Slowly but surely, 5G is coming. In Singapore, Singtel and Ericsson will launch by the country’s first 5G pilot network at one-north in Q4.
While the world waits in anticipation for its arrival, 5G has been identified as vital for autonomous vehicle connectivity.
ZTE has hit a massive roadblock that has resulted in the cessation of its business operations. China’s number 2 telecom equipment maker was hit by the US’s seven-year blockade to vital components needed for its devices.
Singapore will be focusing on four technology areas to build the foundation for its digital transformation. These are artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, cybersecurity, immersive media, and Internet of Things and future communications infrastructure.
At the opening of Infocomm Media Business Exchange at Marina Bay Sands Singapore Convention Centre, Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim noted that “they are exciting fields with bright prospects in their own right, and they have great potential to transform other industries and enhance people’s lives”.
Artificial Intelligence and Data Science
The nation has established AI.SG, a national programme with funding of up to S$150 million to boost Singapore’s AI capabilities.
China Telecom Beijing Research Institute and ZTE have inked a strategic agreement to develop cutting edge technologies including SDN/NFV, 4G+/5G and IoT related.
They will work closely and share resources to develop better network technologies that will support China Telecom’s network construction and service reconstruction. The collaboration will also benefit the industry by bringing more advanced, cutting-edge technologies and innovations to market.
“As we enter the artificial intelligence era, operators are expected to provide a full range of network solutions. Through this partnership, we will be able to significantly advance SDN/NFV, 4G+/5G, cloud computing and big data technologies in the coming years. I believe the new technologies will become a reality through pilot deployments”, said Zhang Chengliang, Vice President of China Telecom Beijing Research Institute.
ZTE has opened a new research and development (R&D) center in Tokyo to focus on the development of 5G and other next-generation network technologies.
The new R&D centre will support ZTE’s partnerships with operators and academic institutions in Japan on the deployment of ZTE’s proprietary pre-5G technology and ongoing research on 4G and 5G mobile communications. This is ZTE’s 20th R&D centre in Asia, North America and Europe.
In July, ZTE signed a memorandum of understanding with SoftBank Corp to collaborate on R&D on pre-5G mobile communications networks technology. Under the MOU, ZTE and SoftBank agreed to cooperate on R&D, evaluation and verification of mobile communications solutions based on ZTE’s pre-5G technology, including massive MIMO (multiple input multiple output).
Pre5G will become available much earlier than 5G, according to ZTE at a high-level international meeting of experts and industry officials to discuss global development of 5G technology.
In an address to the International Workshop on 5G-ICT Technologies conference in Beijing, Xiang Jiying, Chief Technology Officer of Wireless Products of ZTE, said pre5G will deliver user experience comparable to 5G, offering high throughput and low latency. Pre5G will utilise some key 5G technologies, while being provisioned on existing 4G UE (user equipment).
“Even though the industry is still working on 5G standardisation, we already have a lot of clarity on 5G user experience and the 5G candidate technologies. Therefore, pre5G can be defined and implemented even before 5G becomes standardised,” he said.
With a highly-connected world where fast Internet access is vital, ZTE has pushed the envelope a little further with its pre-5G concept shared at LTE World Summit 2014 in Nice, France.
It has announced that under certain conditions, some 5G technologies can provide a 5G-like user experience on 4G terminals without changing the air interface standards.
“With next-generation 5G technologies being deployed in 2020, there were industry concerns over what technologies will be used in the next six years. To address this, ZTE proposes to apply some of the 5G technology on top of 4G to meet users’ requirements,” said Dr Xiang Jiying, CTO of wireless products at ZTE.