Vivo Spearheads 5G-Embedded "Intelligent Phone" Era, Accelerating AI Research and Development

October 24, 2018
Vivo 5G-Embedded Intelligent Phone
Zhou Wei presenting on stage at the Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit

HONG KONG -- Vivo, a long-term partner of Qualcomm, shared its vision and insight on 5G development and how it will empower a new era of smart living during Qualcomm's 4G/5G Summit held in Hong Kong on 22 – 24 October 2018. The three-day Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit gathered many of the world's leading mobile industry leaders.

During the conference, Zhou Wei, the Vice President of Vivo, Head of Vivo Artificial Intelligence Global Research Institute presented a keynote during the summit's AI Forum and focused his speech around "Intelligent Phone being the key to 5G development success".

Mr. Zhou highlighted the deep integration of 5G and AI, and how these elements will be the key to the future growth of 5G embedded smartphones, which Vivo has termed as "Intelligent Phones". AI allows smartphones to literally learn and think, while 5G will provide smartphones with enhanced and faster connection capability. The combination of these factors will transform smartphones from "smart" to "intelligent" while providing users with outstanding new features and the ultimate mobile experience.

According to Mr. Zhou, Vivo plans to complete the development and mass production of the first NSA and SA 5G smartphones in 2019 to launch its first batch of pre-commercial 5G smartphones. The company aims to achieve full commercialization of 5G smartphones by 2020. As an industry leader in innovation, Vivo has invested heavily in the development and research of 5G smartphones, and seeks to bring consumers the best mobile experience within the shortest amount of time possible.

An early driver in 5G development

From 2G in the 90s, to today's 4G era, network connectivity capabilities, smartphone features and functions have changed dramatically. Every upgrade of communications technology is accompanied by industry needs and inspires an upgrade in consumer demands. Currently, the evolving change in consumer needs is the key driving force behind the next generation of 5G communication technology development.

As a leader in the communications industry, Vivo is one of the pioneers amongst mobile terminal companies to spearhead 5G technology R&D and standardization. In 2016, Vivo established its 5G research institute center in Beijing, laying the foundation for 5G technology development and standardization. In the same year, Vivo also joined the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project, the 3rd Generation Partner Program), and began its participation in 5G standardization work. The company is now very active in the RAN1, RAN2, RAN4, SA2, CT1 and other core technology groups in 3GPP. Up to now, Vivo has submitted more than 1,500 technical proposals to 3GPP, and is one of the major contributors as a mobile terminal company within 3GPP.

Vivo 5G-Embedded Intelligent Phone
Vivo has invested heavily on 5G, and is an early driver in the 5G development

In 2018, Vivo formally launched the research and development of a 5G signaling tester prototype, and successfully accomplished its 5G First Call in August this year. This is an initial key milestone in completing the development of 5G smartphone hardware and software for commercial usage. Based on this, Vivo has plans to showcase its 5G enabled application on mobile terminal in December.

Vivo 5G-Embedded Intelligent Phone
Vivo’s 5G mobile phone development: Technical challenges and latest development

As one of the key partners of the "China Mobile 5G Device Forerunner Initiative", Vivo has maximized its value on such platforms, and made several notable contributions in regards to the standardization of 5G terminal characteristics, such as self-interference, power consumption savings, 5G multi-antenna, low latency and high reliability, high-level protocol design, physical layer protocol design and other terminal characteristics. The company also collaborates closely with key partners to further drive 5G development for the arrival of the 5G era.

Vivo 5G-Embedded Intelligent Phone
Vivo 5G signaling tester prototype

Consumers define 5G embedded smartphones

Vivo has always adhered to the consumer-oriented approach when innovating new products, which ensures consumers enjoy personalized experiences and services. For the upcoming 5G era, Vivo believes that consumers will remain at the core of the smartphone industry ecosystem and Vivo will continue as the key player in defining the growth of 5G embedded smartphones.

While challenging technical problems can now be addressed thanks to the rapid development of smartphones and mobile networks, consumers expectations of smartphone continue to rise – ultimately, today's smartphones need to be well-equipped with more flexibility to think, and to provide personalized services.  For Vivo, these changes have motivated the brand to not only make major breakthroughs in 5G technology development, but also cultivate a deeper understanding of a "smarter life" and the smartphone ecosystem. The aim is to equip smartphones with better intelligence to better serve consumer demands.

As shared by Mr. Zhou in his keynote, "we believe that the manufacturing of smartphones will also evolve from providing basic functions to providing intelligent features. All of these will ensure that the consumer demands for the future intelligent phones will be met. In the future, the development of 5G and AI will be the main drivers for many new scenarios and applications."

AI Technology is key for Vivo in developing "Intelligent Phones"

Vivo believes that the combination of 5G and AI will be the key trend for the 5G embedded smartphone era. Aside from being active in laying out the fundamental of 5G technology, Vivo has also spearheaded the development of AI research. In June 2017, Vivo has established its AI Labs to kick start AI research and development. In March 2018, Vivo released Jovi - a new AI sub-brand. After more than half a year of team effort, Vivo has made considerable progress in AI technology.

Vivo 5G-Embedded Intelligent Phone
Vivo leading in the establishment of the IoT Open Ecosystem Alliance

Mr. Zhou highlighted that AI is not just about voice recognition, NLP or deep learning etc. It is based on these technologies that AI can provide consumers with a framework for a whole new range of products and services. As such, Vivo has been proactive in building mobile phones that act as a smart terminal in serving as a connection center, further creating an equal, mutual and open platform to deliver relevant services by connecting them to the consumers' needs.

Mr. Zhou also elaborated in his speech Vivo's understanding of AI, as well as the company's devotion in this sector. 5G will cultivate new application scenarios, the future of smartphones will essentially be able to self-learn, self-discover and self-recommend.

On July 4, 2018, Vivo has established the IoT Open Ecosystem Alliance together with other key IoT industry representative companies. Through this ecosystem, the full interaction between devices can also be enabled even if the adaption is with various brands. It also ensures that when a developer releases a product, it would provide the customers with the perfect user experience. Most importantly, it would also give consumers the ability to choose their preferred products for their needs and experiences. Based on this platform, Vivo is building its own "Intelligent Phones" ecosystem, by investing heavily and leading the industry to realize 5G technology application development and provide consumers with the ultimate user experience.

About Vivo

Vivo is a leading global technology company committed to creating trendsetting smart mobile innovations and services. Vivo is devoted to forming a vibrant mobile internet ecosystem, and currently owns and operates an extensive network of research operations, with R&D centers in the US (San Diego) and China (Dongguan, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Beijing and Hangzhou). These centers focus on the development of cutting-edge consumer technologies including 5G, AI, mobile photography and next-generation smartphone design.

By the end of 2017, Vivo had over two hundred million users enjoying its mobile products and services around the world. Vivo is present in 18 markets globally and features offline retail stores in over 1,000 cities worldwide.