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2020, the year for 5G stand alone networks

2020 is a landmark year for 5G stand alone (SA) networking, particularly given the impact of edge computing, artificial intelligence and enterprise networks.

This is according to Liu Hong, Head of Technology of GSMA Greater China, who presented at the GSMA Thrive virtual event hosted this week, along with executive leaders from ZTE Corporation and industry partners including China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Ooredoo, GSMA and Tencent.

With the theme of “Opening a New Era of Industry”, participants have conducted in-depth discussion on the industry’s viral topics, such as 5G SA network construction, 5G ecosystem, new 5G infrastructure construction and 5G industry innovation.

ZTE’s Senior Vice President, Zhang Jianpeng, pointed out that 5G SA provides operators with a large number of opportunities for the integrated development of B2C and B2B in the new era while posing various challenges. As a firm advocate and promoter of 5G SA, ZTE, underpinned with a mature end-to-end SA solution, has carried out a series of deployments and verification with various partners.

The company reiterated that it is no longer a question of ‘if’ but rather ‘when’ 5G will become main-stream globally.

Today 80% of 5G application is supposed to be in IOT and last mile connectivity scenarios, and in the first quarter of 2020,. 62 operators launched 5G in 32 markets. Another 89 operators announced plans.By 2025 5G connections will reach 1.7 billion.

The message from the virtual event is that the destiny of 5G is a general purpose tech to empower various verticals and the world is now stepping into an era of 5G SA.

Hans Neff, CTO Group Director of ZTE, believes that 5G SA ecosystem has supported large-scale deployments. ZTE expects to help global operators explore the full potentiality of 5G by virtue of its cutting-edge 5G SA products and extensive experience in network construction.

Hong said the pace of 5G development will not stop, instead, it will become more firm. The initiation of 5G SA will also become an important milestone in the process of 5G development.

The GSMA believes this technology will play an increasingly important role as new use cases call for a more centralised approach, and businesses will look to leverage the strengths of 5G SA, including lower latency, enhanced security, improved openness, flexible network function orchestration, lower power consumption, more accurate positioning, easier to integrate intelligence, better redundancy/reliability/robustness.

According to the organisation, by 2025, mobile operators in Sub-Saharan Africa will invest US$60-billion in their networks, almost a fifth will be on 5G.

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