The reality of 5.5G technology: A game-changer in telecommunications
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The reality of 5.5G technology: A game-changer in telecommunications

The reality of 5.5G technology: A game-changer in telecommunications

Huawei and Du signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost 5G-Advanced (5G-A) technology in the UAE

Marisha Singh

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the UAE made headlines with the announcement of Du becoming the first to deploy 5.5G, also known as 5G-Advanced (5G-A), in the country.

At Hotel Porta Fira, a Du representative, took to the stage to unveil the country’s journey of 5G deployment and the potential of its evolutionary successor, 5.5G, which is the halfway point to 6G.

With the UAE emerging as a global leader in 5G technology, the Du spokesperson highlighted the pivotal role played by telecommunications providers in laying the foundation for transformative use cases and fostering collaboration to harness the full potential of advanced connectivity.

“In alignment with the visionary leadership of the UAE, telecommunications providers have propelled the nation to the forefront of the global 5G landscape,” he said. “Our relentless efforts, coupled with robust collaboration with regulatory bodies and partners like Huawei, have propelled the UAE to achieve unparalleled 5G speeds and coverage.”

The UAE’s remarkable achievements in 5G technology were underscored by statistics, with the nation ranking first globally in 5G speed, boasting an average speed exceeding 300 megabits per second. Du attributed this success to the tireless collaboration between operators and regulatory bodies, culminating in extensive 5G coverage and adoption across the nation.

“5G has emerged as a cornerstone of telecommunications infrastructure, with 98.5 per cent of the population covered by 5G and a staggering 60 per cent of traffic being driven by 5G networks,” shared the Du representative. “The exponential growth in 5G adoption underscores its pivotal role in shaping the digital landscape of the UAE.”

As the UAE embarks on the next phase of technological evolution with 5.5G powered by Huawei, the spokesperson emphasised the need for collaborative efforts to unlock the full potential of advanced connectivity.

Du presentation at MWC 2024. Image credit: Gulf Business

“In collaboration with Huawei, we are proud to unveil the first deployment of 5.5G technology, offering visitors an immersive experience and a glimpse into the future of connectivity,” he added. “Our journey towards 5.5G builds upon the foundation laid by previous advancements, with a target to achieve unprecedented speeds of 5 gigabits per second by 2024.”

Du partners with Huawei

At MWC, Huawei and Du signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost 5.5G or 5G-Advanced (5G-A) technology in the UAE.

Under the strategic cooperation, the two parties will work together to build a 5G-A experience network with full city-level coverage in Dubai based on the 5G-A commercial network in Dubai’s core CBD area and build the UAE’s “5G-A Country”.

Huawei and Du will also establish a 5G-A joint innovation center to realise 5G-A technology innovation and expand the commercialization of new services for consumers, homes and enterprises, and accelerate the incubation of 24K XR, FWA, holographic conferences and enhanced 5G private networks, among others.

Fahad AI Hassawi, CEO of Du, said, “This cooperation with Huawei is a key milestone for the commercialization of du’s 5G-A network. Huawei’s technologies will support the realisation of du’s strategic vision, play an important role in 5G-Advanced business innovation and industry digitisation and jointly accelerate and deepen digital transformation in the UAE.”

Du presentation at MWC 2024 cites Gulf Business coverage of the 5G-A villa in Dubai. Image credit: Gulf Business

5.5G in practice

During a roundtable discussion at Huawei’s pavilion, Dr Alaa Elshimy, MD and SVP, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Middle East Central Asia, shed light on the transformative potential of 5.5G and its implications for businesses worldwide.

Addressing the pivotal role of 5G technology in organisations’ ICT infrastructure, Dr Elshimy emphasised the impact of high-speed connectivity on driving efficiency and productivity.

He stated, “5.5G is now commercial, marking the beginning of a new era in telecommunications. With initial applications already underway, businesses are poised to leverage the unprecedented speed and low latency offered by this groundbreaking technology.”

Huawei’s strategic partnerships with leading telecommunications players, including Du, STC in Kuwait, and Zain in Saudi Arabia, underscore the company’s commitment to driving the adoption of 5.5G on a global scale. Dr Elshimy highlighted these collaborations as instrumental in accelerating the deployment of 5.5G and unlocking its full potential across diverse industries.

“In the journey towards 5.5G, strategic partnerships play a crucial role in driving innovation and fostering collaboration,” remarked Dr Elshimy. “Through our partnerships with industry leaders, we are paving the way for transformative advancements that redefine connectivity and empower businesses to thrive in the digital age.”

Delving into the applications of 5G technology, he explained its role in enabling advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). He elaborated on the significance of high-speed connectivity and low latency in facilitating seamless data transmission and processing, essential for AI-driven applications across industries. Higher network requirements are needed for the demands of the future generations, such as uplink ultra-broadband, real-time broadband communication, and full-scenario IoT, he added.

“5.5G technology offers unparalleled bandwidth and low latency, laying the foundation for transformative innovations across industries,” explained Dr Elshimy. “From autonomous vehicles to predictive maintenance in industrial settings, 5.5G empowers businesses to harness the full potential of advanced telecommunications.”

Highlighting the speed and capacity enhancements offered by 5.5G, he emphasised its role in revolutionising connectivity and enabling the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.

“In phase one of 5.5G implementation, speeds are projected to reach up to 10G, representing a significant leap from previous generations of telecommunications,” he stated. “As we transition from 5G to 5.5G, the focus remains on unlocking new use cases and business opportunities that drive innovation and growth.”

He emphasised the importance of creating the right use cases and business cases to maximise the benefits of these new technologies, positioning Huawei as a leading player in the global telecommunications landscape.


5.5G is the next level in the current 5G network, said Xu Wenwi, director of Huawei and head of the Institute for Strategic Research.
An advanced 5G-inspired network that should support all 5G devices. For example, the speed has reached 10 Gbps (the current speed of 5G networks is about 5 to 6 Gbps).

These networks are available at frequencies below 100 GHz and have much less latency.

It is said that in a 5.5G network and at Gigabit download speeds, the maximum delay will be 5 milliseconds. Coverage and antenna of 5G networks will be strengthened and more capacities will be provided to connect hundreds of devices simultaneously to a mobile antenna.

Huawei has said it wants to develop 5.5G networks in six core areas:

1- Spectrum reconstruction

2- Increase Uplink

3- Complete IoT scenario

4- Synesthesia

5- Independent driving network L4

6- Green and low carbon technology

Read: Huawei looks to entrench wearable dominance at MWC 2024

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