Ovum attended the 5G Ecosystem Conference hosted by Huawei, under the theme "5G is Now, Sailing to New eMBB Horizons," at GITEX this year. The conference promoted the vendor's view on a 5G ecosystem in the Middle East by bringing together operators, regulatory bodies, industry leaders, and other stakeholders to discuss 5G from a business, policy, and industry perspective.
Huawei demonstrated that it is actively leading research and development efforts in 5G by developing solutions and use cases that are relevant to the Middle East region. Earlier in the year, Huawei introduced a range of 3GPP-compliant 5G product solutions – covering the core network, bearer network, base station, and terminals – and the world's first 5G chipset. Its 5G strategy is based on three key pillars: enabling commercial use of end-to-end (E2E) solutions, policy neutrality and open spectrum, and a "win-win" approach.
Enabling end-to-end commercial use
Huawei offers a complete range of full-scenario 5G deployments in order to facilitate the commercial use of its E2E solutions. Through full-scenario 5G sites, a vendor is more likely to meet the requirements of large-scale 5G construction and deployment. The all-cloud 5G core network is expected to support full-scenario deployment through an advanced cloud-based architecture that supports on-demand deployment to allow a smooth evolution and further help service providers with their journey toward industry digitalization.
The vendor expects to launch small-volume, low-power-consumption commercial products and smart terminals in 2019.
Policy neutrality and open spectrum
Regulatory bodies can act as a catalyst to 5G growth, in order to help accelerate the release of new spectrums for 5G deployment. In 5G construction, regulatory agencies are theoretically encouraged to accelerate spectrum neutrality and allocation, thus laying a foundation for large-scale commercial use of the technology. There are two branches to spectrum neutrality, namely spectrum allocation and technology neutrality. The first branch of neutrality includes spectrum allocation where carriers currently use TDD spectrums to build MBB networks, to handle the existing or future mobile broadband network traffic. As for technology neutrality, Huawei's view is that a national broadband policy should not limit technical means. In the future, 5G WTTx can reach xGbps optical fiber experience, and accept WTTx as the fourth broadband connection mode.
Last but not least, building a 5G ecosystem should achieve a win-win for all ecosystem participants. The capabilities of partners, whether in China or in the Middle East region, should bring together technical E2E capabilities and a fit for specific regional use cases, all while maintaining an ecological standard.
Regional activities and takeaways
To support its commitment toward developing 5G use cases based on research conducted across the GCC, Huawei also conducted live trials for several 5G use cases during the event. These included drone taxis, a virtual-reality showroom, and tele-operated driving. Huawei also signed memorandums of understanding with key partners, including Media Pro, Orange Business Service, and TPCast, to strengthen the 5G ecosystem in the Middle East region. Huawei is also actively conducting trials with tier-1 operators in the region as they embark on their 5G journey.
With such a product range and regionally relevant 5G use cases, Huawei is in a good position to help regional operators introduce new products and solutions that can support their digital transformation and growth.
5G Service Provider Tracker: 3Q18, GLB007-000140 (October 2018)
2019 Trends to Watch: Middle East and Africa, GLB002-000035 (September 2018)
Tareq Masarweh, Senior Consultant, EMEA