Huawei rotating CEO Ken Hu (pictured) said the company had signed 5G MoUs with 45 operators in Asia, Europe and North America, and is already conducting pre-commercial trials with 30 mobile players.
“The commercialisation of 5G is picking up pace, and it’s highly probable deployments will come as early as end-2018, exceeding our expectations,” Hu said. “With end-to-end 5G solutions ready, we believe 2018 will see very positive growth for 5G developments.”
Huawei, which claimed to be offering the world’s first 5G CPE device, will launch a 5G smartphone in Q1 next year, he said.
The company is seeing emerging demand for 5G’s high bandwidth and high speeds which will be helpful for the short-term development of the telecoms industry, he said. “We see 5G can be applied to short-term business cases,” adding that applications dependent on 5G’s low latency will only emerge in the longer term.
Responding to a question about pressure from the US on Australia to block Huawei from 5G deals on security concerns, he said such claims are not based on facts. “For security issues, we welcome discussions and even debate based on facts. If accusations are based on suspicions, it’s not a constructive way to address the issue.”
Huawei has a strong track record on security with some 400 telecom operator partners and makes security one of its top priorities, Hu said. “We are happy to conduct open and transparent discussions with the Australian government and operators. We have a very successful experience with 4G and can draw from those lessons when we move to 5G. We remain positive and open on this issue.”
He argued that the view that a company headquartered in China can’t be trusted is problematic because many leading ICT companies in the world are based in China.