MWC 2024: gen AI and pre-6G are the key developments to watch

Misha Lu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Source: GSMA

AI, 5G, and 6G will be the overarching themes as leading suppliers of the telecom industry convenene in Barcelona, Spain for the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2024. MediaTek, Huawei, and Qualcomm, in particular, zoom on Generative AI and pre-6G technologies for their MWC Barcelona 2024 demonstrations.

At the event, Taiwan chip design giant MediaTek plans to showcase its first on-device Generative AI video diffusion powered by the company's flagship 5G mobile processor Dimensity 9300. According to MediaTek, Dimensity 9300 incorporates the world's first hardware-based Generative AI engine, and the chipmaker will showcase at MWC 2024 a text-to-image Stable Diffusion engine known as SDXL Turbo, video diffusion generation, and Low Rank Adaption (LoRA) Fusion incorporated into NeuroPilot AI platform.

At the same time, the company is planning for a live demonstration of its 5G-Advanced New Radio Non-Terrestrial Network (NR-NTN) satellite test chip with a data throughput surpassing 100Mbps. Supporting Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite connection via Ku band, the MediaTek chip is geared for a broad range of terminals, especially automotive. In addition, MediaTek indicates that it will demonstrate the world's first pre-6G satellite broadband user experience by emulating a LEO satellite fly-by.

On February 25th, Huawei also hosted the 5G Beyond Growth Summit as the precursor of MWC Barcelona 2024. During the summit, Li Peng, Huawei's Corporate Senior Vice President, observed that 5G has already gained 1.5 billion users five years since its commercialization in 2019. In comparison, it took 4G nine years to reach the same level of adoption. With 20% of global mobile subscribers using 5G and contributing 40% of global mobile service revenue, Li indicated that 2024 will see 5.5G entering commercial use and that the convergence of 5.5G, AI, and cloud will enable carriers to unlock new applications.

During MWC Barcelona 2024, Huawei is expected to launch its 5G-Advanced (5G-A) products and solutions. Instead of replacing 5G, 5G-A serves to bridge 5G capability shortfalls in certain application scenarios before 6G commercialization, according to Huawei.

Likewise, Qualcomm sees an incoming generative AI revolution and deems connectivity critical to help generative AI scale across cloud and edge applications. In this context, Qualcomm will demonstrate what it calls "the world's first Giga-MIMO antenna prototype" that is designed to operate in the 13 GHz band.

As observed by Qualcomm, the industry is exploring the possible use of a new upper mid-band spectrum (7 to 24 GHz range) in response to the 6G era's higher capacity demand, and feasibility study of the upper mid-band spectrum has recently begun with 5G Advanced Release 19 and is to continue through the end of the decade. Against this backdrop, Giga-MIMO, with its denser antenna array and more complex baseband and RF design, is deemed by Qualcomm as an enabling technology.