Huawei pledges £370 million investment in 5G

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The Chinese smartphone manufacturer, which build most of EE’s network in the UK, predicts the first 5G networks will be ready for commercial deployment in 2020

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei has today (November 6) announced it will invest a minimum of $600 million (£373 million) in research and innovation for 5G technologies by 2018.

Huawei predicts the first 5G networks will be ready for commercial deployment starting in 2020 and will deliver peak data rates of over 10Gbps, 100 times faster than 4G networks currently.

The company began investing in 5G in 2009, demonstrating industry-leading 5G prototype base stations at Mobile World Congress in 2011 and 2012.

Rotating CEO Eric Xu said the company is facing numerous technological challenges to develop a network which is capable of handling increasing data volumes and speeds.

Xu said: “There are several issues that must be resolved before 5G can become a reality.

“These include the availability of spectrum and technological challenges, such as how to engineer network architectures capable of handling increasingly higher data volumes and transmission speeds necessary to accommodate more users on the network.

“By 2020, it is estimated that 6.5 billon people worldwide will use mobile networks for data communications and 100 billion of additional ‘things’, such as vehicles, metres, 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.”

The news comes a day after UK minister for culture, communications and creative industries Ed Vaizey thanked Huawei for its investment in Britain.

Speaking at a Huawei event on mobile broadband in London yesterday, Vaizey said: “Huawei opened their headquarters in Reading in June, and a centre in Ipswich – both of these are a welcome boost to our economy and I think they tell a wider story about the UK’s position as the perfect testbed for research and development which Huawei leads and I hope that Huawei will continue this level of investment. You are most welcome [in Britain].”

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