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6 Minutes Read
The 2020 OFC Optical Networking and Communication Conference, held in San Diego in March, served as the setting for a candid and informative analysis of the evolution of global 5G deployments to date, and how network operators around the world can work together to ensure 5G achieves its full potential in the future.
At the event, Qi Bi, president of the China Telecom Technology Innovation Center and CTO of the China Telecom Beijing Research Institute, shared his first-hand perspectives of 5G to dispel some of “the media hype” surrounding 5G and to map the current trajectory of 5G innovation and deployment.
For the first time, Qi said, the world is deploying a technology designed to support both broadband data connectivity and a range of business-focused machine-to-machine applications for vertical markets. Despite using a common 5G standard, operators are taking different paths to get to the same destination. According to Qi, China has been one of the true pioneers in 5G, becoming the first country to grant commercial 5G mobility licenses using the 3GPP standard in 2019. As a result, China Telecom currently has more than 8 million subscribers on its 5G network.
For all the progress operators have made developing and deploying 5G technology, Qi said, there are still many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Most of the remaining opportunities for innovation lie in the antenna area, including massive MIMO, which has become, in Qi’s words, “the trademark of 5G technology.”
Overall 5G KPI results have been mixed.
Qi said they can be divided into three categories:
Reachable (with future investment)
Failed to reach
“The hyped future of 5G by one unified standard actually requires the deployment of separate hardware systems,” Qi said.
The promise of 5G includes providing enhanced broadband connectivity, connecting millions of M2M/IoT devices, and enabling ultra-low latency applications such as AR/VR and autonomous vehicles. One 5G standard can’t do that alone. Making them a reality will require the evolution of multiple systems deployed in phases.
The challenges inherent in deploying 5G technology – including higher CapEx and OpEx costs, increasing hardware complexity, multiple applications requiring multiple systems, and unclear and uncertain new revenue opportunities – will be better served by collaboration between vendors and operators rather than competition, Qi said. He cited China Telecom’s collaboration with competitor China Unicom to build a 5G network in China as an example of the type of joint efforts that will be required to ensure 5G’s success.
According to Qi, China Telecom is pushing the industry to adopt a stand-alone 5G network strategy versus a non-standalone strategy. A stand-alone strategy entails building a dedicated 5G network. A non-stand alone strategy involves an operator relying on its existing 4G LTE network to provide coverage and building a 5G network on top of it to act more like a “hotspot.” A stand-alone strategy is China Telecom’s preferred approach, Qi said.
Qi concluded his talk by reiterating:
View the video.
China Telecom Americas, a wholly-owned US-based subsidiary of China Telecom Corp. Ltd., is an international telecom provider for Data, IP and Voice Wholesale services to multinational companies, organizations and international carriers requiring China domestic services and International access to China & Asia Pacific.
With headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, and offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Jose, and subsidiaries in Toronto, Canada, and Sao Paolo, Brazil, China Telecom Americas continues to expand its strength and reach.
China Telecom Americas provides locally based, one-stop-shop, turnkey solutions for everything from China domestic and international data circuits to IDC services, network management, equipment management, system integration, and much more.
For additional information on China Telecom Americas, please visit www.ctamericas.com.
When you ask a leader for the best leadership advice they’ve ever received, you might be met with a standard response about trying something new or listening before speaking. Luis Fiallo, Vice President of China Telecom Americas (CTA), was asked that question in a recent Modern CTO podcast episode. His
China Telecom do Brasil (CTB), the Brazilian subsidiary of China Telecom Americas, has been turning heads and making headlines in Brazil. Earlier this year, CTB launched
China Telecom do Brasil ("CTB"), a leading provider of telecommunications and cloud computing services, announced the launch of eSurfing Cloud services in Brazil today. Through on-demand purchases that