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Huawei, Unicom deepen 5G alliance

By MA SI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-05-19 07:57

Shoppers try Huawei smartphones at a shop in Changzhou, Jiangsu province. [Photo by WANG QIMING/FOR CHINA DAILY]

China Unicom, a leading Chinese telecom operator, is deepening its partnership with Huawei Technologies Co by jointly unveiling a 5G evolution technology plan for the next five years.

Ma Hongbing, general manager of the technology innovation department at China Unicom, said 5G is set to promote the transformation of a smart society. Facing business demand for the next five years, there is a need to unveil a 5G evolution technology plan, 5G-Advanced technologies, for the next five years.

China Unicom and Huawei have identified three new industry tracks in the future, and proposed three major 5G-Advanced technologies, including intelligent new vision for XR virtual interaction; and smart super sensing for new industries such as high-precision positioning, internet of vehicles, drones and smart driving, Ma said.

XR technology is an umbrella category that covers various forms of computer-altered reality, including augmented, virtual and mixed reality.

Ding Yun, president of Huawei's carrier business group, said China has already built the largest 5G network in the world, and the tech will help foster high-quality development.

In the future, 5G application scenarios will become more diversified, and wireless technology itself needs to evolve constantly, so as to have new capabilities to achieve intelligent connection of all things, Ding said.

The two companies are also working on a 5G Capital innovation project, which is part of their broader efforts to make Beijing a global benchmark for 5G applications.

China Unicom Beijing and Huawei have unveiled a 5G indoor ubiquitous gigabit network in the National Stadium, providing the infrastructure required to scale up smart applications, such as AR services in large stadiums.

Nicknamed the Bird's Nest, the National Stadium, for instance, is a 91,000-capacity comprehensive venue covering 258,000 square meters in Beijing. Large open areas with a high density of mobile users such as these represent a typical heavy-load scenario of mobile networks, Huawei said.

Large simultaneous sharing of images and videos and video calls over 5G networks during major events create a tremendous capacity demand. At the same time, increasingly popular AR technology enables users to enjoy more diverse content and services through their mobile phones and smart glasses while interacting with their surrounding environment for enhanced immersion, further raising the requirements on network experience, Huawei said, adding that the two companies are working together to solve such problems.

The deepened cooperation came after China Unicom reported a 21.2-percent year-on-year surge in net profit in the first quarter amid efforts to push digital transformation and high-quality growth.

Net profit attributable to the parent company exceeded 1.69 billion yuan ($260.7 million), China Unicom said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Business revenue rose 8.2 percent to 73.92 billion yuan in the reporting period, it said. The company's 5G users increased by 21.02 million during the first quarter, bringing the total number to 91.85 million.

Wang Zhiqin, deputy head of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank, said: "China is likely to achieve several breakthroughs in 5G technology evolution, network construction and applications over the next five years."

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