview of Huawei 5G: The battle over 5G commercial devices is coming
Something you need to know about Huawei 5G
Huawei 5G: early start, large investment and extensive deployment
Before 5G commercialization really comes, the competition is already fierce. In this 5G war, we can tell that no matter for a country or a company, everyone is striving to develop 5G capacities internally while keeping an eye on the external competition. In particular, marketing and advertising is on the main battlefields. In 2018, many phone makers were fighting to be the first to launch a 5G smartphone, which includes Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, Lenovo, OnePlus and more. Although every company is paying attention to it, the degree of commitment and investment can be different, which leads to different levels of strength.
Huawei, as one of the early player entered the 5G era, apparently attaches great importance to 5G development. As mentioned above, Huawei started to develop its own 5G technology as early as in 2009. In 2013, Huawei hired more than 300 top experts from wireless industry around the world and announced that they put $600 million investment in 5G research. In 2016, Huawei set up a 5G product line for 5G products. Today, more than thousands of employees are engaged in 5G product development. Following this, in 2017 and 2018 Huawei invested almost US$1.4 billion into 5G product development.
In addition to an early start and huge investment in R&D and development, Mr. Ren Zhengfei, the leader of Huawei, has a clear strategic positioning for Huawei 5G. "In 5G, we are determined to be strategically ahead" said Mr. Ren during a 5G business briefing at Huawei's Shanghai R&D Center. He also compared 5G to "an important battle" and said "Huawei's 5G technology is born to fight in the 'battle', which means taking over the high-end market in the world."
Mr. Ren's determination has also driven Huawei to win extensive recognition. When western countries took actions against Huawei's 5G technology, Neil McRae, the Chief Architect of British Telecom, publicly said that Huawei is the only "true 5G provider", which also indicated that Huawei has powerful 5G technology.
How powerful can Huawei 5G be? Perhaps we can evaluate Huawei's 5G technology from the following aspects.
First of all, Huawei has been improving its competitiveness in 5G for a decade. It has made remarkable achievements from standardization to global test and from commercial trial to commercial application. Since its 5G R&D started back in 2009, Huawei has been proactively involved in the formulation of 5G standards. Data show that Huawei has 3GPP standards for eight key technologies, including soft NR architecture, polarization code and uplink and downlink decoupling. According to a 5G patent report released by IPlytics, a German patent data company, Huawei ranks the second only to Samsung in terms of the number of 5G SEP patents, while Huawei ranks the first place in technology contribution to 5G standards. Second, products from core networks, bearer networks, base stations to devices, to end-to-end R&D, Huawei has accumulated years of rich experience. On one hand, in terms of in Imt-2020 testing results, Huawei is leading in overall system performance. On the other hand, Huawei has the world's first ASIC chip based small CPE and IPTV@5G which was demonstrated in South Korea LGU+ with a peak speed of 2Gbps. It's worth mentioning that in 2018 Q1 Huawei unveiled the first commercial chip in the world based on the 3GPP standards. What's more, Huawei is currently the only company in the world that can offer 5G end-to-end products and solutions.
Third, from telecom to vertical industry, Huawei has the most extensive cooperation with partners and strong ability in 5G business incubation. Huawei has more than 186 industrial partners, 45 collaboration projects across the world and more than 20 joint innovation projects in Europe. Furthermore, Huawei has built an ecosystem for 5G ahead of schedule covering individual, family and vertical industry. The ecosystem is focused on five major areas including low-altitude digitalization, cloud, AR/VR. Last but not least, Huawei has powerful strength in 5G device. Huawei is the only global telecom involved in chip, standardization, communication, mobile phone and other fields. We can say that Huawei has a full set of technology, which also proves that Huawei is capable of bringing valuable 5G devices to global consumers.
The first battle in 5G device commercialization is not about smartphone
The battle over 5G first appeared in eMBB and mobile broadband. In 2019, the 5G smartphone will at most a commercial trial for operators. There are many types of 5G devices. Mobile router and CPE, two of the most popular devices that consumers can access, would probably become the most popular devices because it can help AR and VR get rid of cable networks. The 5G networks will unleash the business values of AR and VR and contribute to developing new products. In addition, 5G network can provide ten times bigger network capacity than the current 4G network so that network would not be a problem for broadband access any more. 5G mobile router and 5G CPE can solve the internet capacity, speed and latency problems brought by 4G network and bring possibilities for wireless 4K HDR TV, video monitoring, 4K live broadcasting and other services.
From the perspective of Huawei's 5G device development, the author believes that Huawei will launch a commercial 5G wireless router CPE and then a 5G Mobile Wi-Fi product. These two products will provide a good way to verify Huawei's 5G mobile phone baseband. After that, Huawei will launch the first 5G smartphone powered by Kirin 990 and 5G baseband Balong 5000. Seeing from the current development trend, that is probably how Huawei rolling out its plan in 5G device. Huawei is very likely to kick off the 5G battle with a 5G mobile router CPE and 5G wireless portable devices. As far as the author knows, Huawei's 5G CPE Pro is the first manufactured with 7nm process and itis equipped with Balong 5000 chip. The product also supports 4G, 5G (NSA and SA) network architectures. Users don't need to change the CPE for any network architecture upgrades. In addition, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro supports a large bandwidth of 200MHz. Under 5G mode, it provides a download speed of up to 4Gbps and it is 1.6Gbps under 4G mode. For where is not covered with 5G network, the 4G network can provide 8K HD experience as well. It is possibly Huawei's best 5G coverage solution.
Furthermore, the HUAWEI 5G CPE provides a Wi-Fi 6802.11ax solution with a WLAN network peak speed rate of 4.8Gbps so that Wi-Fi network downlink is no longer a bottleneck. The product features a high gain dual polarized antenna design, which improves the signal strength by 30 percent horizontally and vertically. It can also support an all-encompassing service including smooth 8K video playing experience, high fps gaming and more.
Next up is Huawei's 5G mobile product with Wi-Fi support. The product is also made with 7nm process and equipped with Balong 5000 chip. Under 5G mode it provides a peak download rate of 4Gbps, while under general internet setting, it will be only 100Mbps. The device also features mobile Wi-Fi support and it is a 5G mobile Wi-Fi device in the pocket. For business elites, the product can provide high-speed broadband access to their computer, mobile phone, tablet and other portable smart devices.
At the same time, 5G smartphone and 5G foldable phone will bring another important competition to the industry in 2019. Both products require operators' continuous optimization in networks. In this aspect, Huawei has more advantages over Apple and other phone makers because Huawei partners with operators from more than 170 countries around the world. What's more, the author visited the Huawei Beijing R&D Center and was impressed by Huawei's base stations around the world as well as the machine room with a very large number of base stations. Huawei has put a huge investment in it, which other mobile phone makers could not do. Naturally Huawei has advantages in producing 5G mobile phones as well. Huawei is more competitive in mass production with high quality and high standards thanks to its enhanced smartphone manufacturing capacities based on its shipment of 200 million units in 2018.
5G is a step-by-step, fast-paced development. In the early stage of 5G commercialization, those who can take the initiative can have a chance to win. Huawei has earned unique advantages in 5G, and is still making continuous efforts, bringing huge changes to people's lives and all industries.
As Mr. Hu Houkun, the Rotating Chief Executive Officer at Huawei said at MBBF, 5G innovation capability is driving ICT to a new level. Based on the five major revolutionary changes brought by 5G, all parties in the industry should break the conventional thinking to invent new devices, develop new applications, disrupt user experience and maximize the value of 5G innovations.