4.5G Set To Break 1Gbps Barrier For Mobile Networks In 2016

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Huawei says 4.5G will offer faster speeds, greater capacity and lower latency than LTE, powering the IoT, virtual reality and industry apps

Huawei says it expects 4.5G, an upgraded version of LTE, to be available commercially next year, offering greater capacity, speeds in excess of 1Gbps and low latency that can support next generation mobile applications.

4.5G is described as an incremental upgrade that will be compatible with existing LTE and LTE-A deployments, similar to the way HSPA+ was to 3G. Huawei promises the rollout will “open up the gigabit mobile world,” and be able to support an ever growing number of mobile connections.

The Chinese networking giant promises that 4.5G will be able to support up to 100,000 connections per cell – 100 times that of LTE – meaning that the cellular Internet of Things (IoT) could soon be a reality. 4.5G also claims to offer latency of just 10ms compared to 4G’s 50ms, capable of supporting industry critical equipment and applications.

4.5G is coming

Huawei 4 (5)“The emergence of industry 4.0, smart factories and smart industries will require more reliable connections and shorter latencies,” Ryan Ding, CEO of Huawei’s carrier network, said at an event in London today. “4.5G is the first time a mobile network doesn’t just focus on the people. It will be the first wireless network focused on people and things. This is a big, big change.”

Of course, the 1Gbps speeds offered by 4.5G will bring consumer facing applications too. Huawei says the next generation network will offer virtual reality and 2K video applications that 4G simply isn’t capable of delivering.

“The experience of video has become the benchmark index of the network,” added Ding. “This has created great challenges for the telecoms.”

Huawei said no technical name had been developed for 4.5G yet and would allow operators to protect their existing network investments before the arrival of 5G, which is expected to be commercialised by 2020. The GSMA says it expects 5G networks to offer at least 1Gbps – although the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey has achieved 800Gbps in an extremely dense network environment – and low latency of less than 1ms.

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