How fast is 5G growing?
By the time you read this blog in early 2021, there will be 1 million 5G base stations operating in China, according to analyst estimates. That is nearly 8 times the number at this time in 2019, but only half the number anticipated when 2022 rolls around.
5G phone connections in China, meanwhile, are expected to grow from 130 million, or 70% of the world’s total, to 807 million by 2025 while 5G will also capture a large part of the over 8 billion IoT connections in place by then.
The market perspective helps underscore our excitement at Arm to be collaborating with Lenovo on 5G infrastructure technology. A global leader in servers, notebooks, storage and, other IT technology, Lenovo has also been a pioneer in developing the software, standards and, technology needed to bring 5G—along with applications like immersive videoconferencing, AR, and IIoT that will rely on it—to life.
Last month, Lenovo announced that it built its FutureCore 5G Core Network server around an Arm-based CPU designed in China. The FutureCore servers, when paired with Lenovo's 5G cloud base station products, form a 5G cloud network solution based on the Arm platform from the base station to the core network. With Arm-based silicon inside Lenovo 5G core (5GC), centralized units (CU), distributed units (DU), remote radio units (RRU), and RRU hubs, Arm technology can now be found across Lenovo’s 5G infrastructure product portfolio.
“5G embraces and accelerates convergence of cloud computing and wireless communications, in terms of both technology and business models,” said Dr. Tong Li, distinguished researcher of Lenovo Group, and executive director of Lenovo’s Converged Network Business Unit. “Lenovo is committed to establishing standards, developing technologies, and creating alliances to ensure that the vision for 5G can be realized. Arm’s expertise in helping partners achieve high levels of performance in an energy-efficient manner across a broad range of systems serve a vital role.”
5G Smart Campus Solution - Lenovo Headquarters
Along with advancing technology, Lenovo has been working extensively with leading carriers to develop the business models and best practices for rolling out equipment and new services. The techniques honed for reducing average and peak energy consumption at base stations, boosting reliability and delivering services to rural communities in an economical manner with cooperative agreements in early deployments today will ultimately serve as a blueprint for the rest of the world.
As part of this effort, Lenovo and Arm are actively engaged in industry standard bodies such as O-RAN Alliance and Open Cloud Small Cell Alliance that seek to accelerate innovation through open standards for the radio access portion of 5G networks. Over 40 new technical specifications have been published this year and a growing number of trials are underway.
Lenovo has also been experimenting with 5G in its own facilities. In offices, that means smarter personnel, facility and energy-efficiency management through AI, computer vision, and edge computing. In manufacturing, 5G is being deployed as a way to leverage computer vision, AR/VR and real-time analytics for quality control, predictive maintenance, and process visualization.
As adoption grows, people and businesses are more clearly seeing how the speed and bandwidth of 5G, along with features like network slicing, fundamentally change what we can accomplish. We are at the start of what is a very fascinating journey and we are incredibly proud to be able to collaborate with Lenovo.
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