Meet Counterpoint at Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2023

Counterpoint Research is attending Global MBB Forum on 10th and 11th October 2023

Our Research Vice Presidents, Neil Shah and Peter Richardson will be attending the Global MBB Forum 2023 at Dubai, UAE. You can schedule a meeting with them to discuss the latest trends in the technology, media and telecommunication sector and understand how our leading research and services can help your business.

When: 10th & 11th October 2023

Where: Dubai, UAE

About the event:

The 14th Global Mobile Broadband Forum, hosted by Huawei in cooperation with GSMA, GTI, and the SAMENA Telecommunications Council, this year will provide an exciting opportunity for players in the mobile and adjacent vertical ecosystems to explore 5G business success, promote ecosystem maturity, and accelerate 5.5G commercialization.

With a strong speaker lineup and innovative product launches, the mobile industry is meeting once again to explore how mobile broadband technology is shaping the future and continuing the transformation of people’s lives and industries.

Click here (or send us an email at to schedule a meeting with them. 

Read more about Huawei’s Global MBB Forum 2023.

5G Advanced – Stakeholder Collaboration Essential To Maximise ROI For Operators

With more than 230 5G networks deployed worldwide serving 1+ billion end user devices, 5G has become the fastest-growing cellular standard of all time. However, there is an urgent need to prepare for the future to enable operators and enterprises to leverage its full capabilities. 5G Advanced (5.5G) is the next evolutionary step in 5G technology which will introduce new levels of capabilities, enabling operators to generate a return on their 5G investments.

The “10 Gbps Everywhere” Experience

Compared to conventional 5G, 5.5G represents a 10-fold improvement in performance across the board. This means that 5.5G networks will be able to provide ubiquitous 10 Gbps downlink and 1 Gbps uplink speeds while supporting 100 billion IoT connections – compared to just 10 billion with 5G. In addition, 5.5G is expected to deliver latency and positioning accuracy that are a fraction of the current 5G standard as well as significant reductions in overall network power consumption.

5.5G will provide enhanced connectivity and better user experiences. By leveraging the 10 Gbps downlink throughput and low milli-second latency, 5.5G will bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds. Although 5G already provides some immersive services, 5.5G will enable interactive immersive services, such as 24k resolution VR gaming, glasses-free 3D video and 3D online malls.

Benefits for Enterprises

In addition to enhanced connectivity, 5.5G will offer a broad range of new capabilities for enterprises. Counterpoint Research expects a surge in new private network applications as networks are able to leverage the technical innovations enabled by 5.5G. For instance, enterprises will benefit greatly from the 1 Gbps uplink capability, enabling, for example, high-precision AI-based industrial vision inspection, while enhanced positioning with sub-10cm accuracy – both indoors and outdoors – will enable a plethora of new Industry 4.0 applications.

In addition, 5.5G will support three rapidly developing IoT technologies: NB IoT, RedCap and passive IoT tags, an innovative, low cost location sensing technology. A promising application of passive IoT tags is HCS-based Millimetre Wave[1] technology, an integrated sensing and communications technology, which enables centimetre precise positioning of objects, including pedestrians and personal items, livestock, autonomous vehicles, drones, etc. On the network side, enhanced AI/ML capabilities across the RAN, core and network management domains plus new power saving features will result in significant energy savings for operators.

Standards and Spectrum

Technical standards are the bedrock of the telecommunications industry and it is imperative that common standards are adopted worldwide. The standardization of 5.5G via 3GPP Release 18 is on-going. However, the industry must work together to ensure that Release 18 is frozen by the first quarter of 2024 as planned to enable 5.5G to be introduced from 2025 onwards.

Release 18 will be followed by Releases 19 and 20 after which the 3GPP will focus on 6G. Clearly, industry players need to collaborate closely over the next few years in order to define and maximise the technical innovations and capabilities of 5.5G and to ensure new services and use case scenarios are properly supported. This will help to maximise the potential of 5.5G for operators and extend its lifecycle.

Additional spectrum will be required to enable 5.5G to deliver its full potential. Re-farming of legacy 2G and 3G bands will free some lower band spectrum. However, this is not sufficient. More spectrum in the 6GHz and millimetre bands is necessary. With the WRC-23 radio conference taking place in November, it is essential that all stakeholders, including governments and regulators as well as operators and vendors, agree on the best spectrum strategy. Clearly, the 6GHz band should be a key 5.5G target band for the industry. In fact, the 3GPP has already licensed the 6,425-7,125MHz bands and Counterpoint Research expects that the upper part of this band will be identified as an IMT band at WRC-23. Millimetre wave is another key spectrum band for 5.5G and more than 800MHz additional millimetre wave spectrum will likely be needed to enable operators to deliver the 10 Gbps experience.

Networks and Devices

Networks and devices will need to be upgraded to enable 5G Advanced and this will involve further innovation with respect to 5.5G chipset technologies and devices.

5.5G will introduce a plethora of new devices with new capabilities beyond smartphones. Some of these will be full-capability devices while others will have reduced capabilities. For example, Red Cap devices only need to support a shortened set of specific capabilities, for example, video surveillance devices used for industrial quality control, process monitoring, sensing or tracking. However, all players, including chipset and device OEMs, must start working immediately to define the digital requirements for individual vertical use cases and applications in order to ensure that an ecosystem of suppliers is developed.

A significant recent development is the release of millimetre chipsets. For example, Qualcomm recently demonstrated its 5.5G Snapdragon chip, which offers 10 Gbps speed with 10CC carrier aggregation on millimetre wave and 5CC carrier aggregation on sub-6GHz frequencies. Similarly, MediaTek’s chipset offers downlink and uplink speeds of 7.67 Gbps and 3.76 Gbps respectively.

Upgrading Fibre to 5G Advanced

Achieving the “10 Gbps Everywhere” experience” will involve upgrading standards for fixed fibre broadband as well as for 5G RAN and Core. In fact, the evolution of Fibre Broadband 5G (F5G) to all-optical F5.5G has already progressed from proposals to specification design.

Performance improvements in fibre networks will be achieved by agreements on the use of key technologies such as 50G Passive Optical Network (PON) technology, Fibre to the Room (FTTR), etc. 50G PON is being standardized as the next-generation PON by the ITU-T. Together with technologies such as “uplink/downlink symmetry” and “multi-band in one,” this will pave the way for a smooth evolution to F5.5G. Last September, ETSI released its F5G Advanced White Paper and the standards body has been leading the formulation of F5.5G’s first release, Release 3, which will be frozen in first half of 2024.

The development of 5.5G and F5.5G will require a converged fixed/wireless IP network. Work on the definition of a new converged network – tentatively called Net5.5G – has already begun. Both the IETF and the IEEE are working on the first phase of Net5.5G standardization, but consensus is still needed on fixed/wireless bearer technologies such as 800GE backbone, 400GE MAN, etc. as well as on key aspects of other technologies such as WiFi-7, Segment Routing over IPv6 (SRv6), etc. before the new standard is released in 2024. With new capabilities, Net5.5G will enable operators maximise the potential of 5.5G and provide new opportunities for growth.


The increasing popularity of immersive experiences and the emergence of the metaverse coupled with the demands of enterprise digital transformation mean that 5G networks will soon be unable to support the expected exponential growth in traffic. With 6G around 8-12 years away, 5.5G is the next obvious evolution of 5G and next-generation consumer and B2B opportunities will only be possible if operators and enterprises upgrade to 5.5G.

However, a successful and timely upgrade to 5.5G will require all industry stakeholders – from technical standards bodies, operators, network and device manufacturers to policy developers and regulators – to work closely together and collaborate on key 5.5G enablers, including standards, spectrum, networks and device specifications, etc. Major MNOs will be required to pilot new 5.5G technologies and build business cases.  In addition, Counterpoint Research believes that an industry consensus on the digital requirements of new use cases needs to be developed, particularly with respect to enterprise vertical uses cases, as well as a focus on developing a diverse ecosystem of players encompassing all verticals. Finally, closer collaboration between the mobile and fixed telecoms communities will be essential in order to ensure synchronization of standards between wireless and fixed networks.


[1] Harmonized Communications Sensing

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MWC 2023 Day 2: TECNO Phantom V Fold, realme GT3 240W, CloudSIM™ and More

It was yet another busy day in chilly Barcelona with some interesting announcements. Nothing revealed details of its upcoming smartphone, realme announced the GT3 240W with the fastest charging tech, TECNO showed off its folding smartphone, Oasis Smart-SIM showcased its CloudSIM™ solution, and much more. Below is our quick summary of the announcements from Day 2 of the MWC 2023:

TECNO joins the foldable revolution

TECNO made its MWC debut launching several products, including the Phantom V Fold, Spark 10 Pro selfie phone and Megabook S1 2023 laptop. Of course, the standout product announced at the event was the TECNO Phantom V Fold book-type foldable smartphone. Under the hood is a MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ SoC, making it the second folding smartphone powered by MediaTek SoC after the OPPO Find N2.

The smartphone features a 6.42-inch 120Hz LTPO AMOLED cover screen and a 7.85-inch 2K 120Hz LTPO folding display inside, which is bigger than the Galaxy Z Fold4. It comes with a 5,000mAh battery and 45W fast charging. The TECNO Phantom V fold will first launch in India at a price of $1,099 for the 12GB RAM and 256GB storage version, making it the most affordable book-type folding smartphone. There will also be a 512GB storage version priced at $1,222.

counterpoint mwc 2023 day 2 tecno phantom v fold back

The Africa market, where TECNO is the #1 brand, is relatively dominated by the low-end segment. Expansion to overseas markets, where consumers are ready to pay a more premium amount, has also presented an opportunity for TECNO to launch devices in higher price bands. For that, foldables currently seem to be the perfect option to make a statement in the premium segment. Since it is a new segment, OEMs also have opportunities to launch products at new price points. The debut of its foldable at the MWC 2023 cements TECNO’s global aspirations.

realme GT3 240W brings the fastest charging tech to smartphones

realme is holding true to its ‘Dare to leap’ motto. In 2022, it was the first OEM to offer a 150W charging-capable smartphone. The company is pushing the boundaries further and has now become the first brand to introduce a 240W-capable smartphone. At the MWC 2023, realme announced its latest phone, the GT3, featuring 240W charging capability. According to the realme presentation, the 240W technology is capable of fully charging the GT3’s 4,600mAh battery in roughly 10 minutes, and it can charge to 50% capacity in just four minutes.

counterpoint mwc 2023 day 2 realme GT3 240w
Courtesy – Madhav Sheth (realme)

GT3 is the fastest phone in the industry to charge from 0 to 20% in only 80 seconds, which realme showcased in the real-time demo during the MWC announcement. realme also claims this is the industry’s fastest charging speed while gaming. A vapor chamber liquid cooling system takes care of the overall health of the battery by reducing extra heat produced during fast charge. realme added multiple sensors and a fireproof design to the new device while also addressing the major issue of battery longevity, which reduces due to fast charge. The GT3’s battery can be at 80% battery health after 1,600 charging cycles which is double the industry standard of 800 cycles. The realme GT3 price starts at $649 for the 8GB RAM with 128GB storage variant.

Oasis Smart-SIM demonstrates new CloudSIM™ solution

At the MWC 2023, Oasis Smart-SIM and TATA Communications jointly revealed their latest innovation, the CloudSIM™. It is a remote hardware SIM which is stored in a dedicated, secure, GSMA-certified environment. CloudSIM™ is primarily aimed at use cases that do not require permanent connectivity. The overall cost of connectivity is reduced by limiting the number of profiles required for fleet operations and providing on-demand connectivity. The below video demonstrates some of the key use cases of the CloudSIM™ solution.

Nothing Phone (2) to be powered by Qualcomm flagship SoC

 Nothing made a small announcement at the MWC 2023 about its upcoming smartphone. While it did not reveal much, the company did mention that the next smartphone will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8-series chipset. This will be a big upgrade from the existing 7-series SoC on the Nothing Phone (1). However, Nothing did not mention which chipset it will be using, so it could be the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 or could also be last year’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC. Looks like we will have to await further details.

Thales launches the world’s first GSMA-certified iSIM with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon mobile platform

Thales has announced that its integrated SIM (iSIM) solution has now been certified by the GSMA and is ready to be deployed commercially with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform. In 2021, Thales, Vodafone and Qualcomm had shown a working demonstration of the iSIM.

What is iSIM? And why is it important?

iSIM is a type of SIM that is directly integrated into the processor of the device. As the next step of SIM evolution, iSIM offers significantly more space reduction than eSIMs do and lowers power consumption. This is also part of a bigger trend where we have seen multiple components, such as the modem, getting integrated into the processor of the device. Along with smartphones, iSIMs also bring multiple benefits to the IoT ecosystem.

counterpoint mwc 2023 thales qualcomm isim
Image Courtesy: Thales

Currently, around 20% of smartphones shipped in 2022 were eSIM capable. The adoption of eSIM in smartphones has been slower than what was expected three years ago due to a variety of reasons. However, the biggest hurdle has been the need for additional components required to add eSIM capability.

For iSIMs, it would be a different case because the SIM is integrated into the processor and its adoption, unlike the eSIM, will be dependent on the support of chipsets. The iSIM will see faster adoption than the eSIM because the number of players providing chipsets is limited. While we have already seen multiple IoT devices with iSIM, the first iSIM smartphone is expected in 2024.

Huawei Watch GT Cyber gets an extreme makeover

Huawei showcased its Watch GT Cyber, which is already available in China since November 2022. The smartwatch comes with interchangeable cases, and the display updates when inserted into a new case. It uses magnets along with mechanical parts to remain connected with the cases. The concept is similar to smart bands with changeable straps but with innovation that makes the whole watch body different. We will have to see if Huawei allows third-party case makers to function with the smartwatch.

counterpoint mwc 2023 day 2 huawei watch GT cyber

The Huawei Watch GT Cyber flaunts a 1.32-inch circular display with a resolution of 466x466pixels and a pixel density of 352ppi. It is water resistant up to 5ATM and comes with all the regular sensors like a barometer and magnetometer. The battery can last up to seven days on a single charge. It also has a Bluetooth calling feature.

Huawei showcases the 5.5G era and its use cases

With 5.5G, Huawei aims to offer 10X better performance over 5G, and thus create 100-fold business opportunities by opening up five frontiers:

1) Expansion in services with immersive and interactive experiences

Online 3D malls and 24K VR gaming to become mainstream. While 5G allows these use cases, 5.5G will enhance them. Huawei expects over one billion users.

2) Enable industry digitalization

Huawei expects private networks to increase 10x as the tech becomes more capable. It forecasts one million private 5G networks by 2030.

counterpoint mwc 2023 huawei 5.5g

3) Cloud applications entering a new era, creating new opportunities for network connectivity

The company aims to reduce latency which will further make cloud applications more reliable and accessible.

4) Cellular networks cover all IoT applications and passive IoT enables 100 billion connections

Passive IoT tags (e.g. RFID) will allow further solutions to better warehouse management, asset tracking, and other scenarios. Huawei expects 100 billion passive IoT tags per year from 30 billion in coming years as industries get more digital.

5) From communication to integrated sensing and communication, facilitating new services

Huawei aims to develop a more connected world using the sensing capabilities of 5.5G. It would help bring up information about areas where cameras are unable to work like during fog or rain. This would make transportation much safer.

With inputs from Varun Mishra, Karn Chauhan, Ankit Malhotra and Harshit Rastogi.
This is a developing post…….

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Huawei's "ONE 5G" Concept Centre Stage at Global MBB Forum

Although efforts are underway to sunset 2G and 3G networks, many CSPs will need to operate multiple base station types across 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G for many years. In addition, they will need to accommodate an ever-widening range of spectrum bands – up to 20 bands perhaps – ranging from sub 1GHz low bands and 3.5 GHz mid-bands to very high 26-40GHz millimetre bands, with even higher 66-79GHz bands also expected to be used in the future. Another major issue is the need to reduce opex costs, particularly power consumption. Although 5G hardware is more energy efficient than 4G, the total power consumption of 5G networks will  be higher as 5G networks will be much denser and will require more base stations.

Huawei’s “ONE 5G” Concept

Amalgamating multi-band, multi-RAT base stations into single hardware units that can efficiently maximise the use of  available spectrum was a major theme at the Forum. For CSPs, this brings many benefits: replacing multiple “boxes” with a one or two “box” solution leads to lower tower costs and simplified, more spectrum-efficient multi-band network deployment, while the use of dynamic power sharing across all carriers, spectrum bands and RATs reduces power consumption. Centre-stage at the event, therefore, was Huawei’s “ONE 5G” concept – a set of base station solutions designed to integrate legacy base station hardware into single RAN units and facilitate the transition and optimised usage of all mobile spectrum bands, including legacy narrowband FDD bands, to 5G.

Huawei demonstrated several new ultra-wideband products including its second-generation, 800 MHz MetaAAU with ELAA technology; multi-band 4T4R radio; FDD 8T8R radio incorporating its Hertz antenna and new indoor Giga Lampsite 5.0 products. Several of Huawei’s new antenna products now incorporate its proprietary Signal Direct Injection Feeding (SDIF) technology, which dispenses with the need for cables inside the antenna enclosure. This provides many benefits, including a higher gain/better coverage (due to reduced signal loss), improved power dissipation, higher reliability – plus a claimed 1Kg/band saving in weight.

Other Key Themes

Other major themes included Intelligent RAN, where the vendor demonstrated its latest AI-based solutions and 5G Advanced, where numerous innovations in IoT and private networks based on the upcoming 5.5G standard were showcased.  Of particular interest was the vendor’s  HCS-based Millimetre Wave positioning technology using passive IoT tags, a promising technology for numerous applications requiring precise positioning, such as autonomous vehicles, drones, etc.

*Harmonized Communications Sensing

A full review of Huawei’s Global MBB Forum, including a full set of takeaways, is published in the following report, available to clients of Counterpoint Research’s 5G Network Infrastructure Service.

Selected Highlights from Huawei’s Global MBB Forum

Table of Contents


  • CSPs – Facing Network Challenges
  • Huawei’s “ONE” Concept
  • Frequency Bands Transitioning to 5G
  • Challenges of Fragmented FDD Spectrum

New Base Station Products:

  • 2nd-gen MetaAAU with ELAA
  • Meta BladeAAU
  • Ultra-Wideband, Multi-Band 4T4R Radio
  • FDD 8T8R + Hertz Antenna
  • Dual-Band FDD mMIMO Radio
  • New mmWave Products

Intelligent RAN:

  • Intelligent RAN Benefits
  • Huawei Solutions & Deployments
  • Operator Examples

5G Advanced and IoT:

  • IoT Connections By Technology
  • Passive IoT Technologies
  • HCS : Millimetre Wave Positioning using Passive IoT
  • Hybrid Private Networks
  • Connected 5G Factory
  • Healthcare – Smart Hospital
  • Healthcare – 5G Mobile Stroke Care
  • Oil & Gas Extraction

Key Takeaways

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