5.5G Core: Enabling All Services and Moving Towards an Intelligent World

5.5G Core: Enabling All Services and Moving Towards an Intelligent World

As 5G development gains momentum and 5G networks scale up, 5G technologies have been widely used, unlocking tremendous business value. In the consumer market, 5G technologies have significantly improved user experience and altered user habits.

As for industries, 5G provides new approaches to deploy private networks. In China, more than 6000 5G virtual private networks have been deployed by operators, serving over 40 industries. It is safe to say that 5G has entered into a virtuous business cycle. At the same time, the popularization of 5G has stimulated innovation, bringing about new scenarios, contents, and applications. This, in turn, poses more and higher requirements on 5G networks, pushing the core network to transition from 5G to 5.5G.

Huawei is the first in the industry to propose the concept of 5.5G Core, with the aim to comprehensively enhance network connectivity and enable all services. Based on this, Huawei will explore new business, create new value, and move towards an intelligent world together with industry partners.

In terms of calling services, voice calling cannot meet people's communication expectations anymore. Instead, they pursue more diversified calling methods, such as video calling and interactive calling. To cope with this trend, New Calling is developed. By enhancing mobile networks' native calling capabilities, New Calling transitions the conventional voice and video calling to intelligent and interactive calling, taking calling experience to new heights.

To align with industry maturity, the New Calling capabilities are strengthened step by step. In the first phase, New Calling adds the intelligence techniques, such as image recognition, media rendering, and language translation, to calling. In this way, users can use functions such as background replacement, AR virtual avatar, and real-time translation during video calls, without replacing their terminals. These functions directly improve individuals' calling experience. In the second phase, New Calling introduces the interaction capability to enable services such as remote guidance and interactive menu, and terminals must support Data Channel (DC) technology. A typical application is remote vehicle damage assessment, which allows assessment personnel to evaluate damages through a mere video call. This greatly improves the operation efficiency.

For industries, the MEC-based 5G industry private network can be deployed on demand and has become an industry infrastructure. As numerous enterprises are competing to be as intelligent as possible, various requirements arise for 5G industry private networks in this process. This helps to expand MEC's application from a limited scenario at a site to all scenarios anywhere with an ultra-distributed, fully connected network architecture and enhanced connectivity. In this way, ubiquitous private network access is achieved.

Considering that mobile office is increasingly popular, an innovative solution — Mobile VPN — is launched to connect enterprise private networks scattered in a wide area. With this solution, users can access such networks in a reliable and fast approach when they are off campus, such as in another network domain. Therefore, campus, finance, and enterprise private network users can access private networks anytime, anywhere for working digitally.

Meanwhile, an industry usually involves diverse service scenarios. Take coal mining as an example. As conventional private networks are not interconnected with public networks, communication devices used underground cannot be used to directly call generic 5G users aboveground, severely affecting the mining efficiency and threatening personnel security. To address this issue, a "One Number Converged Network" enables both data and voice services while interconnecting with the public network. People do not need to change their cards or numbers. This network fulfils real-time audio and video communications between personnel underground, between personnel underground and aboveground, and between public and private networks. As such, the suspension and waiting time is greatly reduced and the mining security is significantly improved.

For industrial manufacturing scenarios, MEC deployment is as close as possible to the production plants, fields, and lines. 5G LAN and UPF hot backup redundancy are adopted to enhance connectivity. The private network with Layer-2 communication capabilities simplifies the networking and ensures ultra-low latency and industrial-level reliability, efficiently empowering auxiliary production procedures and flexible production.

As for the video service sector, mobile network technologies are a powerful driver for change and innovation in video technologies, opening new directions, models, and opportunities in the video industry. As technologies develop, video service experience will upgrade from single-screen entertainment to multi-screen and social interactive engagement.

Today, video services are finding more place on not just TVs, but also on mobile terminals like smart phones and tablets. For these diverse video display devices, operators need to provide unified video services, and enable mobile access anytime and anywhere. Moreover, with immersive video technologies coming out, such as free viewpoint, multi-viewpoint, and 3D, spatial videos are taking over flat videos. Facing this trend, new media processing technologies like intelligent media identification and scheduling, intelligent transcoding, intelligent stitching, and multi-stream synchronization, are ideal choices for operators to equip their video platforms, so as to deliver optimal multi-DoF spatial video experiences.

As video and communication platforms further converge, video services will transition from traditional entertainment to social interactions. Families or friends can watch videos online together and interact with each other in real time. This will facilitate operators' promotion of their video services.

In light of network infrastructure, cloud technology will evolve from VMs to containers, coupled with the complex adaptation of multiple management planes and virtualization engines. On top of that, new virtualization technologies and hardware will bring great impacts on network evolution. As for the architecture, 5.5G Core needs to focus its attention on Telco Converged Cloud that allows co-deployment of VMs and containers, as well as the CNFs featuring carrier-grade high reliability and performance and easy O&M. As networks become even more complex, legacy O&M faces great challenges. With new technologies coming along, O&M will shift from manual operations to autonomous driving networks.

At MWC23, which will run from February 27 to March 2 in Barcelona, Spain, Huawei will further elaborate on 5.5G Core, and release innovative products and solutions. Focusing on New Calling, New Video, and MEC to X, Huawei will invest more on service innovation and collaborate more with industry partners. Together, we will open up a new business landscape in the 5.5G era.

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