Huawei aims to be first to offer 5G technology

Chinese ICT multinational Huawei expects to be the first company to provide 5G networks, according to chief marketing officer Shao Yang.

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Chinese ICT multinational Huawei expects to be the first company to provide 5G networks, according to chief marketing officer Shao Yang.

Yang said: "We believe Huawei will be first to deploy 5G."

Huawei has committed to invest at least €600 million (£357 million) by 2018 to fund research into 5G, which is expected to start to be commercially available in 2020. This does not include investment to productise 5G technologies.

A number of other companies and governments are also funding research into 5G, with South Korea's science ministry announcing plans to spend €1.5 billion (£894 million) with local firms such as Samsung earlier this year.

Rotating CEO Eric Xu explained: "There is no clear definition of 5G yet, hence the R&D [research and development] efforts. However we are expecting it to run 100 times faster than today's 4G networks, require 1,000 times more capacity and run at 10GB per second."

He added: "Latency is going to be very important in future, and our target for 5G is lower than one microsecond."

For example, this will allow people to download high-definition films in one second. However more broadly, 5G is expected to be a game changer, enabling new products and services and powering the future 'internet of things' of interconnected machines and devices.

Huawei started investing in 5G in 2009 and research into the new technologies is being spearheaded by Surrey University's 5G Innovation Centre, led by Professor Rahim Tafazolli.

Speaking at the end of last year, Xu explained that there are a number of issues that need to be resolved before 5G can become a reality, such as spectrum availability and technological challenges such as engineering networks able to handle higher data volumes and transmission speeds required to accommodate more users on the network.

He said: "By 2020, it is estimated that 6.5 billion people worldwide will use mobile networks for data communications and 100 billion of additional ‘things', such as vehicles, meters, medical devices, and home appliances, will also be connected to the network over 5G.

"We have already achieved many technological breakthroughs in 5G research and innovation, but the majority of the work remains ahead of us."

 
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