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Mr. Zhengjun Zhang, Director of Huawei APAC Public Relations Department has called for the orderly provision of the 5G spectrum for a sustainable ICT industry and harmonious ecosystem. The world is rapidly adopting the next-gen mobile technology. Therefore, it is becoming more vital each day to consciously guide mobile communications standard and keep it in sync with the evolving ecosystem.
5G technologies will unite advanced digital technologies like edge computing, cloud computing, IoT, AT, Big Data, etc. All these will inspire the upcoming digital transformation of the economy and society.
The commercial development of 5G will massively affect global digitalization. GSMA’s Mobile Economy report shows 5G contributing $961 billion to global GDP in 2030. Already by the first quarter of 2022, over 80 countries have commercially rolled out 5G. It comprises 2 million base stations and serves 700 million subscribers.
The 5G adoption rate is pacing up and 2022 will be a crucial year of its development. It is already making breakthroughs in the APAC region. South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Maldives, and Bangladesh are deploying 5G in their major cities at least. Meanwhile, Thailand has reached 77% of population coverage on 5G by 2021. At the beginning of 2022, 5G subscribers in Asia-Pacific reach 54 million.
GSMA predicts 5G subscribers in Asia-Pacific will exceed 14% by 2025 and 40% in pioneer markets. Besides, countries have explored 5G to enable digital transformation in thousand of industries, including smart healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, ports, and smart cities. This indicates that 5G is blooming in the APAC region.
But Mrs. Zhang sees challenges of G spectrum shortage. He points out that “golden frequency bands” for 5G, including 3.5 GHz, 2.6 GHz, and 700 MHz are used by other technologies such as satellites, television, etc. So he says “accelerating the orderly provision of the 5G spectrum is the key to building a sustainable regional ICT industry environment and harmonious ecosystem”.
ITU estimates Data of USage will exceed 39 GB per month in 2025 and 250 GB in 2030. The current monthly MBB data traffic in APAC, particularly in ASEAN already exceeds 20GB. It has reached 30 GB in Laos, and Cambodia. Mr. Zhang believes huge data demand will come to the APAC earlier than in other regions.
5G, he says is preferred to address the challenge, And calls spectrum the key to this technology. GSMA assesses each country needs to reserve a 2000 MHz mid-band (1–10 GHz) spectrum on average in the next 10 years to provide seamlessly, and affordable 5G services.
Currently, the mid-band spectrum is used by mobile operators at less than 1000 MHz in most countries. Indonesia uses 360 MHz, and Thailand uses 450 MHz. Likewise, Cambodia uses 464 MHz, and Sri Lanka uses 505 MHz frequencies for mobile services. Therefore, the mid-band spectrum of 3.5, 2.6, 2.3, and 4.9 GHz need to be considered and provided orderly to meet the increasing data requirements in various countries.
In addition, inter-industry coordination, and frequency clearance and migration also need to be made in advance. On March 31, 2022, Bangladesh completed the auction of 190 MHz 5G spectrum on the 2.6 and 2.3 GHz frequency bands. It supports the refarming of continuous large bandwidth and reduces the unit price per MHz by 58% compared with that of 4G. It also extends the deferred payment period from 5 years to 10 years. The series of incentive measures have created a favorable policy environment for the rapid development of 5G.
Besides the mid-band, the 700 MHz low band is also an ideal 5G frequency band. It is very useful in countries Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, etc. It can also provide 4G plus 5G dual services simultaneously via one network with dynamic spectrum sharing technology. The low band is thus the key coverage band to bring universal mobile broadband services. And importantly, it can help bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas.
Overall, the full release of 5G’s impact on the economy and society depends on the vigorous development of 5G technologies and applications. To achieve this goal, under the guidance of the government, telecom operators, suppliers, academics, content providers, and industries are gradually converging, communicating user requirements, and exploring unified, coordinated, high-performance, and energy-efficient 5G products and service models.
Mr. Zhang believes that the next five years will be critical for the development of the 5G industry in the APAC region. The whole industry will need to work together to implement and build a sustainable and harmonious ecosystem in the region. For you: Huawei Launches 2nd Seeds for the Future Program in Nepal
3.5 GHz, 2.6 GHz, 2.3 GHz, and 4.9 GHz are the world’s preferred and mature 5G prime mid-bands. They provide a total of 800 MHz bandwidth for the initial stage of 5G development. On this basis, it’s a need to find and reserve the next spectrum band for long-term service development in the next 5 to 10 years to meet the total requirement of 2000 MHz in mid-bands. At the 8th Asia-Pacific Spectrum Conference in April 2022, regulators from China, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Germany, Finland, and other industry organizations such as GSMA reached that consensus.
6 GHz is the last and only choice that can reach the “2 GHz mid-and bandwidth in each country”. 6 GHz for IMT has won a wide consensus in the industry. ITU, GSMA, GTI, and 3GPP actively promote 6 GHz IMT research. Leading international operators, such as Vodafone Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, China Mobile, and Axiata, support 6 GHz for IMT as a global harmonized spectrum strategy.
In the Asia Pacific region, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, and Singapore are actively participating in the study and identification of 6 GHz IMT under the ITU WRC-23 framework. Huawei believes that 6 GHz will become the key band for 5G and 5.5G (5G advanced) development in the Asia Pacific region. Huawei is willing to support the research and testing of 6 GHz IMT as global standards by governments, operators, and industry organizations in the region. This will promote the entire industry to integrate standards and boost ecosystems, layout the future ahead of time, and move toward a new digital and intelligent world.
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