Huawei announces $20m investment in 5G applications

20 Feb 2020

Ryan Ding. Image: Huawei

At an event in London, Huawei’s Ryan Ding said the company plans to invest $20m into ‘innovative’ 5G applications over the next five years.

After Mobile World Congress was cancelled last week due to health concerns caused by the coronavirus outbreak, Huawei’s Ryan Ding has presented the company’s product and solution launch at an event in London today (20 February).

Ding, who is an executive director and president of Huawei’s carrier business group, delivered a keynote entitled ‘5G, Bring New Value’, in which he aimed to highlight the company’s accomplishments in the area of 5G.

He also launched the company’s 5G Partner Innovation Programme, through which Huawei plans to invest $20m into ‘innovative’ 5G applications over the next five years, in a bid to accelerate the commercial success of 5G. This programme will be based in the UK at Huawei’s existing innovation centre.

During the keynote, Ding said that with 4G, people could share videos and voices, but with ultra-high bandwidth 5G, people will be able to enjoy immersive AR and VR experiences.

He emphasised that during the 4G era, “virtually all” operators provided the same network experience, however, in the 5G era, operators can provide differentiated experiences and charge users based on metrics such as data volume, latency, bandwidth and the number of devices connected.

As a result, Ding said that it is “critical” that operators redefine their 5G business models now.

Commercial contract wins

At the keynote, Ding said that Huawei has been awarded 91 commercial 5G contracts to date and has shipped more than 600,000 5G Massive MIMO active antenna units (AAUs).

Of those 91 commercial contracts, 27 are with operators located within Asia, while 57 are with European partners. This puts Huawei ahead of Ericsson, which announced that it has secured 81 commercial contracts, and Nokia, which most recently announced that it has 63.

In a statement, Huawei said: “As a leading global 5G supplier, Huawei is committed to developing the best end-to-end 5G solutions. These will include the industry’s highest-performance 5G base station that supports all scenarios and the Blade AAU with the industry’s highest level of integration.”

Last month, the UK government gave Huawei the green light to be involved in the roll-out of 5G infrastructure in the country, but with strict limits due to security concerns. Following advice from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, Huawei will not be able to work in ‘core’ functions of national government including sensitive geographical locations such as nuclear missile bases.

In Ireland, Three is expected to launch its 5G network using Ericsson technology rather than Huawei. The Swedish company already provides the infrastructure for Vodafone’s 5G network, while Eir’s 5G network uses a combination of Huawei and Ericsson technology.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic