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At the fifth World Internet Conference, China Mobile 5G Innovation Center worked closely with Huawei to unveil the first 5G network based 8K VR live broadcast. VR is destined to become a popular future application and is already growing increasingly recognized throughout the industry as one of the top 5G services. It has been dominating industry headlines over the past few years. Compared with technically mature 4K VR live broadcast (requiring 50–80 Mbps data rate), 8K VR services require a higher data rate (100–160 Mbps) and wider bandwidth. The faster network speed and increased display resolution will allow users to benefit from a more detailed, true-to-life, and immersive experience.

8K VR live broadcast was provided courtesy of a 5G network instituted by Zhejiang Mobile, which comprises Huawei developed 5G C-band sites and the core network. Owing to the favorable uplink and downlink transmission conditions (bandwidth over 100 MHz) in the 5G network, the 8K VR 360° camera captured picturesque South Lake views and then uploaded the compiled videos for cloud rendering in real time. The scenery videos were then downloaded at an ultra-high 5G speed to VR headsets. The breathtaking panorama of islands scattered throughout the lake, combined with red boats and gardens feature such vividly accurate colors and rich details that allow audiences to enjoy a fully immersive and mesmerizing sightseeing experience.

VR broadcast is expected to rise as a new type of 5G application, as well as the most important service under the eMBB umbrella. 8K VR live broadcast is set to be widely adopted throughout the industry. Users can not only enjoy scenic spots, concerts, and sports events without stepping out of their own homes, but also gain access to gaming, entertainment videos, healthcare, real estate, retail, distance learning, engineering, and a whole host of other incredible new services. VR will help to fuel the progress of 5G and play a crucial role in transforming the entire society.

The 8K display effect is the key to offering virtualized reality to all users, and the advanced display technology requires an ultra-high transmission data rate enabled by 5G. The 5G network utilized in the demonstration deploys Huawei C-band base stations. Thanks to scenario-specific smart beams and 3D beamforming, Huawei 5G C-band AAUs boast flexible and precise cell coverage control and can deliver Gbps-level ultimate user experience. Dozens of base stations were deployed by Zhejiang Mobile and Huawei.

In addition, China Mobile and Huawei jointly verified multiple 5G key solutions in terms of cell throughput, single-user peak data rate, and user experienced data rate. These two companies also took the opportunity to launch three 5G innovative services with 100 Mbps data rate: 5G 8K VR live broadcast, 8K live broadcast, and in-ambulance telemedicine. This is the debut of these services in the industry. China Mobile 5G Innovation Center will continue in cooperation with industry partners, jointly working on the exploration and innovation on 5G applications, push forward 5G ecosystem to be matured and 5G application to be commercial launched.