Huawei’s X Labs to harness “wild world” of next-gen mobile apps

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Huawei has announced a new research platform, X Labs, to bring together operators, technology providers and industry players to develop future mobile applications and promote an open industry ecosystem.

The Chinese vendor said X Labs will focus on developing next generation mobile applications for people, homes and industrial sectors.

It will be divided into three working groups, with an ‘mLab’ function focused on the ‘mobile’ user experience, a ‘vLab’ group focused on applications for ‘vertical’ markets, and a ‘hLab’ group looking at smart ‘home’ applications.

As yet, no research partners have been confirmed.

Ken Hu, Deputy Chairman and CEO at Huawei, told the vendor's Mobile Broadband Forum in Tokyo that video in particular, which currently accounts for 60 percent of mobile traffic, represents an immediate opportunity for the sector, through development of both consumer and industrial applications.

He said: “Entertainment video is the largest part of this market, with plenty of room for operator involvement. In industrial applications, mobile video solutions for public safety, traffic surveillance, and logistics are also brimming with opportunity. And in the video communications domain, live video has become a huge global phenomenon."

He suggested “a wild world of mobile applications” is developing on the back of certain enabling technologies, including mobile broadband, sensors, man-machine interfaces, cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence.

These technologies will converge to create new applications, he said, provided the industry collaborates to develop new connectivity, architecture, and software platforms.

Future networks will require enhanced performance for next generation video services, as well as wide-area cellular technology for the Internet of Things and cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) for connected vehicles.

Huawei has been a leader in the development of narrow-band IoT technology.

A fledgling cross-industry group, which includes Vodafone, announced last month it had started testing cellular C-V2X on a test track in the UK.

Alongside its connectivity pledges, Hu pinpointed the importance of a “full cloudification” of mobile networks, covering everything from the core network to the access network and air interface, to boost performance and reduce costs, and application platforms, providing open APIs, data storage, data analytics, and cloud management, to open optimise networks and innovation.