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HUAWEI wants to lead the market with 5G phones
- HUAWEI said it will launch 5G-ready solutions and chips in March 2019.
- The company also said it will launch 5G-ready smartphones in June 2019.
- HUAWEI did not say which phone will support 5G, though odds are the next Mate phone will be the first.
With the fifth generation of mobile networks seemingly around the corner, Huawei wants to be the first one to greet it at the door with mobile chips and smartphones.
According to DigiTimes, HUAWEI rotating and acting CEO Eric Xu spoke during MWC Shanghai 2018 and said the company will launch commercial 5G solutions and 5G chips for smartphones in March 2019. HUAWEI will also launch 5G-compatible smartphones in June 2019.
These rollouts seem rather aggressive, especially since carriers are still in the early days of 5G testing. HUAWEI attributed the speedy rollouts to the launch of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP) Release 16 specification, which the company said will accelerate the development of 5G networks and services.
HUAWEI did not say which smartphones would be 5G-ready. The June 2019 release window means a P-series smartphone would not qualify. Instead, a Mate-series smartphone might be a more suitable candidate and would be available before the end of 2019.
We also do not know when consumers will get to use 5G. In the U.S., Verizon plans to target home use in a handful of markets by year’s end. T-Mobile, meanwhile, plans to launch its 5G network in 30 cities by the end of 2018.
Sprint might not need to bother with 5G, since its “merger” with T-Mobile will likely go through. Finally, AT&T plans to launch 5G in 12 locations by the end of 2018 and additional locations in 2019.
More significantly, will HUAWEI’s relationships with certain countries prevent the company from fully realizing its 5G ambitions? Australia, for example, is contemplating a 5G ban on HUAWEI.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government said the company failed to provide enough information about its relationship with the Chinese government. A handful of lawmakers even called for Google to reconsider its relationship with HUAWEI. At least HUAWEI managed to get Europe’s blessing and launch 5G base stations in the continent.