Huawei's rotating chairman Eric Xu at Huawei's 18th Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen, China, on April 12, 2021. (Photo Courtesy of Huawei)

Huawei Vouches for Asia Pacific Digital Transformation, Looks to Define 5.5G


APRIL 13, 2021

Jakarta. Chinese tech behemoth Huawei seeks to expedite digital transformation in the Asia Pacific, a key region with huge growth potential, as the company moves to define the next 5.5G standard that would expand the current industry standard to enable connection for more smart devices. 

According to Huawei's rotating chairman Eric Xu, Asia Pacific is still relatively falling behind in digital transformation except for very few countries.


"But the pandemic has allowed all governments, businesses, and consumers to see the value of digitalization clearly. [...] It is our vision to bring digital to every person, home, and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world,” Xu told the 18th Global Analyst Summit on Monday.

According to a GSM Association report published last November, many countries in the region — besides Japan, Australia, Singapore, and South Korea — were still transitioning to digital societies. The digital societies all have a high level of connectivity, availability and widespread usage of digital identity, availability of digital government services, use of digital lifestyle beyond telecommunication, and lastly, digital commerce, the report said. 

For example, Indonesia was among countries like India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia still transitioning to digital societies, GSM Association said in the report. The report showed Indonesia's digital society index was at 51, compared to the top performer South Korea. Still, the Southeast Asia largest economy's index improved from 49 in 2016, the report showed.

In fact, all the counties in the Asia Pacific were improving toward digital society over the period, the GSM Association report showed, suggesting technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things would flourish in the coming years. 

And this is a trend that would not escape Huawei's eyes.

"We can bring advanced technologies and practical expertise around the digital transformation to every country in the Asia Pacific to every industry, business, and government," Xu said.

Defining 5.5G 

Also, at the summit, Huawei's Institute of Strategic Research president William Xu forecasts by 2030, there will be hundreds of billions of connections worldwide. The world will also see a broadband speed as fast as 10 gigabits per second available for every user.

In addition to connecting people, there is a need to connect a massive amount of internet of things (IoT) devices. "However, the three use cases defined by 5G are not enough to support the diverse IoT scenarios," William said.

The three use cases of 5G comprise enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type communications (mMTC), as well as ultra-reliable and low-latency communication (URLLC). But meeting the needs of industrial verticals for IoT would require three additional scenarios, as seen in the 5.5G hexagon.

"The 5G triangle must be upgraded from the previous triangle to the hexagon of 5.5G to support all things connected and intelligent," William said.

"For example, industrial applications require both massive connections and large uplink bandwidth. They need to develop a new scenario that falls between eMBB and mMTC. I would call it uplink-centric broadband communication (UCBC)," William added. 

Another new 5.5G scenario in the hexagon is real-time broadband communication (RTBC). "The RTBC increases the bandwidth by tenfold under a given latency to create an immersive experience," Eric said.

Last but not least is 5.5G's harmonized communication and sensing (HCS), which can potentially promote autonomous driving. 

"In the future, we are looking forward to working with the industry to define 5.5G to maximize its value," Eric said.