4G and 5G – The Future of Mobile Networks, as seen by Huawei

A brief Introduction to 4G:
Two 4G candidate systems are commercially deployed: the Mobile WiMAX standard and the first-release Long Term Evolution (LTE)  standard . A 4G system does not support traditional circuit-switched telephony service, but all-Internet Protocol (IP) based communication such as IP telephony. It is possible to transfer very high bit rates despite extensive multi-path radio 
propagation (echoes). 4G also has smart antenna arrays for multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) communications. New mobile generations have appeared about every ten years since the first move from 1981 analog (1G) to digital (2G) transmission in 1992. This was followed, in 2001, by 3G multi-media support, spread spectrum transmission and at least 200 
kbit/s peak bit rate, in 2011/2012 expected to be followed by “real” 4G, which refers to all-Internet Protocol (IP)  packet-switched networks giving mobile ultra-broadband (gigabit speed) access.


The 4G system was originally envisioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).The DARPA selected 
the distributed architecture and end-to-end Internet protocol (IP), and believed at an early stage in peer-to-peer networking 
in which every mobile device would be both a transceiver and a router for other devices in the network, eliminating the 
spoke-and-hub weakness of 2G and 3G cellular systems. Since the 2.5G GPRS system, cellular systems have provided dual 
infrastructures: packet switched nodes for data services, and circuit switched nodes for voice calls. In 4G systems, the circuit-switched infrastructure is abandoned and only a packet-switched network is provided, while 2.5G and 3G systems require both packet-switched and circuit-switched network nodes, i.e. two infrastructures in parallel. This means that in 4G, traditional voice calls are replaced by IP telephony.

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Huawei’s 4G technology:
By the end of 2009, Huawei had deployed the most trial, pre-commercial, and commercial LTE networks in the world. Ying Weimin, who heads the Huawei LTE Product Line, said late 2009 through 2010 as the critical time for LTE roll out, and  states that companies who seize opportunities now will dominate 4G, especially with terminals such as iPhone sending data traffic into the stratosphere.Although Chinese vendors are aiming to cover all major 3G and 4G technologies, most, like  Huawei, are prioritizing LTE-Advanced technology.China’s home-made LTE-Advanced technology is relying on the development of  China Mobile’s TD network, the optimization of which began at the end of 2009. 

Ying mentions that LTE and WiMAX do not compete as they use different frequencies. Given the existing 3G global layout, LTE  will outshine other future technical standards, and is increasingly backed by the world’s leading vendors. Ying expects that LTE deployment will accelerate in 2010 and that network construction will surge between 2011 and 2012. Although current trends show that the technical gap has narrowed from 4 to 10 years in the 2G and 3G eras to six months to one year in the 4G era, Huawei has taken the first vital step to gain a competitive edge.

China’s Huawei has thrown its considerable weight behind the promotion of 4G technology for use with M2M services. In a statement about its progress on winning 4G business, the equipment vendor said that while LTE networks are today being used mainly to connect people to the internet they would increasingly provide support for M2M and Internet of Things solutions. 

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“The mobile networks of the future will connect to any device, anywhere in the world, with near zero latency,” said David  Wang, the president of Huawei’s (Shenzhen, China) wireless network business unit. “The opportunities for industry are infinite – for medicine, retailing, transport, banking, media, education and manufacturing.” According to Huawei, LTE could be used in a variety of M2M applications, from connected vehicles and intelligent traffic management systems to domestic utility meters and smart grids. Huawei now claims to have signed a total of 241 LTE contracts worldwide. In the meantime, new M2M applications are being developed that need higher-speed connections to operate effectively. 

At CES 2014, Huawei Technologies displayed latest car Internet solutions. Its newest wireless communication modules are core components for car Internet technology, which will be used in car models launched by dozens of top carmakers in future one to two years. The ME909T 4G wireless module has a lifespan of ten years, connectible to Internet and computer system inside cars, compatible with multiple 4G technologies.

5G Technology:
5G or 5th generation mobile networks or 5th generation wireless systems is a term used to denote the next major phase of mobile telecommunications standards.Li-Fi, or light fidelity, is a 5th generation visible light communication network. Li-Fi uses light-emitting diodes to transmit data, rather than radio waves like Wi-Fi.the major difference from a user point of view between 4G and 5G techniques must be something else than increased maximum throughput; for example higher system spectral efficiency (data volume per area unit), lower battery consumption, lower outage probability (better coverage), high bit rates in larger portions of the coverage area, lower latencies, higher number of supported devices, lower infrastructure deployment costs, higher versatility and scalability or higher reliability of communications.

Huawei’s take on 5G network technology:
When people are still in the phase of experiencing 4G network technology for the first time, Huawei has devoted hundreds of research engineers to come up with 5G technology. Huawei plans to commercially roll out the 5G network technilogy within 7 years, latest by 2020. Zhou Yuefang, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Huawei’s LTE business unit and mobile broadband technologies believes that our fifth generation networks will have better spectrum management flexibility and indoor coverage will be improved due to the use of small cells installed within buildings. The Shenzhen-based company believes that if governments release the airwaves necessary for the adoption of 5G, mobile broadband could reach speeds of up to 10 gigabytes, roughly 100 times than the best 4G speeds currently available.

Huawei said earlier this year that it was “answering the call of 5G” by engaging in industry collaborative projects including METIS (Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for Twenty-twenty Information Society) project, which aims to lay down the foundation for 5G technology. Members include Docomo, Orange, T-Mobile and a number of universities.Chinese megafirm Huawei is set to invest a minimum of $600m (£370m) in research into 5G network technology by 2018.The speed of Huawei’s 5G will peak above 10Gps, over 100 times faster than the speeds offered by today’s 4G service providers.

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