Society management

5G: paving the way for a digital society

5G is probably one of the most anticipated leaps forward the country has been waiting for for many years. Ending all speculation, on December 12, Teletalk officially launches 5G network services on a trial basis in Bangladesh, and Huawei, as a technology partner, has been instrumental in making it all happen. To debug the hype around 5G, we sat down to have a chat with Kevin Xu, CTO of Huawei Bangladesh. Here is the exercise of the discussion we had:

What is 5G and how do you think 5G will affect our daily lives?

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5th generation 5G wireless network technology, compared to 4G, can offer much higher speed, better connectivity and lower latency, which opens many doors of possibilities, including massive machine-type communications. , responsiveness and fast data transfer over 1GBPS. This is beneficial for individuals, families and businesses. In addition to speed, individuals will have AR / VR which will bring a new experience in entertainment, games, etc. Families will have better connectivity with ICT devices. Fixed wireless access will play an important role in bringing higher speed by omitting the hassle of wires. For businesses, 5G means industries like ports, manufacturers, and traffic can use smart technology. As we know, 4G has changed lives, but 5G is going to change society.

5G will launch in Bangladesh on December 12. What are your thoughts on this?

There are around 700 active telecommunications operators around the world, of which around 180 have already launched 5G services. Huawei has worked with mobile operators in Bangladesh for over twenty years. We cherish the transformation from 3G to 4G in Bangladesh and we are now entering the era of 5G. We are happy to cooperate with Teletalk to launch 5G in Bangladesh. Bangladesh will be considered one of the first countries to launch 5G.

Why is the deployment of 5G so important in Bangladesh? Which sectors will benefit the most from 5G?

As we know, carbon emissions have been a hot topic for a long time. ICT represents around 1.4% of the total carbon footprint. And since ICT is fundamental to Bangladesh’s digital economy, 5G can meet the challenge of improving the ICT sector as a whole. With the introduction of 5G, we can reduce the carbon footprint by making remote work much easier.

5G can help industries reduce carbon emissions, like banks, where improved connectivity can be incorporated into smart banking. People will not need to go to the bank as they will have access to much faster and more secure banking services from their homes. Having a better internet at home means more emphasis is placed on working from home. Motor vehicles will be used less, resulting in lower carbon emissions and a smaller footprint. With 5G technology, we can also optimize the traffic light control system to transmit fast and accurate information to the control center, thus improving the traffic conditions on the main roads. Traffic has always been a big problem in Dhaka and 5G will help solve this problem as well.

Factories, especially ready-to-wear factories, which rank second in remittances in Bangladesh, 5G can find new ways to ensure better product accuracy and efficient operational management.

In addition, 5G will allow smart ports, where machines can be controlled via AI. We already have Chinese smart ports that are fully machine controlled. There, people only stay in the offices to operate the machines, which always operate with 100% accuracy. 5G will allow Bangladesh to replicate a similar efficient manufacturing system. Fast and reliable wireless connections will also improve sectors such as healthcare and general utilities and make global communication even smoother. Overall, we believe 5G has the power to reform society in a very positive way.

How can telecom brands deploy 5G with their current infrastructure?

3G or 4G, we needed specific radio transmitters in cell phones, which can provide satisfactory performance but not at the 5G level. 5G has higher speed and bandwidth, so the bandwidth capacity of the transmission fiber needs to be extended. There is also a need for more spectrum. An addition of 2.6 or 3.5 GHz to the existing frequencies will be very appropriate for the next steps. Huawei has supplied nearly 60% of the total 5G components globally and soon Bangladesh will be able to run 5G high speed as well. Over time, Bangladesh can adapt existing cases and discover new localized applications. But in between, the industry must also work for a better 4G experience.

There are currently several network infrastructure providers with 5G solutions. What gives Huawei an advantage over other competitors?

As can be seen, many companies launched their 5G networks in 2020. But our story began a long time ago. As you know, Huawei invests more than 10% of its turnover in research and innovation. We’ve been researching this technology since 2009 and until 2013 we spent almost $ 600 million on 5G research alone. And Huawei started developing 5G equipment in 2012. Over 60% of 5G patents are currently owned by Huawei.

We continue to invest in creative technologies to make our products more efficient and greener in terms of energy savings. A recent analysis indicated that Huawei is at least two years ahead of other 5G vendors.

Huawei wants to work with operators to find out how we can solve your problems and improve the efficiency of a digital society. It will take time to improve society, so we need to launch 5G as soon as possible. We can borrow and learn from other countries, but we still need time to personalize them. Many operators might want to launch 5G services ASAP, but not at the scale of our project.

As we have learned, in order to use 5G, we need 5G compatible devices. Unfortunately, the number of compatible devices is still quite low in Bangladesh. Do you think this is a red flag for the adoption of 5G in the country?

I don’t think this is a problem. When 4G was introduced, only high-end phones supported this technology. 4G didn’t start to spread until mid- and low-end phones began to embrace it, quickly becoming an industry standard. As 5G technology has just been introduced to the world, we are still working on small scale coverage such as metropolitan cities. At present, high-end phones have adopted the technology. The good part is that 5G devices are already in the market and even some companies have already launched 5G handsets in the Bangladesh market. Soon, when enough 5G infrastructure is available, wearable device companies will start implementing 5G support on affordable phones.

China’s life changed for the better after the launch of 4G. The Chinese market was booming, and the same thing happened in Bangladesh. Now, with the launch of 5G, once companies start making low-end smartphones that enable 5G connectivity, the industry will change again. With 5G, every sector, especially ICT, will help create a smarter and greener society. 5G will also help Bangladesh’s economy to thrive.

Transcribed by Arfin Kazi