Hu Houkun, rotating chairman of Huawei, spoke at Huawei's 12th annual Global Mobile Broadband Forum. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Huawei Technologies Co called on the global information and communications technology industry to work together on the next stage of 5G development, after the technology has witnessed five years of commercial deployment.
Hu Houkun, rotating chairman of Huawei, said "5G has provided a considerable upgrade in mobile experiences for consumers, and it's already starting to empower different industries around the globe."
"Progress was much faster than we expected, especially in terms of subscriber base, network coverage, and the sheer number of 5G terminals on the market," Hu said at Huawei's 12th annual Global Mobile Broadband Forum, which kicked off in Dubai on Wednesday.
There are currently 176 commercial 5G networks around the globe, serving more than 500 million subscribers. In the consumer market, average 5G download speeds are roughly 10 times greater than 4G, which has fueled broader adoption of applications like virtual reality and 360-degree broadcasting.
In the enterprise market, there are already 10,000 projects exploring business-to-business applications of 5G around the world. 5G applications in industries like manufacturing, mining and ports have already passed trial and are being replicated at scale, according to Huawei.
While progress has been steady, Hu said there are still some areas for improvement. "Right now more than half of these 10,000 5G to B (5G to business) projects are in China. We have a huge number of use cases already, but we need to build more sustainable business cases."
He went on to speak of broader changes that will have a long-term impact on the ICT industry, including accelerated digital transformation caused by the pandemic, how cloud and AI have become must-have technologies for all organizations, and how the world is taking climate change more seriously. "These trends provide many opportunities for our industry," he said. "But they also create some challenges. There are a few things we can do to get ready."
Hu outlined three areas of opportunity that will drive the next stage of 5G's growth, including extended reality services, the business-to-business market, and low-carbon development.
According to the World Economic Forum, by 2030 digital technology can help reduce global carbon emissions by at least 15 percent.
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