Tuesday, 3 November 2015

4.5 G rears its ugly head above the parapet. Interim measures are not welcome in the 5G camp.

Huawei teased out a number of big name operators trialling its so-called 4.5G technology, including a commercial agreement with Norway’s TeliaSonera, as the Chinese vendor touts progress for kit it claims can bridge the gap between 4G and 5G. “5G will be here in 2020 but we still have five years to go; the end user requirements won’t wait for 5G,” Huawei’s marketing chief Chaobin Yang told a media event this afternoon. He claims that demand for HD video and emerging Internet of Things services is driving the need for 4.5G deployment. It was at Huawei’s 2014 Global Mobile Broadband Forum that the company made its first big 4.5G push, declaring the technology a genuine necessity rather than merely a marketing term. A year on, and the company today revealed China Mobile is testing a 4.5G network in Shanghai, Japan’s SoftBank is trialling the tech in Tokyo, and Hong Kong’s HKT is using the kit to achieve its 1Gb/s demonstrations. “Last month we officially signed a commercial contract for TeliaSonera’s network in Oslo,” added Chaobin Yang. And he also namechecked Turkey as a potential market opportunity, given that the country recently awarded licences that specifically used the term 4.5G. “With operators in West Europe we are now exploring plans – you might see news as early as next month,” he added. Adding weight to the case for 4.5G, the Huawei man noted that standards body 3GPP officially approved the technology last month and gave it the moniker LTE Advanced Pro (read more on the move here). When questioned by Mobile World Live, Chaobin Yang said Huawei would likely continue to use the term 4.5G to promote the technology. Huawei claims 4.5G will reduce latency from the current level of about 40ms to 10ms and provide peak speeds of 1Gb/s. As always, question marks remain though over the availability of supporting chipsets and devices.