Global 5G Network Expansion Accelerates, China Leads with 5.5G 

(5G) telecommunications networks rapid deployment rates across the globe towards the next frontier with development of 5.5G technology.  

As fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications networks achieve rapid deployment rates across the globe, notably in populous countries like Brazil, India, and Malaysia, China is advancing towards the next frontier with the development of 5.5G technology.  

According to a recent Ookla report, 2023 saw a 17% increase in average 5G data download speeds worldwide, reaching 207.42 megabits per second, while upload speeds saw a modest 1% rise to 19.90 megabits per second. Latency rates have stabilized at an average of 44 milliseconds, maintaining a consistent user experience across the global 5G landscape. 

China Develops 5.5G 

China is leading the progression to 5.5G in a collaborative endeavor with Huawei Technologies and China Unicom.  

This initiative is not just about enhancing network speeds but also about enabling large-scale smart manufacturing ecosystems. The South China Morning Post reports that such advancements are poised to catalyze a substantial industrial transformation. 

The international standards body 3GPP laid down the communication standards for 5.5G networks in 2021, with the comprehensive “Release 18” standards expected to be finalized in the first half of the upcoming year. Song Shao Di, from Huawei’s carrier network business group, highlighted the imperative for global suppliers to align their products with the forthcoming 5.5G standards, anticipating significant upgrades in network capabilities. 

5.5G promises to deliver data transfer speeds up to 10 gigabits per second, dwarfing the 1 gigabit per second peak of current 5G networks. This leap forward is anticipated to drastically reduce data transfer latency and enhance Internet of Things (IoT) performance, thereby optimizing industrial and manufacturing processes. 

The Big Apple Efforts for 5G 

In parallel, Apple, despite not having developed its 5G modem chip, is proactively seeking expertise for future 6G technology. A Bloomberg report revealed Apple’s recruitment efforts for a specialist engineer to spearhead the development of cellular platform chips, focusing on 6G chip architecture.  

This move emphasizes Apple’s commitment to laying the groundwork for the next generation of mobile services, continuing its search for 6G-related talent initiated in 2021. 

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