Smartphone manufacturers view advanced wireless technologies such as 5G as a force multiplier for opening new avenues for innovation in AI, cloud, and quantum computing.

5G technology is expected to become an integral part of the fabric that links human civilization through phones, and vivo is one of the few globally acclaimed phone makers that is leading the way toward a connected and convenient future.

In an exclusive interview with ProPakistani, vivo’s 5G Standard Expert Tamrakar Rakesh opened up about how the brand is navigating towards large-scale 5G adoption and what measures have been taken for contributing to the policy debate around the technology’s spectrum and deployment.

Tell us about vivo’s 5G-enabled phone lineup and their global availability.

vivo is working on making 5G devices ever more accessible and affordable and has released over 20 models of 5G devices globally covering all price ranges from 1,000 – 6,000 RMB.

To democratize and popularize the powerful capabilities of 5G to the masses, vivo’s 5G smartphone product lineups have a broad spectrum, ranging from professional photography, high performance, selfie-taking, e-sports, etc., to serve various kinds of user needs around the world.

What are the most salient changes that 5G will bring to a common Pakistani’s life?

5G allows for a new kind of digital infrastructure that can connect virtually everything and everyone through peak data transmission speeds with minimal latency. Hundreds of thousands of industries are becoming integrated, owing to the reliable and streamlined network between machines, devices, and other digital objects.

With many creative applications ranging from augmented reality/virtual reality experiences to vehicle-to-everything driverless cars and many more, 5G will provide humankind with the foundation to establish smart cities with comprehensive internet-of-things technologies that can efficiently restructure our lived environments and redefine our everyday lifestyles.

These innovations are not limited to a specific region but will be gaming-changing globally on both industrial and consumer levels.

What are some of the greatest achievements for vivo in 5G standards and patents?

vivo’s unique user-oriented innovation is the genesis behind its numerous patented contributions to the 5G standard, many of which have been universally acclaimed at the 3GPP meeting and are currently being adapted by everyday smartphone users.

vivo has submitted over 5,000 5G proposals to the 3GPP, leading to 15 technical features and getting three technical projects approved. vivo holds over 3,000 patents for 5G inventions and ranks top 8 in terms of the company’s impact within 3GPP.

One of vivo’s most significant discoveries is its standardization and performance enhancement of 5G multi-SIM technology. During the early stages of development, 5G standards experts found that an incoming voice call from one competing SIM card would interrupt the data flow of the other, resulting in abysmal performance as one would cancel the other.

For example, when streaming a live sports event from your smartphone, any incoming transmissions from another SIM card would cut off its 5G connectivity and disrupt the viewing experience. Hence, vivo researchers successfully sought to negate the clash, leading to the existence of multi-SIM 5G smartphones on the market today.

Can you explain what all goes into rolling out 5G-enabled smartphones?

Different from previous generations of 3G and 4G, 5G is more complex and must be supported by the 5G enabled smartphones which have to support various frequency bands from different operators around the world.

Hence, this brings the development of 5G smartphones many challenges. One of the issues is the industrial design of the smartphone as currently, users are relentless in the pursuit of ultra-thin smartphones.

To address that, 3D stacking technology of multiple PCBs used in vivo smartphones increases internal space by 20% allowing more room for additional components and allows new 5G smartphones to be even slimmer.

Similarly, overheating is another issue, vivo adopts liquid cooling technology which uses superconducting carbon fibers between CPE, modem, and vapor chamber to deal with overheating. Integrating many antennas into a small device is another challenge.

vivo implemented a creative way of multiplexing multiple antennas enabling one antenna to support multiple bands. Device power consumption, which is directly related to battery life is yet another critical issue, so technologies to lower power consumption must be implemented.

Will the 5G backbone be physically and virtually separate from the 4G backbone?

Technically 5G and 4G can share the backbone network, most of the operators around the world deploy a common transport network supporting both 5G and 4G. With the increased capacity of 5G, the legacy backbone may need upgrades depending on the operator’s overall strategy.

Tell us more about vivo’s technology innovation on 5G terminals.

vivo focuses on innovations in hardware design and the software ecosystem to improve terminal performance and user experiences. Having amassed over 400 million users worldwide, vivo knows consumers best within the industry.

Thus, vivo invests heavily in 5G connectivity to reach the stage of product realization and getting this technology into the hands of consumers.

Besides the Multi-SIM technology mentioned above, the Rel-16 terminal power-saving technology patented by vivo manages to simplify terminal actions.

It lowers normal energy consumption by creating a new “dozing” state, allowing the device software to become inactive while the hardware becomes idle. 5G smartphones can now intelligently catch every chance to take a rest, thereby prolonging battery life.

Another device-related issue raised by 5G technology is the increasing number of antennas and components installed inside a smartphone. vivo’s proprietary 3D stack design uniquely encases all this industry-leading technology to allow new 5G smartphones to be even slimmer than their 4G predecessors.

How is vivo gearing up for the 5G race? Do you have a vision for 6G technology?

As 5G commercial networks are gradually deployed around the world and progressively advanced devices increasingly permeate every aspect of our livelihoods, thought leaders of the mobile industry are already looking forward to its next generation: 6G.

vivo is part of a select few that hold the extensive expertise and in-depth understanding of consumer needs to turn this vision into a reality.

To kickstart this exciting new era, the vivo Communications Research Institute released two white papers in late 2020 that break down the facets of 6G technology.

Providing a diverse set of hypothetical scenarios and case studies, vivo communication standard experts have analyzed how the sixth generation will embody much more than technological transformation as it merges our physical and digital worlds.

Currently, vivo has 4 key research orientations in 6G: OVTDM, OTFS, RIS, and cell-free.

Besides, vivo is also working on aspects including AI+ Communications, Backscatter, THZ, holographic MIMO, integration and perception, network framework, etc.

Additionally, vivo is currently the only device company that has participated in “6G Overall Research Topic,” the major project conducted by the Ministry of Science and Technology in China.