China’s telecom giant Huawei is planning to release its first 5G smartphone on July 26 to march ahead in the global race for setting up the super-fast telecommunications system, amid simmering tensions with the US over technology and trade. Huawei is expected to release its first 5G smartphone, the Huawei Mate 20 X, at its headquarters in Shenzhen, state-run the Global Times quoted unnamed Huawei officials as saying.
China had last month given a green signal to major state-owned companies to start rolling out 5G services.
Huawei’s move to launch its 5G phone could signal that it is leading 5G commercialisation despite a US ban in the wake of escalated trade tensions between America and China and offers a boost to overall 5G industrialisation, analysts said.
The 5G smartphone will be empowered by its own chipset division Kirin, which will further strengthen its competitiveness in the market, they said.
“The release of the Huawei Mate 20 X will also give a boost to China’s 5G market, which is also the largest smartphone market; It will lead the sector toward broader consumer use of 5G technologies and shore up more opportunities for the supply chain and application sides,” James Yan, Beijing-based research director at Counterpoint, told the daily.
Huawei said last month that Huawei Mate 20 X became the first Chinese smartphone that gained a 5G network license which means that Chinese consumers will soon be able to purchase it and enjoy super-fast 5G speed, the report said.
5G is the next generation cellular technology with download speeds stated to be 10 to 100 times faster than the current 4G LTE networks. The 5G networking standard is seen as critical because it can support the next generation of mobile devices in addition to new applications like driverless cars.
Beijing city has built 4,300 5G base stations in the city’s urban core areas and iconic buildings to implement the super fast technology as the Chinese government has begun issuing 5G licenses to telecom firms.
Huawei has become a central part of a US-China power struggle which started out in trade, and is now being played out in the technology sector.
US President Donald Trump banned Huawei products to be used in American telecom networks citing security reasons. It also encouraged allies to block the company from their 5G networks, saying the Chinese government could use its products for surveillance.
It was interpreted by Huawei and China as an attempt by Washington to stop the Chinese firm from moving ahead in the 5G technology in which the company has heavily invested.