Huawei targets 2018 as year of the 5G

The prediction of a 2020 roll-out for 5G appears to have been revised after an agreement between Huawei and Russian mobile operator MegaFon to deploy trial networks in time for the 2018 World Cup. It’s certainly a bold claim, considering no-one in the industry has a clue yet what the final standard will look like...

Huawei are making strides towards finalising a 5G standard to provide governments’ typical vague claims with actual meaning.

Despite this hurdle, Huawei expects pilot projects to be completed by June 2017 which could be a testament to the company’s research being much further along than anticipated. In the UK, Huawei recently opened a £5 million 5G research center alongside the University of Surrey to ensure the firm is at the forefront of mobile technology.

It is expected that by 2020, 90% of the world’s population above six years of age will have a mobile device. It’s little surprise then, as we reported last year, Huawei is investing $600 million into 5G research which will help such a vast amount of people be connected with faster speeds and more reliability.

Ryan Ding, president of Huawei products and solutions, said, “With the help of MegaFon, we are confident of turning science-fiction-like service into 5G reality for citizens in Russia and soccer fans around the world, two years ahead of the industry’s estimated 5G introduction date of 2020.”

Japan and South Korea are expected to launch 5G services in 2020. TelecomsTech reported in March that the UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, spoke at the CeBIT technology show in Hannover to promise the country will be “the most digital nation in the G8.”

Matthew Howett, Telecoms and Technology Analyst at Ovum, said at the time: “I understand why David Cameron, Angela Merkel and others in Europe are signalling their interest, but currently it is meaningless.”

It’s great that vendors such as Huawei are making strides towards finalising a 5G standard to provide governments’ typical vague claims with actual meaning. At MWC this year, representatives from Nokia Solutions and Networks, Orange, Alcatel, 5G-PPP, and the EU Commission, all took to a panel to confirm they have “no idea” what 5G is, but that it shouldn’t be “4G+1”.

Do you think 5G will be ready by 2018? Let us know in the comments.

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