Huawei to help create China’s first open source software foundation; unveils Honor Vision smart screen with Harmony OS

Huawei Technologies Co. said today that it plans to partner with other companies to set up China’s first open-source software foundation, which is expected to begin to operate in a month or two to expand the nation’s software community.

Wang Chenglu, president of the software department at Huawei’s consumer business group, said software development relies on open-source codes and communities. “If China does not have its own open-source community to maintain, manage and host these open-source codes, the domestic software industry will be vulnerable in the face of uncontrollable factors,” Wang said. The first open-source foundation in China will be nonprofit and open to all companies and software developers. “The plan is going forward very fast. It may officially operate in one or two months,” Wang said. Wang added it is widely agreed that open-source communities are created to be fair and equitable for all, but now have become a means of making a power play between countries.

The first open-source foundation in China will be nonprofit and open to all companies and software developers. [Photo/IC]

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Last month, Nat Friedman, CEO of GitHub, which is owned by Microsoft, said on Twitter that GitHub is subject to US trade law just like any company that does business in the US. GitHub has enforced restrictions to prevent users in sanctioned countries from accessing private repositories and the GitHub Marketplace and from maintaining private, paid organization accounts, technology news website TechCrunch reported.

Maral Khosroshahi, who identified herself as a deep-learning scientist at Microsoft and founder and chairwoman of Iranian Women in Computing, said in a post on Twitter on July 27th that GitHub suspended all accounts of Iranian developers without any prior notice. “This is a shame, … especially for those who keep saying that sanctions are not supposed to affect ordinary people,” Khosroshahi said in the post, adding that those views are her own.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of the telecom industry association Information Consumption Alliance, said the GitHub incident sent a warning to Chinese professionals that heavy reliance on U.S.-led open source communities may carry risks.

The open source plan also came after Huawei unveiled its in-house operating system Harmony OS on Friday, with the idea of using it in smart TVs, automobiles, wearables and other hardware over the next three years. Lyu Tingjie, a telecom professor at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, said Huawei decided to build Harmony into an open-source system because it knows that support from a wide range of partners is needed to build a robust ecosystem. “The foundation plan, if well-executed, will help accelerate the development of Huawei and China’s overall software industry,” Lyu said.

For more information contact:

masi@chinadaily.com.cn

China Daily Multimedia Co. Ltd.

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George Zhao, president of Huawei’s sub-brand Honor, unveils Honor Vision series during the Huawei Developer Conference held in Dongguan, South China’s Guangdong province on Aug 10, 2019. Honor Vision is the world’s first smart screen equipped with HarmonyOS, or Hongmeng in Chinese, Huawei’s open-source operating system. [Photo/Xinhua]

“Huawei will continue to lead a broader effort to build China’s software developer ecosystem and complete industry chain for the electronic information industry, rather than just launch its OS,” Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times.

The HarmonyOS is an open-source system, but without the support of most application developers, it can’t grow at a rapid pace and neither can the industry, Xiang said.  The HarmonyOS was initially seen as an alternative plan to deal with the risks of losing access to Google’s Android software and overseas market share after the US attack. Huawei is confident in keeping its overseas market share and displayed an ambition to make the HarmonyOS successful.

Richard Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business, said that the HarmonyOS can make Huawei’s devices functional again overnight, if the Android OS on the devices fails.  Huawei has obviously entered a whole new stage of fully developing its OS, developer ecosystem and more terminals equipped with the OS. It will eventually build its Internet of Things based on its leading communication systems, rather than just focusing on mobile phone products, a veteran industry analyst told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.

References:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201908/13/WS5d51ed9ea310cf3e35565513.html

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201908/12/WS5d512715a310cf3e35565454.html

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1161064.shtml

 

Huawei and China Telecom Jointly Release 5G Super Uplink Innovation Solution

As a large number of new pre-standard 5G services emerge, they are posing higher requirements on the uplink rate and latency. During MWC2019 in Shanghai, China Telecom and Huawei jointly released the 5G Super Uplink Joint Technology Innovation solution to accommodate those applications.

The 5G Super Uplink solution proposes the innovative networking technology featuring TDD/FDD coordination, high-band/low-band complementation, and time/frequency domain aggregation, which achieves an unprecedented uplink rate of 5G networks and reduces latency over the air interface. This solution truly redefined 5G networks based on industry requirements.

At the “Hello 5G Encouraging the Future” 5G Innovation Cooperation Conference held in April this year, China Telecom formulated the networking strategy that depends on the standalone (SA) networking and applies three SA features of URLLC, eMBB, and eMTC to meet 2B/2C requirements. China Telecom has extensively explored 5G applications in vertical industries such as government affairs, transportation, ecosystem, party building, healthcare, tourism, policing, Internet of Vehicles (IoV), education, and manufacturing. In the future 2B/2C ecosystem, large bandwidth and low latency are the focus of services. For example, the 4K HD video backhaul will give rise to the boom of new media, Internet celebrity live broadcast, and other services, bringing immersive experience to the audience. Drone services, unmanned driving, and telemedicine have higher requirements on the uplink rate and network latency.

The 5G Super Uplink solution proposed by China Telecom and Huawei implements the time-frequency domain aggregation of TDD and FDD in the uplink frequency band. Therefore, the solution can increase uplink spectrum resources of NR, boost the uplink capability of the 5G network, reduce latency, and improve the utilization rate of the uplink spectrum of 2.1 GHz/1.8 GHz. At the launch event, the Proof of Concept (PoC) of “Super Uplink” was demonstrated. The test results showed that the experienced uplink rate of 5G UEs in the cell center was increased by 20% to 60%, the experienced uplink rate of 5G UEs at the cell edge was increased to 2 to 4 times, the air interface latency was reduced by about 30%, and the URLLC services were enabled. Huawei Balong 5000 chipset, customer-premises equipment (CPE), and Mate 20 X were also displayed at the event. Super Uplink is supported from end to end by Huawei 5G technologies.

Huawei Technologies

Corporation Limited, third from left Ding Yun, Executive Director of the Board President, Carrier Business Group Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., third from right Yang Chaobin, President of 5G Product Line, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., second from right.  Photo courtesy of Huawei Technologies
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Liu Guiqing, executive vice president of China Telecom Group Co., Ltd., said: “The five ecosystems extend to 5G and become the important engine for China Telecom’s continuous growth. China Telecom adheres to the philosophy of “Customer First, Attentive Service”, insists on formulating standards first and leading technology development, and pioneers the practice of 5G network innovation. To provide better 5G experience, optimize customers’ service awareness, and enhance differentiated competitiveness in the market, China Telecom cooperates with Huawei to propose the innovative 5G networking technology featuring TDD/FDD coordination, high-band/low-band complementation, and time/frequency domain aggregation. This solution aims to further improve the uplink data capability and reduce latency, providing better development space for vertical industry applications. China Telecom will work with industry partners to seek the optimal network experience solution and promote the prosperity of the industry.”

Ryan Ding, executive director, CEO of the Carrier BG of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., commented: “5G not only changes everyday life but also revolutionizes human society. Service requirements are driving the development of 5G technologies. 5G industry innovation represents uplink ultra-large bandwidth, ultra-low latency, end-to-end slicing, and mobile edge computing (MEC). Based on the digital requirements of the industry, Huawei and China Telecom proposed the 5G Super Uplink Joint Technology Innovation solution. It is another breakthrough after Huawei CloudAIR solution.”

Yang Chaobin, president of 5G Product Line, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., noted: “The Super Uplink solution can meet the service requirements of large bandwidth and low latency at the same time. We are honored to work with China Telecom to implement the test and verification of 5G Super Uplink. Huawei 5G supports end-to-end Super Uplink and co-deployment of NSA and SA. Huawei will help industry partners continuously innovate to create the optimal 5G experience.”

China Telecom and Huawei continue to cooperate closely in technological innovation, promote 5G innovation, and contribute to 5G industry development. Huawei will support the strategic goal of China Telecom’s 5G development as always, and deepen cooperation on Super Uplink to help China Telecom take the lead in the new era of a 5G intelligent world.

Contact:
Nash Chong
nash.chong@maxusglobal.com

Reference:

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/07/01/1876788/0/en/China-Telecom-and-Huawei-Jointly-Release-5G-Super-Uplink-Innovation-Solution.html

 

Philippines’ Globe Telecom to deploy “Air Fiber 5G” this month

Globe Telecom has made the Philippines the first country in Southeast Asia to offer commercial “5G” fixed wireless internet.  The rollout of these services, from early July 2019, form part of Globe’s efforts to connect two million homes across the Philippines by 2020.

The at home ‘Air Fiber 5G’ postpaid plans that Globe has released offer Filipinos the option of high bandwidth and low latency services, especially given the challenge of rolling out fiber optic cables across the country.

“The arrival of 5G has caused excitement in the global world of telecommunications,” said Ernest Cu, president and CEO of Globe Telecom. “Today, we made a crucial step in fulfilling our goal of connecting more Filipino homes, and our vision of bringing first-world Internet to the Philippines,” Cu added.

The Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G postpaid plans will offer fiber-like speeds up to 100Mbps.  Super-sized data packages of up to 2 terabytes will be initially available in select areas in Pasig, Cavite, and Bulacan.

Globe at Home Air Fiber 5G will be available to eligible customers in July 2019. Plans come at P1899 per month for up to 20Mbps, P2499 for up to 50Mbps and P2899 for up to 100Mbps. All come with up to 2TB data capacity.

“Prior to Air Fiber 5G, we have aggressively utilized fixed wireless solutions to connect more homes and businesses to the internet over airwaves,” said Cu. “This strategy resulted in home broadband subscriber base increasing by 55.1 per cent to 1.7 million in the first three months of 2019 from 1.1 million in the same period in 2016.”

The Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G modem

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“Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G makes use of fixed location wireless radios instead of fiber optic cables which enables the company to go over the circuitous approval process of deploying a fiber optic cable – a task which proves to be arduous and involves securing multiple permits from local government units (LGUs),” Cu said.

“The right of process can sometimes take years to obtain, causing drastic delays in fiber optic roll-out completion,” Cu added.

Alberto de Larrazabal, Globe’s chief commercial officer, told reporters in the Philippines that Globe would use Huawei’s equipment, including radios and modems, to deliver “5G quality broadband internet.”

[Huawei and Finland’s Nokia were Globe’s equipment providers for its 4G-LTE service.]

Cu said that the company has been spending over 21% of its annual total revenues to upgrade and expand its telecommunication and IT infrastructure since 2012. “We have been ramping up our capital spend from P20.3 billion in 2012 to P43.3 billion in 2018, in order to provide our customers better broadband services,” he said.

Editor’s Notes:

  1. The Philippines ranks 107th among 178 countries in fixed broadband speed at 19.55 megabits per second (Mbps) versus the global average of 59.6 Mbps. Among 140 countries, it ranks 107th in terms of mobile internet speed at 15.10 Mbps, nearly half of the 27.22 Mbps global average.
  2. Globe is owned by Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp, with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd holding a minority stake.

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References:

https://www.globe.com.ph/about-us/newsroom/consumer/globe-at-home-air-fiber-5g.html

https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/06/26/globe-at-home-air-fiber-5g-unveiled-to-connect-more-filipinos/

https://sg.channelasia.tech/article/663513/philippines-rolls-commercial-5g-services-through-globe-telecom/

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/scitech/technology/699258/faster-internet-service-unveiled-to-connect-more-filipinos-at-home/story/

https://www.bworldonline.com/globe-launches-first-5g-service-in-southeast-asia/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2018/11/26/huaweis-all-bands-go-to-5g-strategy-explained-partnership-with-china-telecom-described/

Who Stole 5G Technology? Huawei ban has huge impact on semiconductor industry

NOTE:  There are no U.S. cellular equipment manufacturers.  The only two in the west are Ericcson and Nokia- both based in Europe.  However, U.S. based Qualcomm has been developing 5G silicon and is the only 5G (fabless) semiconductor vendor in the U.S.  They will likely have an IMT 2020 compliant chip set as the company regularly attends ITU-R WP 5D meetings.  The only other 5G merchant market semiconductor company we know of is Taiwan based MediaTek.  Samsung and Huawei have developed 5G silicon but are using it ONLY for their own devices- not sold to merchant semiconductor market.

The only U.S. semiconductor companies that we know of that make their own chips are Intel and Micron.

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IHS Markit says Huawei fall- out on memory market is huge:

Huawei in recent years has carved out prominent positions in the global smartphone and mobile infrastructure markets (not to mention fiber optics infrastructure and IT markets).  In 2018, Huawei rose to take second place in the smartphone business, with 206.1 million shipments, according to the IHS Markit Smartphone Intelligence Service. This put it just slightly ahead of Apple, at 204.7 million.

In 2017, the company  became the leader in the worldwide mobile infrastructure equipment market, surpassing Ericsson. Huawei has retained the top position and rose to account for nearly one-third of the market, with a 31 percent share of global revenue in 2018, as reported by the IHS Markit Mobile Infrastructure Intelligence Service.

Huawei’s market position has translated directly into purchasing power, with the company ranking as the world’s fourth-largest OEM semiconductor buyer in 2018.  Huawei spent $15.9 billion on semiconductors in 2018, according to the IHS Markit OEM Semiconductor Spending & Design Activity Intelligence Service. Memory represents a considerable slice of that spending, with the company buying $1.7 billion worth of DRAM and $1.1 billion worth of NAND flash memory for the year.

In the memory business, the wireless communications market was the second-largest global market for DRAM in 2018, following computer platforms, with revenue of $21.3 billion. Wireless was also the second largest market for NAND flash memory after computers, with revenue of $14.6 billion in 2018.   HDD and solid-state drive (SSD) products enjoy major usage in the enterprise segment where Huawei operates. The enterprise market generated 72.8 million HDD unit shipments in 2018, while SDD demand amounted to 34 million, according to the IHS Markit HDD and SDD Storage Intelligence Service.  For Micron and Western Digital, the revenue lost because of the ban is not likely to be replaced easily or quickly.

IHS-Markit says No Winners:

While the ban was ostensibly designed to penalize Huawei and benefit the U.S. tech industry, the reality is the pain will be felt by companies on both sides of the Pacific, affecting key U.S. suppliers along with Huawei.​

Is a new 5G Iron Curtain emerging:  Russia and China Tech Cold War vs the U.S.?

A decision by Russian telco MTS to select Huawei Technologies to develop its 5G network comes just as the U.S. ban of the Chinese telecom gear provider could leave the U.S. lagging behind other global powers, analysts say in a CNN article.

Huawei Chairman Guo Ping and MTS boss Alexei Kornya signed the agreement in the Kremlin on Wednesday, with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping watching.

“We both add momentum to strategic cooperation between the two companies in high tech, thus building a foundation for commercial 5G rollouts in Russia in the nearest future,” Kornya said in an emailed statement. Guo highlighted that Huawei’s more than 16,000 5G-related patents make it “number one worldwide.” “We hope that our joined efforts will help Russia enter the 5G era sooner,” he added.

Guo Ping -chairman of Huawei- shaking hands with Alexei Kornya- head of MTS- at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.

The Kremlin noted that several business deals had been signed in a ceremony attended by Russia President Vladimir V. Putin and China Premier Mr. Xi.

It’s not clear Russia will have a national 5G network, using Chinese or Western equipment, as the military has so far declined to free up the necessary radio frequencies.

“The situation there is a bit complicated,” a deputy prime minister, Maksim Akimov, said at a meeting with Mr. Putin in April. “We’d like to ask you for relevant orders,” to the military, so Russia can keep up with the new (5G) cellphone technology.

MTS’ pending 5G Huawei deal comes as Chinese authorities moved this week to license its first array of 5G wireless service providers.   China approved its first batch of 5G licensing for commercial use, unveiling, in the words of state media, “a new era for the telecom industry.” Huawei will be deeply involved in that effort, adding to the more than 45 commercial 5G contracts the firm has signed in 30 countries around the world.

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The referenced CNN article stated:

The US has also been urging allies to restrict or ban the use of Huawei equipment in their 5G networks, warning that Beijing could use the sensitive data infrastructure for spying. Huawei has repeatedly denied that any of its products pose a national security risk.
While some US cities have begun rolling out 5G technologies, analysts have warned the Huawei ban risks slowing down countrywide adoption, and could see it lag behind China. Now even Russia, not usually thought of as a tech leader, may be poised to pull ahead.
Outside of the US, whether to buy from Huawei or not is increasingly becoming a political litmus test, one that threatens to exacerbate the bifurcation of the global internet into separate spheres, and hasten the demise of the open, truly worldwide web as we know it.
Those that choose to avoid Huawei also risk falling behind as the world moves towards the next stage of internet and communications technology.
“Having mutually exclusive technological spheres doesn’t simply mean supply chains will mirror each other on different continents,” technology analyst Tim Culpan wrote recently. “Rather, for countries around the world, it means that every business and investment decision becomes a political one.”
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“If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine,” Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said in February. “And if the North goes dark, there is still the South. America doesn’t represent the world. America only represents a portion of the world.”  Ren  previously suggested there were plenty of business opportunities outside the U.S.
Of course that is true and is how Huawei became the top telecom equipment maker without selling anything in the U.S. other than to rural telcos (as noted in this IEEE Techblog post).
USA vs. Huawei
On June 6th, China’s Commerce Ministry said it planned to draw up its own list of “unreliable” foreign companies to retaliate against the U.S. government ban of Huawei.
The MTS-Huawei deal came as Russia is courting Chinese investment at a business conference this week, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Russian media reported about 1,000 Chinese businessmen attended, while the United States ambassador, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., boycotted the conference over the arrest this year of an American investor, Michael Calvey.
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Ron Amadeo wrote on ars Technica:
According to a report from The Financial Times, Google’s recent discussions with the US government actually argue that the Huawei ban is bad for national security. Google is reportedly asking for an exemption from the export ban.
The argument, reportedly, is that Huawei is currently dependent on Google for its Android smartphone software, and that dependence is a good thing for the US. The Financial Times quotes “one person with knowledge of the conversations” as saying, “Google has been arguing that by stopping it from dealing with Huawei, the US risks creating two kinds of Android operating system: the genuine version and a hybrid one. The hybrid one is likely to have more bugs in it than the Google one, and so could put Huawei phones more at risk of being hacked, not least by China.”
Banning Huawei from dealing with U.S. companies is definitely a double-edged sword. Huawei would have a tough time building smartphones or an app ecosystem without the help of U.S.-originated technology and app developers, but US hardware and software companies would lose access to the second largest smartphone maker in the world.
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Huawei faces loss of Google’s Android and Facebook Apps:
Huawei is preparing the release of its operating system, as it will soon lose access to Google’s version of Android in three months.  However,  Huawei’s operating system is not a solution for any market but China, and that’s mainly because of the Play Store that comes with Google’s Android.

Facebook will no longer allow its apps to be pre-installed on Huawei phones as the Chinese tech giant faces the ongoing fallout of a blacklisting of its services in the U.S.  That means that people who already own Huawei phones with apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram will not be impacted, Facebook confirmed Friday that new phones from the tech company will not come with the applications.  However, Huawei devices (smartphones and tablets) that are already in the hands of consumers will still be able to run the apps and receive regular software updates, Facebook told Reuters.

Huawei, the second biggest smartphone brand in the world, has denied it cooperates with the Communist Party in Beijing. In retaliation to the administration’s blacklisting, China announced last month it would establish an “unreliable entity list” of foreign companies and individuals that “seriously damage” Chinese enterprises.
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Conclusions:
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have vowed to bolster Sino-Russian ties and oppose unilateralism, as the two nations seek to counterbalance the United States’ power on the international stage.  According to China’s state broadcaster CCTV, Xi told Putin that the frequent high-level exchanges between the two countries reflected the “uniqueness and distinction” of their relationship.
“Both nations have to oppose unilateralism and trade protectionism, and build a new type of international relations and shared human destiny,” Xi said.  Putin acknowledged Xi’s commitment to boosting ties between Moscow and Beijing, which he said were based on trust in areas ranging from politics to defense.

“We have a relationship of trust in the sphere of politics, security and defense,” he said. “We know that you [Xi] personally pay great attention to the development of Russian-Chinese relations.”

The new era of closer Sino-Russian relations is born out of concerns that the US-China trade war – sparked by US President Donald Trump’s “America first” foreign policy and which has cost Beijing billions of dollars in export tariffs – could escalate into a cold war between the two countries.  As China and Russia get ever closer and agree to boost ties in the face of U.S. pressure, we are seeing the beginnings of a new 5G iron curtain and tech cold war.

5G Telecom Investments, Hype, Huawei & 5G replacement for cable broadband?

Wharton’s Kevin Werbach and Jeffrey Reed from Virginia Tech discuss whether 5G technology will live up to its promise.

Telecom companies and other providers will have to invest billions to make 5G a reality — not only to buy more spectrum, but also to build out the infrastructure. Because it’s yet uncertain how much revenue 5G will bring, for now the most prudent path for telecom firms is to upgrade the capacity of their 4G networks by reclaiming airwaves allocated for 2G and 3G, as well as buying more spectrum, according to a report by McKinsey. (The lower bands can be used for 5G as part of the carrier’s network management plan, even though data capacity won’t be as good.)

But there will come a time when these tactics won’t be enough. Historically, data traffic rises by 20% to 50% a year, and 5G could put the traffic increases at the higher end of that range, the McKinsey report said. That means most telecom companies will have to embark on a “significant new build out” between 2020 and 2025. Also, to handle higher traffic, carriers have to install fiber in their wired networks, where wireless connects to the internet. “It’s rather ironic that the projected performance goals of 5G wireless will depend on the availability of wireline fiber,” an executive at telecom equipment maker Ciena said.

Carriers can’t just label their service 5G, which is a lesson AT&T learned when it was sued by Sprint for putting “5GE” on its service despite not using true 5G. AT&T reportedly settled the lawsuit, explaining that “E” stands for “Evolution.” A Verizon spokesman tweeted that “5GE” stood for “5G Eventually.”

Regarding using millimeter wave spectrum for 5G:

“When you’re transmitting and receiving at very high frequencies, it is very efficient for carrying lots and lots of data,” said Gerald Faulhaber, Wharton professor emeritus of business economics and public policy and former FCC chief economist. “You can carry much, much more data than you ever could using our 4G phones.”

But a key drawback is that these signals travel only short distances. The wavelengths in this band range from 1 mm to 10 mm — the FCC’s December auction is called the millimeter wavelength auction — so these can’t reach very far and are easily degraded. “Very high frequency radio signals travel in direct, straight lines, and they attenuate very quickly,” Faulhaber said. In comparison, very low frequency 30 hertz signals can travel more than 10,000 km, or 6,200 miles. Lower frequencies also can better penetrate solid objects like buildings and walls.

Because millimeter wavelengths are short, they need more antennas to connect. “One of the things that 5G requires is a much denser network,” Werbach said. “You need many more nodes. That is partly how the capacity increases, which means either more towers or more cells in more places. You need equipment that is running on those cell sites, and then you need chips that go into people’s handsets and devices.” At least, the 5G antennas are small and can be installed easily on top of telephone poles and other locations, Faulhaber said.

Because it requires density, 5G mainly is feasible for more populated areas where many antennas can be placed close together. “The nature of the infrastructure is that it works in dense areas; it doesn’t work as well in other areas,” Faulhaber said. “Will there be 5G in [rural areas]? The answer is yes, but it won’t be over these high-frequency antennas. It will be basically where 4G is today, so you won’t get the high-capacity [service].”

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Telecom carriers have deployed limited 5G commercial service.

  • In April, AT&T said mobile 5G is live in parts of 19 cities, with more cities to come. In the same month,
  • Verizon said 5G service has launched in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis, where typical early adopters experience download speeds of 450 Mbps and peak speeds of 1 Gbps. That is six and 14 times faster than the median fixed broadband speed of 72 Mbps respectively, according to a December 2018 FCC report. Verizon expects to deploy limited 5G in more than 30 cities this year. Last fall, it launched a limited 5G home internet service in four cities.
  • Sprint is rolling out 5G in nine markets this year.  On May 31st Sprint announced the availability  for its first two 5G devices, LG V50 ThinQTM 5G and HTC 5G Hub. Both devices will initially be available to customers in the first four 5G markets – Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Kansas City.
  • T-Mobile is calling out its rivals over their 5G hype. “I have the exact same 5G mmWave network equipment and software that AT&T and Verizon do, and there’s no way we would launch this for customers right now,” CTO Neville Ray wrote in a blog. The millimeter wave signal “doesn’t travel far from the cell site and doesn’t penetrate materials at all,” he said. Ray’s blog even embedded a moving image showing that millimeter waves can’t even go through a door. T-Mobile will bring 5G to market, he said, “when the technology is ready for everyday customer use.”

Telecom analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson echoed similar doubts on CNBC. “There’s zero chance that 5G is ubiquitous technology” by 2021, he said. “The promises around 5G being insanely fast are partly because the standards for 5G were set for insanely wide blocks of spectrum. But you can’t find insanely wide blocks of spectrum anywhere except in these kind of stratospherically high frequencies,” which has its own technical problems. He noted that China, which is surging ahead on 5G, doesn’t use millimeter wave but rather lower band spectrum below 6 GHz, while Europe is using a combination of the two.

Politics also influences U.S. carrier adoption of 5G. The government has security concerns about using 5G telecom equipment from China’s Huawei because of fears over spying. Huawei is the world’s largest maker of telecom equipment, including that needed for 5G. It became a colossus, and “a key reason for that is they produce very inexpensive equipment. It is much cheaper than [that of] their European competition,” Reed said. Huawei doesn’t have any U.S. competition, because infrastructure providers left the business about 20 years ago, he added.

Today, Europe and other parts of the world are customers of Huawei. Britain and Germany specifically are resisting pressure from the U.S. to stop using Huawei. Their carriers have used Huawei in their networks for years, so “for them, it is very difficult to say … ‘rip it all out and go find someone else,’” Werbach said. “They’re just not going to do it.” Added Reed: “Even though a security threat exists with Huawei, companies tend to look the other way to maximize profits, lower costs.” As for security, “that’s way down on their list,” Reed said.

Werbach explained that the U.S. can’t address these security concerns by merely saying it will not use this equipment. It has to be more proactive. “We need to invest in companies in the U.S. and bring trust around the world that, for example, the U.S. is not putting similar kinds of back doors into equipment made by U.S.-based service providers.”
Will 5G Replace Cable?

Even with 5G’s drawbacks, enthusiasm for it remains unabated. One big hope is that 5G could be a viable alternative to the wired broadband service provided by cable and telecom companies. “Could 5G … be the new single pipe into the home?” Faulhaber asked. But before one gets excited about competition bringing lower prices and better service, remember that the same companies currently providing wired broadband to the home are the ones launching 5G. “Guess who are the two dominant wireless operators that have … a big chunk of the spectrum in the service? AT&T and Verizon, who, of course, are also major wired broadband providers,” Werbach noted.

However, Werbach acknowledged that there potentially could be other players in 5G, such as T-Mobile, Sprint and Comcast. Indeed, T-Mobile and Sprint have been trying to convince regulators to let them merge because then they would have the heft to deploy 5G nationally. But The Wall Street Journal reported in April that the deal is unlikely to be approved as structured.

As for Comcast, Faulhaber pointed out that the cable giant already has installed plenty of Wi-Fi receivers, including in customers’ routers that other folks on its network can use to access the internet. “Xfinity Wi-Fi is all over the place and I would suspect we would see something like that with 5G,” he said. But Faulhaber also pointed out that Comcast has time to figure out a response to 5G since it won’t have to worry about competition from this new technology in the near future.

Comcast CFO Michael Cavanaugh put it this way at a recent conference: “The threat of 5G to our broadband business is not significant any time soon. That’s because [cable is] going to be the most economic way to deliver high-quality broadband, period.”

Any cable rival will need “high capacity, high speed and … high reliability,” he said. “Between the different ways, different levels of spectrum and approaches to 5G, it’s really hard to see how there’s a path to any one of those being a broadly addressable solution for residential [broadband] in the U.S.”

Reference:

http://gonzaloraffoinfonews.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-promise-and-pitfalls-of-5g-will-it.html

Huawei to build Public Cloud Data Centers using OCP Open Rack and its own IT Equipment; Google Cloud and OCP?

Huawei:

On March 14th at the OCP 2019 Summit in San Jose, CA, Huawei Technologies (the world’s number one telecom/network equipment supplier) announced plans to adopt OCP Open Rack in its new public cloud data centers worldwide. The move is designed to enhance the environmental sustainability of Huawei’s new public cloud data centers by using less energy for servers, while driving operational efficiency by reducing the time it takes to install and maintain racks of IT equipment.  In addition to Huawei’s adoption of Open Rack in its cloud data centers, the company is also expanding its work with the OCP Community to extend the design of the standard and further improve time-to-market, and high serviceability and reduce TCO.  In an answer to this author’s question, Jinshui Liu CTO, IT Hardware Domain said the company would make its own OCP compliant compute servers and storage equipment (in addition to network switches) that would be used in its public cloud data centers.  All that IT equipment will ALSO sold to its customers building cloud resident data centers.

The Open Rack initiative introduced by the Open Compute Project (OCP) in 2013, seeks to redefine the data center rack and is one of the most promising developments in the scale computing environment. It is the first rack standard that is designed for data centers, integrating the rack into the data center infrastructure.  Open Rack integrating the rack into the data center infrastructure as part of the Open Compute Project’s “grid to gates” philosophy, a holistic design process that considers the interdependence of everything from the power grid to the gates in the chips on each motherboard.

“Huawei’s engineering and business leaders recognized the efficiency and flexibility that Open Rack offers, and the support that is available from a global supplier base. Providing cloud services to a global customer base creates certain challenges. The flexibility of the Open Rack specification and the ability to adapt for liquid cooling allows Huawei to service new geographies. Huawei’s decision to choose Open Rack is a great endorsement!” stated Bill Carter, Chief Technology Officer for the Open Compute Project Foundation.

 

OCP specified Open Rack v2:

 

Last year Huawei became an OCP Platinum Member. This year, Huawei continues investment in and commitment to OCP and the open source community. Huawei’s active involvement within the OCP Community includes on-going participation and contributions for various OCP projects such as Rack and Power, System Management and Server projects with underlying contributions to the upcoming specs for OCP accelerator Module, Advanced Cooling Solutions and OpenRMC.

“Huawei’s strategic investment and commitment to OCP is a win-win,” said Mr. Kenneth Zhang, General Manager of FusionServer, Huawei Intelligent Computing Business Department. “Combining Huawei’s extensive experience in Telco and Cloud deployments together with the knowledge of the vast OCP community will help Huawei to provide cutting edge, flexible and open solutions to its global customers. In turn, Huawei can leverage its market leadership and global data center infrastructure to help introduce OCP to new geographies and new market segments worldwide.”

During a keynote address at OCP Global Summit, Huawei shared more information about its Open Rack adoption plans as well as overall OCP strategy. Huawei  also showcased some of the building blocks of these solutions in its booth, including OCP-based compute module, Huawei Kunpeng 920 ARM CPU, Huawei Ascend 310 AI processor and other Huawei intelligent Compute products.

Huawei’s Booth at  OCP 2019 Summit

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In summary, Huawei has developed an optimized rack scale design that will become the foundation of its cloud and IT infrastructure roll out.   This extends the company’s product portfolio from telecom/networking to cloud computing and storage as well as an ODM for compute and storage equipment.  Hence, Huawei will now compete with Microsoft Azure as well as China CSPs Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent in using OCP compliant IT equipment in their cloud resident data centers,.  Unlike the other aforementioned OCP Platinum members, Huawei will design and build its own IT equipment (the other  CSPs buy OCP equipment from ODMs).

There are now 124 OCP certified products available with over 60 more in the pipeline.  Most of the OCP ODMs are in Taiwan.

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Google:

While Google has been an OCP Platinum member since 2015, they maintained a very low profile at this year’s OCP Summit, so it’s not clear how much OCP compliant equipment they use in Google Cloud or in any of their cloud resident data centers.  Google did present 2 tech sessions at the conference:

Google’s 48V Rack Adaptation and Onboard Power Technology Update” at the OCP 2019 Summit early Friday morning March 15th.  Google said that significant progress has been made in three specific applications:

1. Multi-phase 48V-to-12V voltage regulators adopting the latest hybrid switched-capacitor-buck topologies for traditional 12V workloads such as PCIEs and OTS servers;

2. Very high efficiency high density fixed ratio bus converters for 2-stage 48V-to-PoL power conversions;

3. High frequency high density voltage regulators for extremely power hungry AI accelerators.

Google and ONF provided an update on Stratum — a next generation, thin switch OS that provides silicon and hardware independence, which was first introduced at the 2018 OCP Summit.  Stratum was said to enable the next generation of SDN.  It adds new SDN-ready interfaces from the P4 and OpenConfig communities to ONL (Open Network Linux) that enable programmable switching chips (ASICs, FPGAs, etc.) and traditional switching ASICs alike. The talk described how the open source community has generalized Google’s seed OVP contribution for additional whitebox targets, and demonstrate Stratum on a fabric of OCP devices controlled by an open source control plane.

I believe Google is still designing all their own IT hardware (compute servers, storage equipment, switch/routers, Data Center Interconnect gear other than the PHY layer transponders). They announced design of many AI processor chips that presumably go into their IT equipment which they use internally but don’t sell to anyone else (just like Amazon AWS).

Google Cloud Next 2019 conference will be April 9-11, 2019 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.

References:

https://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2019/3/huawei-ocp-open-rack-public-cloud-datacenters

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/03/14/1754946/0/en/Huawei-to-Adopt-OCP-s-Open-Rack-across-New-Public-Cloud-Datacenters-Globally.html

 

Huawei launches 5G multi-mode chipset and 5G CPE Pro Smartphone

Huawei officially launched its 5G multi-mode chipset Balong 5000 — along with the first commercial 5G device powered by it, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro. The Chinese tech giant claims that together, these two new products provide the world’s fastest wireless connections for one’s smartphone, home, at the office and on-the-go.  We don’t doubt that.

Balong 5000 officially unlocks the 5G era, according to Huawei. This chipset supports a broad range of 5G products in addition to smartphones, including home broadband devices, vehicle-mounted devices and 5G modules.

HUAWEI launches 5G multi-mode chipset and 5G CPE Pro

Photo courtesy of Huawei.  Huawei’s 5G CPE Pro achieves a high speed of 3.2 Gbps in live network tests. 

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“The Balong 5000 will open up a whole new world to consumers,” said CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group Richard Yu. “It will enable everything to sense, and will provide the high-speed connections needed for pervasive intelligence. Powered by the Balong 5000, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro enables consumers to access networks more freely and enjoy an incredibly fast connected experience. Huawei has an integrated set of capabilities across chips, devices, cloud services and networks. Building on these strengths, as the leader of the 5G era, we will bring an inspired, intelligent experience to global consumers in every aspect of their lives.”

Balong 5000 supports 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G on a single chip. It reduces latency and power consumption when exchanging data between different modes, and will significantly enhance user experience in the early stages of commercial 5G deployment.

“Balong 5000 is the first chipset to perform to industry benchmarks for peak 5G download speeds. At sub-6 GHz (low-frequency bands, the main spectrum used for 5G), Balong 5000 can achieve download speeds up to 4.6 Gbps. On mmWave spectrum (high-frequency bands used as extended spectrum for 5G), Balong 5000 can achieve download speeds up to 6.5 Gbps — 10 times faster than top 4G LTE speeds on the market today,” Huawei said.

On a 5G network, a 1-GB HD video clip can be downloaded within three seconds, and 8K video can be streamed smoothly without lag. This sets a new benchmark for home CPEs. In addition to homes, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro can also be used by small and medium-sized enterprises for super-fast broadband access.

Adopting new Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax) technology, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro delivers speeds of up to 4.8 Gbps. It is the first 5G CPE that supports HUAWEI HiLink protocols, bringing smart homes into the 5G era.

As a 5G pioneer, Huawei began research and development in 5G as early as 2009, and is currently the industry’s only vendor that can provide end-to-end 5G systems. Huawei has more than 5700 engineers dedicated to 5G R&D, including over 500 5G experts. In total, Huawei has established 11 joint innovation centers for 5G solutions worldwide

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The NY Times reported that in 2018, Huawei edged out Apple as the second-biggest provider of cellphones around the world. Richard Yu, who heads the company’s consumer business, said in Beijing several days ago that “even without the U.S. market we will be No. 1 in the world,” by the end of this year or sometime in 2020.

Last year, AT&T and Verizon stopped selling Huawei phones in their stores after Huawei began equipping the devices with its own sets of computer chips — rather than relying on American or European manufacturers. The National Security Agency quietly raised alarms that with Huawei supplying its own parts, the Chinese company would control every major element of its networks. The N.S.A. feared it would no longer be able to rely on American and European providers to warn of any evidence of malware, spying or other covert action.

For months, the White House has been drafting an executive order, expected in the coming weeks, that would effectively ban United States companies from using Chinese-origin equipment in critical telecommunications networks. That goes far beyond the existing rules, which ban such equipment only from government networks.  “China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law requires Chinese companies to support, provide assistance and cooperate in China’s national intelligence work, wherever they operate.”

The White House’s focus on Huawei coincides with the Trump administration’s broader crackdown on China, which has involved sweeping tariffs on Chinese goods, investment restrictions and the indictments of several Chinese nationals accused of hacking and cyberespionage. President Trump has accused China of “ripping off our country” and plotting to grow stronger at America’s expense.

References: 

https://consumer.huawei.com/en/press/news/2019/huawei-launches-5g-multi-mode-chipset-and-5g-cpe-pro/

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/us/politics/meng-wanzhou-huawei-iran.html

 

ZTE makes prototype smartphone call on China Unicom’s trial 5G network vs Huawei’s 5G NR @ 2.6GHz?

ZTE, which recently completed the 3rd phase of CMIIT IMT-2020 5G core network tests, just  announced it made the a 5G mobile call using its 5G prototype smartphone on the Guangdong branch of China Unicom’s trial 5G network in Shenzhen, China.  The trial was conducted in collaboration with China Unicom and involved placing a 3GPP Release 15 compliant New Radio (NR) non-standalone (NSA) mobile call using the prototype smartphone.  It used ZTE’s 5G end-to-end solution, including radio access network, core network, transport network and prototype device.   In addition to demonstrating a 5G call, the test verified key 5G technologies including Massive MIMO, 5G NR, non-standalone (NSA) dual connectivity, FlexE transport technology and 5G common core architecture (defined by who?).

 ZTE says “the future 5G system should be a unified network adaptable to different scenarios.”

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“ZTE’s 5G solution has passed the end-to-end test in the three months after the release of the 3GPP Rel-15,” ZTE said in a statement.  “It showcases ZTE’s strong competency in 5G R&D and commercialization, demonstrating ZTE’s role as a reliable partner to global 5G operators and a key player in the 5G industry.”

Last year, ZTE announced a series of new-generation 5G base stations. The Chinese telecom and mobile phone vendor said that the new generation of 5G high/low frequency Active Antenna Unit (AAU) base stations support 3GPP release 15 “5G NR” NSA specification for the data plane.  The latest ZTE base stations combine the radio and antenna parts.  It is capable of integrating multiple frequency bands, which create what is known as the “AAU solution.” AAU supports 5G functions such as Massive MIMO and Beamforming.

Meanwhile, Huawei says it completed a 5G New Radio (NR) trial in the 2.6 GHz spectrum band.  Huawei said 2.6 GHz is one of the “excellent choices for operators to deploy 5G NSA/SA commercial network.”  The company noted that 2.6 GHz is an “abundant spectrum resource around the world, but not fully used in many areas.”  Huawei’s tests in the 2.6 GHz band follows earlier trials in the 3.5 GHz and 4.9 GHz bands.

The two Chinese telecom vendors are vying to take the lead in 5G testing under the jurisdiction of China’s IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, which was established in 2013 as China’s platform to promote 5G research in that country. The 5G R&D trial established three separate phases for verifying a 5G solution: key technologies, technical solutions, and system networking.

References:

https://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/press-center/news/201901/20190118

https://www.zte.com.cn/china/topics/zte-5g-en/index.html

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/huawei-takes-5g-supremacy-shot-at-zte/2019/01/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/tag/chinas-imt-2020-promotion-group/

Verizon’s “5G” FWA Progess in Sacramento vs Huawei’s Home Broadband System

Verizon’s “5G” FWA Progresses in Sacramento, CA:

Sacramento Chief Innovation Officer Louis Stewart said in an interview with Government Technology that the California state capital became one of the first four cities nationally to debut Verizon’s (proprietary) “5G” fixed wireless access (FWA) network, along with Los Angeles, Houston and Indianapolis on October 1st.  The purpose of this and other FWA broadband networks is to deliver residential triple play services.

More “5G” offerings should arrive in Sacramento during 2019:

• Sacramento is on schedule to be one of the nation’s first 11 cities that will have the infrastructure needed to underpin “5G” and a connected future.  That includes: in-ground fiber to link light poles and traffic signals and materials to support free Wi-Fi via kiosks in 27 parks. Much of this should arrive in early 2019, the innovation officer said, calling the digital kiosks “not on hold indefinitely,” implying “the conversation is still happening.”

• Emilie Cameron, public affairs and communications director for Downtown Sacramento Partnership (DSP), the nonprofit that manages the assessment for the property-based improvement district, said the city reached out to the group in late 2017 with “high-level” information about the Verizon partnership. But she described the conversation as “conceptual.” She described the response to the kiosks as generally positive but agreed district members are interested to learn where the devices will be located, what they’ll look like and what content and services will be offered. “You don’t want anything to be in conflict with the streetscape,” Cameron said.

• Stewart said a great deal of coordination must happen to enable deployment of infrastructure and services in 2019, which he described as “a fairly heavy lift.” Sacramento, the innovation executive said, wants to ensure the project is “done right” for the community whether in the parks or in the downtown corridor, to enable “the right user experience.” Much content development for the kiosks’ digital displays remains to be completed, he said, but officials are currently in the “ideation phase.”

“If the future that everybody’s looking at is how do you build, ultimately, a connected city, kiosks fit into that, whether it be providing additional connectivity to connect the cars and autonomous cars as they essentially geolocate, driving down the streets. They could provide other smart city solutions, be they charging stations or power down the road, in some kind of way,” Stewart said.

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Huawei’s 5G Home Broadband System:

Huawei and U.K. carrier Three showcased a 5G home broadband demonstration using Three’s 100 megahertz of C-Band spectrum last week at the Huawei’s Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London, which IEEE Techblog has been reporting on this week and last.

The demonstration leveraged Huawei’s latest 5G-based home broadband routers to allow forum attendees to experience ultra-high-speed 5G broadband services such as cloud gaming and 4K video streaming, Huawei said.  The world’s #1 network equipment vendor highlighted that the 5G broadband service will deliver a maximum download speed of 2 Gbps, with an average of 1 Gbps for a single user.

Huawei and Three U.K. carried out a pre-commercial network test of this technology earlier this year. The two companies plan to carry out further 5G service tests in the U.K. in the coming months, which are expected to be released to the public in densely-populated urban areas and train stations, paving the way for the full commercial use of 5G networks in 2019.

“The 5G trials we carried out today demonstrate the opportunity this technology brings to the home broadband market. Huawei will continue to work with Three UK to bring customers more market-leading commercial applications of 5G,” said Yang Chaobin, President of Huawei 5G Product Line.

“Huawei is the only true 5G supplier right now,”  said Neil McRae, chief architect at British Telecom. “Others need to catch up. I’ve been to Shenzhen recently and there’s nowhere else in the world where you can see” the kind of 5G technology developments that Huawei has achieved. Other suppliers need to learn from Huawei. Others are held back by old telco issues,” McRae added.

In the UK, Three, EE and BT have all said they’re launching a 5G network in some form in 2019 (that’s 1 year before IMT 2020 standard will be completed and with no standards for virtual RAN, Cloud RAN, network slicing, scheduling, OA&M, etc).  EE has announced which cities will be first to get its 5G service.

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Analysis:

Some pundits say that 5G FWA networks have the potential to complement fiber to the home (FTTx) deployments by providing an alternative “last-mile” solution consumer and business services. In both urban and suburban regions, the ability to deploy 5G FWA will help reduce costs for operators and increase accessibility of high speed broadband for residential FWA customers.  5G FWA networking equipment also requires a much smaller footprint than traditional mobile networks, reducing requirements for government approvals of new tower locations.

Market research firm Ovum has this assessment of Huawei’s “5G” FWA strategy:

Huawei has gradually built its WTTx fixed wireless access (FWA) business into a key component of its wireless broadband portfolio. At the Huawei Global Analyst Summit earlier this month, the vendor reported significant successes for WTTx and high expectations for its future development. Although still small in scale relative to mobile broadband services, the FWA market is experiencing rapid growth, even outpacing FTTx and copper for new subscription additions in many world markets, according to Huawei’s figures.  WTTx is central to Huawei’s wireless broadband strategy.

Even though other large network equipment vendors including Nokia and Ericsson provide their own fixed wireless broadband solutions, Huawei is arguably more aggressive in its public backing of FWA. Huawei’s work with WiMAX has given it more experience with fixed wireless and it has existing FWA operator relationships it can leverage. Huawei’s FWA strategy also differs from that of competitors such as Nokia in that it places WTTx as part of its mobile products line rather than part of its fixed broadband offering.

Huawei already claims a substantial installed base for its WTTx fixed wireless offering, with 200 WTTx commercial networks in service and 50 million households connected as of end-2017. The vendor says 82 operators launched WTTx for home broadband in 2017 alone, and it expects to see a surge in demand over the next two years.

The future growth of FWA will depend on a number of factors, including the ability to deliver efficient and sustainable home broadband services to underserved and unconnected communities more economically than fiber alternatives. Huawei has identified the following four major deployment models where it believes WTTx can provide a fiber-like experience to complement fixed broadband:

  • As a home fixed broadband service for mobile operators to deliver triple-play services

  • As a complement to wireline broadband services for converged operators

  • As a DSL upgrade for wholesale broadband providers

  • As a 5G-oriented fixed wireless broadband service.

Along with a maturing WTTx ecosystem, a number of factors support the expansion of fixed wireless services. On the network side, spare cell capacity arising from the uneven traffic distribution associated with smartphones can be used more efficiently by operators introducing FWA services. On the equipment side, advances in self-install CPE, along with performance and efficiency gains from the incorporation of multiple receiver and antenna technologies and the use of massive MIMO and 256QAM at the eNodeB, is helping to deliver a high-capacity equivalent to evolved LTE. This will support the evolution toward 5G FWA.

Even so, the business case for FWA is likely to be challenging, particularly in emerging markets where population densities and ARPU are low. Huawei believes governments and regulators can promote the benefits of universal network coverage by providing more practical encouragement and financial stimulus to local mobile operators. It offers a business operation and management platform as part of its WTTx pre-sales service suite, which helps operators evaluate the potential opportunity for a fixed wireless solution based on aspects such as network capacity trends and coverage gaps in existing FTTx and wireline networks.

Ultimately, the success of fixed wireless broadband will depend on the scope it provides for operators to monetize services.

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