LIVE FROM MWC SHANGHAI 2018: Huawei’s rotating chairman Eric Xu stressed the need for 5G to be developed with privacy, encryption and regulation of personal data firmly in mind, and is confident that the technology will be safer than its 4G predecessor.

Speaking in keynote two on the first day of Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Xu said privacy and security are a key concern and, as commercial launch nears, the Chinese vendor is committed to addressing the issue along with a number of operator challenges.

He noted that after roughly four decades of mobile development, there were now two business models which must be addressed: the mobile network; and the mobile internet, with the latter seeing the biggest threats in terms of privacy and security.

Fair collaboration
Xu added the company would not “blackmail partners” with licensing costs for 5G, while committing to the Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) principle, which is typically described for patent terms.

“Huawei will strictly follow FRAND and provide support to reduce costs for patents as well as present a transparent patent framework to connect hundreds of millions of devices,” he said.

Continuing his presentation on 5G, Xu noted that there may be market watchers still “baffled” about 5G, with regards to its most prominent use case, demand and indeed whether the time is right to launch.

He said Huawei is committed to addressing this issue, stating the market had changed a lot, particularly in China, which gave weight for 5G launches.

“With 5G, we can satisfy the requirement for volume. 4G quality in China is declining in heavily populated areas. The spectrum is not enough to support traffic consumption and the speed is also not good enough,” he noted.