Huawei, the Chinese telecom equipment vendor, has emerged as a formidable opponent in the upcoming 5G technology. The company has already invested $600 million in 5G research since 2009 and will be further investing $800 million this year. Not just that it is testing 5G equipment with a number of telcos across the world.
Here is the list of major 5G developments by Huawei:
- Deutsche Telekom, Huawei Claim World’s First mmWave Test
- Huawei Claims To Have Launched First 5G Device Supporting 3GPP
- Vodafone and Huawei Claim to Make The First Call Using 5G Technology
- Avoid Huawei Smartphones, warns US Intelligence Agencies
- Vodafone, Huawei Conduct Trial Of Fixed Access Network Slicing
Huawei is believed to have signed 25 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with telecom companies like, Britain’s BT, Bell Canada (BCE), France’s Orange Germany’s Deutsche Telekom and global player Vodafone, for the initial trial tests of 5G equipment which shall be deployed over a year.
A Reuters report says that Huawei is behind Ericsson and Nokia in the announced 5G deals. On the other hand, it has an advantage in China since it is one of the biggest telecom markets and as per Chinese policy domestic players, Huawei and ZTE get a third of the market.
Huawei has formed commercial partnerships with telecom operators from Europe and Asia, to expand its business scenario across the world. A key reason is that while the other vendors, including Ericsson and Nokia, are somewhat struggling financially, Huawei has been growing and has the wherewithal to research in new technology. Increased research has led to more patents by Huawei and it is set to rise as the company continues to invest and also pull key researchers and executives from rival firms.
The Security Achilles Heel
The company is facing challenges in the American market, which is hindering its growth. Recently, the US intelligence authorities had warned against using Huawei’s smartphones because of security concerns. Because of this AT&T decided to withdraw from its deal with Huawei. Huawei is one of the biggest and a prominent global smartphone maker but it is unable to grow in the US. This is not the first time that the US authorities have stopped Huawei from making inroads in the country. In 2012 also the US authorities had restrained Huawei from bidding for telecom projects in the country.
The testing of the 5G networks though is in the process and is offering data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than existing 4G networks. Taking help of small antennas and the cloud, 5G networks will benefit a lot of industries in diversified ways.
On the contrary, Huawei may still undergo a risk phase. This is due to the fact that the company has invested a huge capital in the 5G networks development without noticing reluctance of the operators for 5G networks adoption worldwide.
Market research firm, Dell’Oro has come up with several statistical figures related to Huawei. According to it, Huawei sold 32 percent of global mobile radio access gear-antennas and base stations-in the last quarter, against Ericsson’s 30 percent and Nokia’s 25 percent, making an annual revenue of $92 billion last year, of which half came from China alone.
With non-binding agreements from many operators across the world, some US allies do not seem to share Washington’s security concerns with Huawei. The company is today present in more than 150 countries across the globe.