On the march to 5G and all the hype surrounding it, Huawei is touting its "innovative solutions" for 4.5G, including its GigaRadio, which it says is a crucial technology for 4.5G.
Ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress 2016, the company hosted sessions in London and Beijing this week for senior executives and technology experts to discuss the company's vision and growth strategies for 2016. Part of that strategy is its GigaRadio, which according to Huawei, will be deployed commercially on a large scale in 2016 and will help accelerate the adoption of 4.5G.
Besides making the Internet of Things (IoT) possible, Huawei says 4.5G will deliver mobile broadband data rates of up to 1,000 Mbps, enabling HD voice, 2K/4K HD video and virtual reality experiences.
Not all vendors are using the "4.5G" designation; another way of saying it is "pre-5G." Whatever the moniker, it's a way of signaling that there's still a lot of life left in LTE, LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro. The 3GPP standards body last October approved the LTE-Advanced Pro designation that includes major advancements such as small cell dual-connectivity and architecture, carrier aggregation enhancements, interworking with Wi-Fi, licensed assisted access (at 5 GHz), 3D/FD-MIMO, indoor positioning, single cell-point to multi-point and work on latency reduction. While many of these features were started in previous releases, 3GPP says they will become mature in Release 13.
Huawei's President of Wireless Network Marketing Operation Qiu Heng said during a presentation this week that Huawei expects to reach 60 commercial networks with its 4.5G technology by the end of this year, according to RCR Wireless. As of the end of last year, 4.5G 1 Gbps transmission had been demonstrated by mobile operators in markets including Canada, Norway, Germany, Kuwait, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Huawei says its GigaRadio will be one of its key product launches at this year's MWC. During the presentation, Huawei also unveiled new 4.5G products under the GigaRadio brand name. The portfolio includes a blade remote radio unit and active antenna unit, RCR reported.
This isn't the first time Huawei has touted its 4.5G prowess. Last summer, the company announced a string of 4.5G and 5G-related achievements, including one in which it will deploy new services based on 4.5G for the Shanghai Disney Resort and China Unicom Shanghai. The Disney project involves smart parking and smart people flow management, with virtual reality, 2K/4K video and LTE-Vehicle to follow.
Huawei says its IoT solutions will drive the digital transformation of carriers' home broadband services by making the smart home a reality. Its LTE-based Narrow Broadband IoT (NB-IoT) technology, for example, will enable telecom operators to deliver ubiquitous, cellular IoT, sparking new business opportunities in smart metering, smart parking, logistics tracking and smart cities.
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