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Huawei: 4.5G to bridge the gap between 4G and 5G

It was said that although the 4.5G tech included prospective 5G features like low latency and virtualisation, it is unlikely it would delay the introduction of 5G. Huawei is aiming to plant its flag in the 5G hill within a few years.

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Monday, April 6, 2015

The Chinese tech giant Huawei is promising a ‘4.5G’ mobile networking solution by 2016 that will deliver more than 1 Gbit/s in throughput with 10 milliseconds latency.
The Chinese tech giant Huawei is promising a ‘4.5G’ mobile networking solution by 2016 that will deliver more than 1 Gbit/s in throughput with 10 milliseconds latency.

by N. Peter Kramer 


The Chinese tech giant Huawei is promising a ‘4.5G’ mobile networking solution by 2016 that will deliver more than 1 Gbit/s in throughput with 10 milliseconds latency.  It would be aimed at bridging the gap between 4G and 5G: 4.5G is the natural evolution of 4G. It offers enhancements to meet new services, in particular to meet the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). It was said that although the 4.5G tech included prospective 5G features like low latency and virtualisation, it is unlikely it would delay the introduction of 5G. Huawei is aiming to plant its flag in the 5G hill within a few years.   

During the Mobile World Congress (Barcelona, March 2015) three upcoming main trends were tipped to take place within the next 5 years. These trends mainly revolve around redefining visual experience, building a better connected world over cellular Internet of Things (IoT) and realising Industry 4.0 to accelerate mobile network evolution. Interesting to see how the three trends could benefit of 4.5G.

The first trend is that visual experience will undergo a transition from HD video to virtual reality where users could watch sports matches or even shop for things through virtual reality headsets and carry it like they do with their smartphones. VR can also be deployed in other businesses like virtual tours of potential real estate buyers for instance. VR is gaining already industry momentum. Companies like Oculus have created the first mobile VR headset while social networking platforms like Facebook would also provide VR applications. 4.5G will present aplatform for experiences of VR for users.  

Cellular IoT is the second trend. The industry has been used to M2M communication over short ranges technologies like Bluetooth, but which will not end there. The concept of cellular IoT which mainly deals with M2M communication over the cellular network technologies will vastly increase the number of smart, always on demand and online things in our environment. 4.5G will introduce more connections which will mainly be devices like smart meters and wearable user devices connecting to the cellular network.  4.5G will make cellular IoT a reality. 

The third trend that has been mentioned is the transformation of industrial automation through the enabling of communication between factory machines and equipments. It is obvious that short latency will mainly benefit interaction between machines. For example cyber systems can realise control over factory machines and industry equipments through the support of wireless connections. 4.5G network will enable cooperation of cyber systems in real time so they can execute real time monitoring of industrial processes.  

Time frame of 4.5G. It is predicted that the first 4.5G services will be launched around 2016. 4.5G represents a next 5 year network evolution to smoothly prepare for the migration towards 5G around 2010. 

This article is the third in a series for EBR webdossier ‘Digital, data and the day after tomorrow’. The next article: ‘Connectivity first… ’ will follow in a few days.

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