At the ongoing Huawei Win-Win Innovation Week, David Wang, Executive Director of the Board and Chairman of the ICT Infrastructure Managing Board of Huawei, brought forth the vision of the 5.5G era, which is likely to become a reality by 2025.

"In the future, the virtual world will be deeply integrated with the real world. As a result, the communications networks will not just connect people but will enable the convergence of the digital and the physical world. However, this demands stable network connections offering speed of up to 10Gbps, lower latency and reduced jittering," explained David Wang in his keynote speech titled, "Innovation, Lighting up 5.5G Era". 

He proposed the concept of "comprehensively moving towards the 5.5G era" in his speech and discussed the industry’s development direction for the industry for the next five to ten years. 

Digitalization has already entered the fast lane in the industrial segment. He further mentioned that Artificial Intelligence (AI) would need to be integrated with the enterprise production processes as the 5.5G Internet of Things (IoT) market continues to evolve as well as grow in size. 

As the segment continues to evolve, the collaboration between robots and humans will grow and become all the more complex, which will lead to a greater requirement on the communications network. As a result, the industry needs to innovate at the architecture and system levels to enhance the computing power and to address the current challenges in computing, reduced utilization of data center resources and low energy efficiency. 

David Wang, Executive Director of the Board and Chairman of the ICT Infrastructure Managing Board of Huawei

Six Features of 5.5G World 

Further, the 5.5G era is characterised by a high speed of 10Gbps, the growing requirement beyond basic connectivity, ensuring more green and sustainable development, ten times storage, ten times effective computing and level four Autonomous Driving Networks (AND). 5.5G will also help meet the ever-increasing demand for computing, growing at a 31.3% CAGR between 2020 to 2030. Several innovations will be required in the network to address these demands. 

"By 2025, 5.5G, F5.5G, and Net5.5G will support 10 Gbit/s access in all scenarios. Delivering 5.5G-enabled 10Gbps experience to the people, industry and household demands the convergence of several spectrum bands, wider spectrum bandwidth, higher spectrum efficiency and hyper MIMO [Multiple Input Multiple Output] utilizing ELAA (Extremely Large Antenna Array]. 10Gbps experience demands changes in several segments of the network including Fiber-to-the-Room (FTTR), Access 50G PON and metro/core networks," says David Wang.

Wang introduced the concept of Net5.5G for the first time in his keynote address. "As digitalization continues to take hold, intelligent applications will witness large-scale commercialization and computing resources will be located across several clouds. Enterprises will need to make use of computing power from multiple clouds at lower costs, with greater agility and flexibility. To this end, we need to keep innovating based on IPv6 to help the industry thrive. This is why we proposed Net5.5G," says David Wang in his address. 

Speaking about the fixed network field, Wang said that the introduction of next-generation technologies such as FTTR [Fiber-to-the-Room], Wi-Fi 7, 50G PON and 800G will help in achieving 10Gbps through ubiquitous optical connection and optical transmission without sites. 

"Over the past 20 years, fiber has gone from roadsides to buildings to homes. We believe that fiber optics will extend to every room in the next 10 years," Wang mentioned. 

Ensuring Sustainable Development

Even as the telecommunications industry continues to innovate to meet the growing demands of the end-user and the enterprises, there is a strong need to ensure that the industry remains committed to sustainability. Ensuring the energy efficiency of all solutions and products is crucial. 

"More Bits and Less Watts are the green development concept proposed by us, which advocates reducing the energy consumption per bit and improving the energy efficiency of our networks. We suggest that the industry adopt the ITU-T accepted unified index system Network Carbon data/energy intensity (NCIe) to formulate energy-saving policies for the entire network," says Wang. 

He further suggested that the industry should work together to improve the overall network energy efficiency from the perspectives of green sites and data centers, green networks, and green operations to accelerate the green development of the ICT industry.

Wang further highlighted the need for the industry to work together. He proposed three initiatives: define the vision of the 5.5G era; define the future-specific technology development route within the framework of 3GPP, ETSI, and ITU standards and collaborate for the advancement of the industry ecosystem.

The upcoming 5.5G era will play a crucial role in helping the industry meet the growing compute demand and prepare the systems for the innovative 5G use cases while ensuring energy efficiency.