Huawei & Smart Axiata launch 4.5G (???) network in Cambodia

Executive Summary:

Cambodia’s mobile telecommunications company Smart Axiata, in partnership with global ICT solutions provider Huawei, launched the 4.5G [1] network in Cambodia on Monday, August 21st.

Cambodian Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Tram Iv Tek said Smart Axiata was the first telecom operator that introduced 4.5G evolution technology to Cambodia.  Tram said:

“This latest evolution of mobile technology will enable subscribers to enjoy better and faster mobile internet,” he said during the launching ceremony. “Fast access to the internet is indeed an important tool in developing a digital economy.”

Thomas Hundt, chief executive officer of Smart Axiata, said 4.5G network is capable of providing an Internet speed 8 times higher than that of 4G.  [However, he didn’t state what attributes 4.5G has and what, if any standard it’s based on.]

“We strive to be the most progressive telco in the country. Smart Axiata will continue to seek new and better ways to ensure our subscribers receive the best possible service,” he said. “After being the first telco introducing 4G LTE in Cambodia in 2014, 4G+ in 2016, and now 4.5G, and 5G is surely not far away.”

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[1]  What is 4.5G?

There is no official definition of 4.5G by any standards body or forum.  ITU-R doesn’t even have a definition of 4G.  We assume that 4.5G is anything better than LTE-Advanced (as defined by 3GPP).  Note that ITU-R had originally said that LTE Advanced was 4G, before marketing organizations hijacked the term to mean anything better than the 3G network they had deployed.

Huawei’s website says there are three core concepts in 4.5G: Gbps, Connection+, and Experience 4.0. The company says that “4.5G further increases data rates for better user experience and expands applications in vertical industries. This helps operators create new business applications in vertical industries. This helps operators create new business opportunities and gain a competitive edge in the next few years.”

Huawei notes that “3GPP approves LTE-Advanced Pro as New Marker for LTE Evolution System (4.5G).”

Meanwhile, the 3GPP website doesn’t refer to LTE Advanced Pro as 4.5G.  It states:

LTE-Advanced Pro will allow mobile standards users to associate various new features – from the Release’s freeze in March 2016 – with a distinctive marker that evolves the LTE and LTE-Advanced technology series.

The new term is intended to mark the point in time where the LTE platform has been dramatically enhanced to address new markets as well as adding functionality to improve efficiency.

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Promise and Potential of 4.5G:

Li Xiongwei, chief executive officer of Huawei Technologies Cambodia, said Huawei was very pleased to cooperate with Smart to launch 4.5G and to bring Cambodia closer to next generation technology.

“The 4.5G will certainly bring significant network improvements from today’s 4G network, while acting as a bridge for future mobile data applications when 5G is launched in the future,” he said.

Cambodia has six mobile phone operators and about 30 Internet service providers.

According to Cambodia’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, approximately 8 million out of the country’s 15 million people have access to the Internet.  About 45 percent of the population is still offline, the minister said, adding that the country expected that 100 percent of the urban dwellers and 80 percent of the rural dwellers would use the Internet by 2020.

Huawei Partners with Smart Axiata to Launch the First 4.5G Network in Cambodia

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Huawei’s 5G oriented X-Haul:

On August 14th, Huawei officially released its 5G-oriented mobile bearer solution called X-Haul.    The new fronthaul and backhaul network has four core values: providing flexible access capabilities that can match the scenario of any site; implementing agile network operations based on a cloud architecture; enabling new service innovation through end-to-end network slicing; and supporting smooth evolution from 4G bearer networks to 5G bearer networks.

Flexible networking is implemented through IP, microwave, and OTN access technologies, enabling unified fronthaul and backhaul whether or not fiber optic cables are used.

Addendum:

1.  Via email, Thomas Hundt wrote:

“4.5G aka LTE Advanced Pro is the latest evolution of 4G networks, in line with 3GPP release 13 and 14. By using technologies such as 4×4 MIMO, 256QAM modulation the network capacity is significantly increased which leads to much faster end user speeds provided a 4.5G enabled phone is used.”

2.  Derek Kerton of the Telecom Council/Kerton Group wrote via email that Nokia has introduced 4.9G technology: Nokia Introduces 4.9G as Next Incremental Step to 5G

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References:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-08/21/c_136543584.htm

http://www.huawei.com/en/news/2017/8/Huawei-SmartAxiata-First4dot5G-Network-Cambodia

http://www.huawei.com/minisite/4-5g/en/

http://www.huawei.com/minisite/4-5g/en/gbps-4-5-g.html

http://www.3gpp.org/news-events/3gpp-news/1745-lte-advanced_pro

http://www.huawei.com/en/news/2017/8/5G-oriented-Mobile-Bearer-Solution-X-Haul

https://www.wirelessweek.com/news/2016/09/nokia-introduces-49g-next-incremental-step-5g?

 

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