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MWC Shanghai 2024: Embracing the mobile AI era

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2024 marks the beginning of the mobile artificial intelligence (AI) era thanks to the commercial launch of 5G-Advanced (5G-A) and other AI devices.

That's according to Huawei's executive director of the board and chairman of the ICT infrastructure managing board, David Wang, who was speaking during a keynote address at Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai in China this week.

"The next ten years will be the years we embrace mobile AI. It will be the decade where we accelerate the strive towards intelligent growth," Wang added.

"For many years, the mobile industry has used AI in the background to help optimize operations and customer support, but today feels like we're moving from the passenger seat to the driver's seat," added GSMA CMO Lara Dewar, also speaking at the GSMA-organized event.

"This month marks the fifth year since 5G's commercial launch in China. Over the past five years, commercial 5G has achieved remarkable success and made an unprecedented impact on the global mobile industry," Wang said.

He said that over the next ten years he expects the industry to embrace the mobile AI era.

"These technologies will be the key to making intelligent services ubiquitous. This era will transform not only human-machine interaction, but also content production and mobile devices, and will revitalize society and create opportunities for the mobile industry," Wang added.

5G-A's global growth

Huawei said that more than 30 operators globally had completed 5G-A technical verification and there are nearly 20 mobile phone models on the market that can currently support multi-carrier aggregation.

This year operators in the Middle East and China have started to deploy 5G-A networks, around ten operators have also already announced commercial 5G-A packages and other related services, but Huawei did not clarify if any of these operators are based in Africa.

To date about 17 countries across Africa have rolled out commercial 5G services, with 5G-A being promoted by equipment vendors like Huawei as the next evolution in the mobile technology.

"5G-A will be the path forward. It will protect vested investment, while creating new business opportunities by expanding business boundaries. As we look towards 2030, the industry as a whole will need to ramp up efforts to reinforce 5G-A technologies and support the healthy development of 5G," Wang said.

Huawei has also announced that it had reached six separate agreements with pioneering 5G-A operators from around the world and launched a joint initiative for high-quality mobile video development in the AI era alongside global operators, industry customers and other relevant organizations.

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*Top image is of Huawei's booth at MWC Shanghai 2024. (Source: Huawei)

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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