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Tencent hopes to realize the ecological transformation by developing 5G business
5G is a key competitive place for every technology giant, which is the same for Tencent.
Compared with Alibaba's announcement of its official entry into 5G in March 2020, Tencent's Future Network Lab was established in 2018, which is also China's first Internet research team focused on 5G technology and applications.
On April 8, 2020, Tencent took the lead in releasing its latest 5G ecological results - the first 45 5G innovation partners joined Tencent's 5G ecological plan, covering 12 5G scenarios.
Alibaba's announcement in March that it will focus on 6 scenarios, which included ultra-high-definition video, online office, AR / VR, industrial Internet, intelligent logistics, and autonomous driving. However, unlike Alibaba's scenarios, Tencent announced 12 scenarios, including multimedia content Video technology, virtual / augmented reality, transportation, industrial Internet, life and people's livelihood, energy management, city management, intelligent interaction, intelligent Internet of Things, future network and communication perception.
Compared with many technology giants, Tencent's demand for participation in 5G construction is stronger, because most of its core businesses are inseparable from 5G, such as social, entertainment, finance, platforms, tools, information and artificial intelligence. It is foreseeable that many of Tencent's services will be provided based on 5G in the future, which is also an important reason why Tencent is actively participating in the development of 5G services and standards.
On April 8, China's three biggest telecoms carriers including China Unicom, China Mobile, and China Telecom held an online press conference to launch 5G-based messaging service. It can support multimedia interaction between individual users and group chats, and it also can enable industry customers to provide rich media digital confidence interactive service.
Operators compete with the Internet giants, whose implication is very obvious. In the future, the SMS business will participate in the competition with WeChat, WeChat Work, Alipay and Dingtalk.
From the perspective of To C (user side), killer applications may be born under 5G conditions, and the terminal will no longer be a mobile phone. Before this, it is particularly important to be able to participate in the formulation of 5G standards.
From the perspective of to B (industrial end), 5g is a big cake. Different from 4G, which is based on a unified large network, the change takes place more in the field of mobile communication, and the application is mainly about people connecting people and people connecting information. What 5G brings is the transformation of the Internet of Things infrastructure. When 5G faces different industries, it will face different needs and require different adaptations and adjustments, especially in the industrial Internet, Internet of Things, unmanned driving, artificial intelligence, smart medical and other fields.
In the face of the fierce competition and the dramatic changes in the industry, Tencent will face more opportunities and challenges.
How does Tencent launch its 5G business
Unlike Alibaba's collaborative R & D of 5G technology and applications in the XG laboratory of Alibaba DAMO Academy, Tencent adopts the strategy of resource coordination and linkage between multiple departments within the group and external partners.
It is understood that Tencent's 5G business is mainly composed of two forces: the research side and the application side. The research side involves the platform and content business group (PCG), technology engineering business group (TEG), interactive entertainment business group (IEG), cloud and smart industry business group (CSIG) and other departments.
AI Lab, Robotics X, Multimedia Lab, Future Network Lab, Network Platform, and Tencent START Cloud Gaming Platform together form the cornerstone of Tencent's 5G business research side.
Tencent's practice on the application side of 5G business, from the laboratory to the implementation of application scenarios, is led by the operator product center of the Ecological Cooperation Department of the Platform and Content Business Group (PCG). The main responsible persons are General Manager Hou Xiaonan and Deputy General Manager Wang Lan. The "5G Ecological Plan" and "5G City Plan" currently underway are specific landing products.
It is understood that the predecessor of the Ecological Cooperation Department was Tencent Open Platform, which has been responsible for fully linking Tencent's business to external partners and is committed to the establishment of Tencent's open ecology. Previously, Tencent's open platform included a number of Tencent's open plans and platforms, including Tencent Zhongchuang Space, Tencent AI Accelerator, and Double Hundred Project.
With the foundation of open cooperation accumulated in the early days, the Ministry of Ecological Cooperation was able to introduce as many partners as possible in the construction of Tencent's 5G ecosystem to accelerate the formation of the ecology.
In addition to the group level, the corresponding 5G research and application collaboration have also been simultaneously carried out in each specific business of Tencent. Taking Tencent Video as an example, although it does not have a 5G department, it has an operator cooperation group, and Tencent Video's technical team will work with it to explore 5G business in the video field.
According to the plan of the global standard-setting organization - 3GPP, the Rel-15 standard has promoted the development of 5G commercial use in 2019, especially for mobile phone-based application scenarios. And Rel-16 and Rel-17 will be released in succession. It means that in the next two years, the development of Internet of Vehicles V2X and Industrial Internet will usher in an outbreak.
There is no doubt that few giants can participate in this game on their own. The competition of the 5G industry is actually the competition of the industrial ecosystem. As the underlying communication technology, it requires various technologies such as linkage robot, AR, VR, big data, AI, new hardware, etc. It can deeply connect the capabilities and characteristics of intelligent terminal, industry, entertainment, transportation, energy and other industries, so as to realize the ecological transformation.
Under Tencent's 5G ecological plan, Tencent will join hands with the four major Chinese 5G licensees, terminal manufacturers, communication radio and television chip manufacturers. It also can link internal and external technical capabilities and resources through technical capabilities, user traffic, channel resources, brand capital, etc., and cooperate with 5G innovation partners to explore new applications, new content and new scenarios.
A hard battle for Tencent
Although Tencent showed an imperative attitude towards the 5G business, this battle is not easy. The competitors standing in front of it, in addition to the equally strong Alibaba, there are long-established giants Huawei, ZTE and Qualcomm.
Especially Huawei and Qualcomm, they have been deeply involved in the development of standards for 5G and other new infrastructure. In the communications field, Huawei has both the umpire (communication network construction) and athlete (mobile phone manufacturer) identities. And in addition to the network and chip, Huawei's layout on the terminal is also very complete, covering a variety of scenarios, such as cars, homes and industries-mobile WiFi, smart phones and 5G routers connecting people and homes, 5G industrial modules for connectors, 5G car boxes for connecting cars, etc.
Huawei have already entered the overseas market to deploy more than 50 5G pre-commercial networks in some developed cities with leading global operators.
And Alibaba has more attempts to compete with operators and Huawei for standard-setting power. From the focus of Alibaba's XG Network Lab, it can be seen that Alibaba hopes to focus on ultra-high-definition video, unmanned driving and other video decoding, as well as network transmission protocols and standards.
However, Tencent's advantage is that Tencent has some achievements in standard setting, earlier than Alibaba. For example, it has participated in the standard formulation of certain fields at home and abroad such as 3GPP and IEEE, especially in the field of multimedia and Internet of vehicles, which have been implemented.
In terms of cloud-based multimedia, Tencent and its ecological partners have launched the first MEC (Mobile Edge Computing) live network scale test; on the core network service-oriented architecture, Tencent participated in the 3GPP SA2 R16 eSBA project, while in the intelligent connected car , Tencent has a vehicle-road collaborative smart travel system for expressways.
At the same time, Tencent's 5G ecological plan will also cooperate with Tencent's 5G city plan to form two powerful engines that drive the implementation of 5G. Combined with the characteristics of urban industries, it will link government resources and operational resources to jointly create exclusive urban characteristic 5G applications. Combined with the existing product landing scenarios and local cities of innovative partners of the 5G ecological plan, it will create a benchmark for 5G applications.
From changing human life to changing human society, building a 5G ecology may become a new battlefield for Internet giants. 5G has not penetrated into people's lives, but the battle has already started.
This is an article from WeChat official accounts LastPost (ID: postlate), written by Gao Honghao, translated by Chris Yuan.