Ryan Ding, executive director of Huawei and CEO of its Carrier Business Group, said at a product launch event Thursday that out of 30 commercial 5G contracts the company already won, 18 were from Europe, while 9 were from the Middle East and 3 from the Asia Pacific region.
It looks like, despite recent pushback from the US and its closest allies against Huawei based on security concerns, telecom operators in the EU are mostly continuing their collaboration with the Chinese firm at this point.
Stronger 5G product lineup
Huawei is readying to launch a slew of 5G products to the European market, including base station core chipsets Tiangang, device chipsets Balong 5000, a router called Huawei 5G CPE Pro and a data center switch with an AI brain, which were also announced at this event, which doubled up as a briefing for the company’s exposition on the Mobile World Congress next month in Spain.
The Tiangang chipset could make Huawei’s 5G base stations 50% smaller, 23% lighter, and 21% less power-consuming than their predecessors and could also help cut installment times in half, said Ding.
The Balong 5000 is a multi-mode chip supporting 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G devices, ranging from smartphones to cars and will significantly enhance user experience in the early stages of commercial 5G deployment, or so, Huawei claims.
The first application of Balong 5000 will be in the Huawei 5G CPE Pro router, while the second, a 5G smartphone powered by the chip will be released at the upcoming Mobile World Congress.
Additionally, Huawei has developed an AI-powered data center switch which promises zero packet loss on Ethernet networks and end-to-end latency of under 10 milliseconds.
Huawei’s ambition and setbacks
Industry observers say Huawei wants to be a one-stop shop for all things 5G. The firm’s founder Ren Zhengfei made a show of his confidence in his first ever TV interview, claiming that European and American countries would eventually have to buy 5G products from his company. He said not buying would be foolish and lead them to lose money.
On its website, the telecom company states that, “as a 5G pioneer, Huawei began research and development in 5G as early as 2009, and is currently the industry’s only vendor that can provide end-to-end 5G systems. Huawei has more than 5,700 engineers dedicated to 5G R&D, including over 500 5G experts.”
However, Huawei is expecting a bumpy year in 2019 as a number of concerns mount in international markets, including the possibility that its telecom equipment could be used as a “back door” to spy for the Chinese government.
While the company is already being locked out of any 5G infrastructure plan by the United States and some of its allies such as Australia, new setbacks are forming on the horizon.
Polish government officials said hat the country might leave out Huawei from its 5G plans, although there is no certain replacement. A charity founded by Britain’s Prince Charles also snubbed Huawei, saying Thursday that it’s no longer accepting donations from the company.
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