LIVE FROM ZTE WIRELESS USER CONGRESS AND 5G SUMMIT 2019, VIENNA: Xiao Ming, SVP and president of global sales at ZTE (pictured), discussed the vendor’s efforts to take a leading position in the 5G era, with a significant financial commitment a key element in its goal.

In a keynote, the executive explained ZTE is investing almost 15 per cent of its global revenue into R&D, as it seeks to unlock new innovations in 5G. To this end, the vendor has partnered more than 60 operators on research projects, “a clear demonstration” it is on the right track.

“We are stepping into the new era, a new stage which is 5G. Today is the second edition of ZTE’s 5G Summit. I think in the industry we are talking on a daily basis [about] what 5G is and what benefits it will bring”, he said, adding the technology will shake-up the industry and improve the quality of life.

The ZTE SVP hailed the Austrian government for being active in promoting innovations, and thanked domestic partner Hutchison Drei Austria (H3A) for close to a decade of collaboration.

H3A CEO Jan Trionow, added the operator aimed to replicate its success in the 3G and 4G eras by taking a leading position in 5G. It launched commercial service on the next-generation technology last month, following user trials conducted since acquiring spectrum in March.

“This is a very exciting next step for us. 5G rollout will be driven by demand. 5G will be the next stage of providing capacity and speed. Many industries will benefit from 5G”, Trionow added.

GSMA Intelligence lead analyst Yiru Zhong offered an overview of global progress in 5G, noting 186 operators in 92 markets were conducting trials by end-September.

She argued Europe had taken a leading position, with 220 million 5G connections at 30 September and plans to invest $200 million in the technology.