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Huawei Launches Apollo Version — World's First Commercial 5.5G Version Based on Release 18

Jul 05, 2024

[Istanbul, Türkiye, July 5, 2024] During the 2024 Huawei User Group Meeting (HUGM), Sun Rui, President of Huawei Wireless Solution R&D, launched the Apollo version — the world's first commercial 5.5G version based on 3GPP Release 18. As the first global standard for 5.5G networks, Release 18 is widely expected to be the critical catalyst that will enable new value and services. Huawei Apollo version embodies the latest technology standards of Release 18 to spur the efficient evolution of 5G and push the frontiers of 5.5G capabilities, helping operators bridge the gap from 5G excellence to 5.5G leadership.


Sun Rui, President of Huawei Wireless Solution R&D, unveiling the Apollo version

5G has entered a new stage of high-speed development, driving all-band evolution to 5G. In June of this year, Release 18, the first set of standards developed for 5.5G by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), was finalized, making 2024 the first year of commercial 5.5G deployment. More than 60 operators and partners have unveiled their plans to commercialize 5.5G (also called 5G Advanced). In this context, Huawei has launched the Apollo version to facilitate the all-band evolution to 5G and scale up the commercial use of 5.5G.

The Apollo version introduces intelligence to multi-band coordination, beam management, and energy saving, accelerating efficient all-band transition to 5G. The intelligent multi-band coordination leverages intelligent carrier frequency selection and aggregation to unlock the potential of multi-band networks, increasing uplink and downlink speeds by up to 30% across diverse service scenarios. In multi-antenna cases, the intelligent beam management combines software and hardware innovations to maximize the potential of TDD's high bandwidth and Massive MIMO, enabling networks to provide stronger capabilities and further increase speeds by 20%. The RAN Digital Twin System has been implemented for the first time to enable multi-objective decision making, helping improve energy efficiency while ensuring premium experience.

The Apollo version extends the boundary on three fronts to enable new experience, energy efficiency, and capabilities, injecting new vitality into commercial 5.5G. Apollo supports spectrum pooling, allowing for a 40% higher spectral efficiency than traditional band division and carrier frequency configuration practices. When 5G began to be adopted at scale, operators witnessed a multifold increase in the peak-to-average traffic ratio, and Huawei responded with a pioneering "0 Bit 0 Watt" concept that promised to significantly reduce network energy consumption. Apollo brings this concept into reality for the first time, setting the bar for energy efficiency benchmarks in 5.5G. Moreover, Apollo improves fixed slicing with speed-adaptive dynamic slicing to ensure the new capabilities that support deterministic uplink speeds at fixed positions.

Apollo incorporates several solutions that won GSMA GLOMO awards at MWC Barcelona 2024. For example, the RAN Digital Twin System won Best Network Software Breakthrough, and the "0 Bit 0 Watt" solution won Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough.

"As the world's first commercial version based on 3GPP Release 18, Apollo marks the arrival of 5.5G for Huawei's RAN solutions," concluded Sun. "We believe this is a milestone that will better position operators to push 5G development, accelerate 5.5G commercialization, and explore new business opportunities."

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