Chinese multinational telecommunications vendor Huawei has announced that it has penned 5G MoUs with 45 operators which spans across three continents - Asia, Europe and North America. Huawei’s rotating CEO Ken Hu made the confirmation during Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona. In addition to this Hu also revealed that the Chinese vendor is already conducting pre-commercial trials with 30 mobile players.
The positive announcement is a welcome distraction for Huawei after being subjected to stinging criticism in the United States. Huawei has been labelled as a threat to national security by some Republican senators who have tabled for legislation to be introduced which bans any US government department from using equipment supplied by either Huawei or ZTE.
Hu also claimed that some 5G deployments will happen towards the tail end of 2018, despite the general consensus amongst the industry predicting that it would be 2019 before 5G networks will be deployed.
Hu said, “The commercialization of 5G is picking up pace, and it’s highly probable deployments will come as early as end-2018, exceeding our expectations. With end-to-end 5G solutions ready, we believe 2018 will see very positive growth for 5G developments.”
Huawei also announced at Mobile World Congress, which is the industry’s marquee event that it aims to launch a 5G smartphone in Q1 next year. The Chinese vendor said there’s a clear consumer demand emerging in the market which will be extremely beneficial to the short-term development of the telecoms industry. Hu added, “We see 5G can be applied to short-term business cases,” adding that applications dependent on 5G’s low latency will only emerge in the longer term.
Responding to a question related to criticism it has received from the US, Hu refuted the claims and was adamant that the Chinese vendor is a trusted partner. Huawei has a strong track record on security with some 400 telecom operator partners and makes security one of its top priorities, Hu said. “We are happy to conduct open and transparent discussions with the Australian government and operators. We have a very successful experience with 4G and can draw from those lessons when we move to 5G. We remain positive and open on this issue.”
He also stressed that the view that a company headquartered in China can’t be trusted is problematic because many leading ICT companies in the world are all based in China.