HUAWEI MBBF 2020: Huawei deputy chairman Ken Hu (pictured) called on operators to take a more targeted approach to drive uptake of industrial 5G services by pushing applications where the next-generation technology is the optimal option.
In his keynote, Hu said the technology is “breaking new ground and is going through the trial-and-error phase as operators eye the many [un]tapped opportunities”.
“It is ushering in a new era. 5G can and will change everything, and is a great opportunity for us to seize”.
But Hu noted operators need to identify the real business opportunities. While most industries have expressed interest in 5G, it doesn’t mean they actually need it or it would be practical for them to deploy, he warned.
Companies must carefully assess potential applications to find the most practical ones to invest in. He recommended exploring four broad factors to access what is needed: business potential; technical relevance; value chain maturity; and standardisation.
He explained the applications gaining the most traction with 5G are remote control; machine vision; real-time positioning; and video backhaul.
Global 5G network rollouts have entered the fast lane, Hu said, with commercial deployments surpassing 100.
He highlighted deployment of 600,000 base stations in more than 300 Chinese cities, with 160 million consumer and IoT connections signed up in less than two years.
While the price of 5G devices is falling quickly, Hu noted the cost of 5G modules is still high at around $100, which is forecast to decline to $80 by end-2021 and $40 by end-2022.
“We must accelerate that trend to help with larger-scale adoption of 5G in various industries.”
In terms of the diversity of modules, he said 5G is falling short: “We hope the number of 5G modules on the market will quickly catch, if not surpass, those of 4G.”
There are about 1,400 4G modules compared with 140 for 5G.
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