5G to be great boon to health, transport, power sectors

M Aminul Islam . back from Chengdu, China | Published at 12:00am on September 12, 2019

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Left, Huawei board director and Institute of Strategic Research president William Xu speaks at an event titled ‘5th Huawei Asia-Pacific Innovation Day’ with a theme ‘Innovation Enables Asia Pacific Digitisation’, organised by Huawei in Chengdu in Sichuan province of China on September 3. Right, Huawei officials demonstrate 5G service on a 5G-enabled bus in Chengdu recently. — New Age photo

With 5G becoming a reality across the globe, telecommunication experts expect that the faster internet service would revolutionise services in different sectors including health, transport and power transmission.

5G — the fifth generation services — with low communication latency compared to 4G, is expected to improve data speed and power the Internet of Things, along with the artificial intelligence.

‘5G is arriving at the right time. More specifically,

5G can provide wide coverage, large bandwidth, and low latency on the basis of traditional connections. It can also provide slicing for different applications,’ said William Xu, board director of Huawei and president of Institute of Strategic Research, at an event in Chengdu in Sichuan province of China on September 3.

Huawei, the China-based mobile equipment provider and smartphone maker, organised the 5th Huawei Asia-Pacific Innovation Day with a theme ‘Innovation Enables Asia Pacific Digitisation’.

As part of the programme, the Chinese tech giant highlighted commercial applications of 5G, including use of the faster data service in virtual reality (VR), 8K videos, telemedicine, healthcare and power transmission.

‘5G is now a reality while the Asia Pacific is leading the innovation of the next generation technology,’ said Sinan Chen Bo, GSMA Asia head and Greater China head, at the event.

She said that 5G would help achieve targets of the sustainable development goals, including quality education and healthcare.

GSMA Asia said that more than half of the world’s 5G connections would be in Asia Pacific in 2025 with 675 million or 54 per cent in the region while the rest of world would have 579 million 5G connections.

Bo said that as of Q2 of 2019, 25 commercial 5G networks were launched while 86 operators in 56 markets had announced launch date for 5G mobile service.

She said mobile operators across the globe would spend $1.3 trillion in capex by 2025 while 75 per cent of the global operators’ capex would be spent on 5G networks.

She said 5G would contribute $890 billion to the Asia Pacific economy over the next 15 years.

Highlighting Huawei’s dominance in 5G technology, Xu said that the company had signed 50 commercial agreements for 5G worldwide, including 28 in Europe.

Huawei shipped more than 2,00,000 5G base stations till August.

Xu said that Huawei became industry leader as the company invested $4 billion in 5G in a long process beginning from basic research in chips, materials, and algorithms.

Replying to a question about the US restrictions on Huawei, Xu told reporters that he expected that global cooperation in the ICT sector would continue as cooperation was needed for advancement of equipment.

Huawei Wireless Network Product Line chief marketing officer Ritichie Peng said that the company was ahead by 2-3 years in 5G with its competing companies.

‘The more than 50 plus contracts with different operators showed that Huawei was secured,’ he said while replying to a question about concerns of the US about the security issue.

At the event, Bo said that 5G would bring unprecedented chapter of technology, when there would be convergence of 5G, AI and IOT.

China Mobile Sichuan and Huawei launched a 5G stereo-coverage network, which consists of a basic coverage layer, a capacity experience layer and indoor coverage for high-value scenarios to achieve seamless coverage of 5G.

In addition, Huawei partnered with carriers and other industry partners to demonstrate various innovative industry applications including 5G+VR, 5G+8K video, 5G+drones, 5G telemedicine and 5G ambulances.

More than 200 representatives from government, industry and academia of Asia-Pacific countries took part in the event.

Huawei officials said that three major carriers in China had deployed 5G networks in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu.

The tested downlink speed is as high as 1 gigabits per second, meaning it takes only seconds to download an HD movie in 1080p.

Highlighting the use of 5G in telemedicine, at The Third People’s Hospital of Chengdu, doctors and technical experts demonstrated the use of 5G service in ultrasound scan on patient.

Doctors said that real-time ultrasound scan could be performed on patients hundreds of kilometres away as the 5G service had no latency.

They said that these ultrasound scan service could be beneficial for the rural people with minimum infrastructure of ultrasound machine as renowned doctors in the urban areas could scan the patients using 5G service.

Huawei with the support of China Telecom also demonstrated 5G in the transport sector with a 5G-linked bus in Chengdhu.

From the bus, driver and passengers can monitor the real-time traffic situation, presence of passengers at next stoppage and the condition of road ahead with 5G live streaming.

Huawei officials said local TV network China Central Television was also able to do a live virtual reality broadcast in 8K resolution during the country’s Spring Festival using the 5G network.

They said that reliance of TV stations on satellite could be reduced by using 5G network as the cost of live streaming in real-time would be only 20 per cent of the satellite charge.

‘With the advancement of 5G, there will be many 5G-enabled applications that will change the world. At the same time, 5G, AI, IoT and Cloud are improving everyday life and nature, making the world a better place,’ Xu said at the innovation day event.

Huawei, meanwhile, launched a series of 5G and AI-based innovative energy solutions at the World Energy Congress 2019, under the theme ‘Innovation Is Redefining Energy’ in Abu Dhabi of the UAE on Monday.

It launched 5G sharing base station solutions enabling power suppliers, tower providers, and carriers to benefit by sharing infrastructure resources. It also launched a smart power distribution transformer.

Huawei and Zhiyang Innovation jointly developed an intelligent power transmission solution, which integrates front-end reasoning, cloud-based training, and cloud-edge synergy. It uses Huawei’s Ascend AI processors to build an intelligent power transmission monitoring system.

With the solution, the efficiency of power line inspection is improved more than five times that of the traditional method, and secure and stable power line operation is ensured.