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Huawei, Zain KSA Partner to Build ‘5.5G’ City in Saudi Arabia

2023-03-17 11:54:00| Source:RCRWireless

Huawei and Zain will also collaborate to develop new use cases for the IoT and private network solutions

Chinese vendor Huawei and Saudi Arabian telecommunications operator Zain KSA have recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on their “5.5G” City joint innovation project.

Under the terms of the agreement, both parties will jointly work to promote technological innovation for so-called 5.5G evolution and expand scalable offerings to individual, enterprise, and government customers.

The two companies also said they aim to build a pioneer network, which would pave the way to fulfill the national digitalization goals outlined in the Saudi Vision 2030 framework.

The collaboration will involve providing a “gigabit experience in both indoor and outdoor scenarios” through the large-scale deployment of MetaAAU and 5G carrier aggregation, as well as Huawei’s LampSite digital indoor solutions, according to the vendor.

Both parties will also work together to develop new use cases for the Internet of Things (IoT) and private network solutions.

During Mobile World Congress 2023, Huawei highlighted the main features of what it is calling 5.5G networks, the company’s term for advancements in areas like integrated sensing and communication, Level 4 autonomous driving, “all-scenario IoT” concepts and green ICT.

Huawei says that such future networks will enable a 10-fold improvement in latency, positioning accuracy and reliability. And according to the Chinese vendor, passive IoT technology will enable an increase in the number of connected things from 10 billion to 100 billion in 2030.

Huawei also explained that future 5.5G networks with sensing capability will be used extensively in scenarios like smart city road traffic services and perimeter sensing, making urban infrastructure more efficient and intelligent. “For example, in rainy or foggy weather, 5.5G networks can automatically detect obstacles or abnormalities on the road and notify drivers through the maps in their cars one kilometer in advance, making transportation safer,” the company said.

Paul Scanlan, president advisor of Huawei’s carrier business group, said during a media roundtable during MWC 2023 thatcommercially launch 5.5G networks, the technical standards should be defined and an ecosystem still needs to be developed.

According to the vendor, there are no specific spectrum bands for 5.5G, as all bands can be used for this technology. However, operators may face some challenges as the spectrum already allocated to the mobile industry is not sufficient for 5.5G, according to the company.

However, Huawei did comment that 6 GHz band will be a key band for the so-called 5.5G technology and that it has been urging telecom regulators globally to reserve this spectrum band for mobile operators.

5G Advanced, which could be considered the “halfway” point of 5G releases, will be specified by 3GPP Releases 18, 19 and 20, after which 3GPP’s work will focus on 6G, which will hit the market around 2030, according to several voices in the industry.