Huawei Mobile Broadband Forum: Future Networks Showcases the Potential of the 5G Era

Last month, the GSMA Future Networks Programme attended the 8th Annual Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum at the ExCel Centre in London. The two day exhibition featured keynotes, seminars and demonstrations aimed towards more than 1,400 of the industry’s most influential executives from operators, vertical industries, standards organisations and industrial alliances.

The Forum provided a platform to showcase some of the most exciting and innovative technologies, many of which are already being trialled around the world to show how they will become a reality in the 5G Era.

Rotating CEO of Huawei, Ken Hu, opened the event on Wednesday with a keynote in which he outlined the tangible, commercial opportunities for operators and vertical organisations. One of the many innovations he believes the industry should get excited about is the “connected cash-cow”; an exciting prospect for the agricultural industry which Huawei say will be made possible by 5G connections. Mr Hu speculated that with a $10 ARPU from each animal per year, and around 1 billion cows ready to be connected, this emerging market opportunity could lead to an additional annual global revenue of $10 billion for operators.

Rotating CEO, Ken Hu, explains how connected cattle could become the next target customers for operators

Following this, GSMA’s Chief Technology Officer, Alex Sinclair, took to the stage to deliver the GSMA’s Keynote on the 5G Era, as well as taking part in the CTO roundtable later in the day.

He commented, “The Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum gives us another great opportunity to connect with the innovative work that the industry is doing to advance towards a 5G Future. The GSMA predicts that there will be 1.2 billion 5G connections by 2025. Each opportunity to discuss the 5G roadmap with industry experts, especially within such a collaborative forum, gives the GSMA invaluable insight into what operators see as the key challenges and opportunities over the next eight years.”

GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair on the mainstage at Huawei’s Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2017

Of course, many of the Keynotes and seminar sessions focused on promoting the concept that 5G Network Slicing is the crucial piece of the jigsaw to enable many of the use cases and demonstrations showcased at the event. An autonomous car demonstration was brought to life by a collaboration between Huawei’s Wireless X Labs, Vodafone UK and the University of Surrey. Through the use of a 5G Network cell, participants were able to drive a car located 50km away, demonstrating the need for extremely low latency and a highly reliable connection.

The GSMA is at the forefront of defining how Network Slicing will enable these types of customisable networks and has recently published a new paper entitled ‘An Introduction to 5G Network Slicing’. In this report, we outline how network slicing will function, and bring to life use cases to demonstrate how slicing will allow for new business models and revenues with additional network features. Download the report here.

5G Connected Car being driven autonomously around a car park more than 50km away over a 5G Network cell




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