MWC: New 5G hardware in focus

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Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, holding the 5G CPE.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, holding the 5G CPE.

5G is a major focus for all telcos at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, with Huawei unveiling its first consumer network router that is 5G-ready.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei consumer business group, showcased the 5G customer-premises equipment (CPE) at an event in Barcelona.

Huawei claims it's the world's first commercial terminal device supporting the globally recognised 3GPP telecommunication standard for 5G. The Chinese tech giant said the device marks a milestone as the group moves towards the next generation of wireless connectivity.

The CPE is available in indoor and outdoor configurations. It provides super-fast download speeds of up to 2Gbps and can operate on both 4G and 5G networks.

In another big announcement, the group revealed it has developed the Balong 5G01 chipset, which it says is the world's first commercial chipset supporting the 3GPP standard for 5G, with theoretical downlink speeds of up to 2.3Gbps.

Huawei says the chipset supports 5G across all frequency bands, including sub-6GHz and millimetre wave (mmWave) to offer a complete 5G solution suitable for multiple use cases.

"5G technology will underpin the next leap forward for our intelligent world, where people, vehicles, homes and devices are fully connected, delivering new experiences, insights and capabilities," said Yu.

"Since 2009, Huawei has invested $600 million in research and development into 5G technologies, where we have led the way with innovations around network architecture, spectrum usage, field verification and more.

"From connected vehicles and smart homes to AR/VR and hologram videos, we are committed to developing a mature 5G ecosystem so that consumers can benefit from a truly connected world that transforms the way we communicate and share," he added.

5G networks will set new standards for high speed, wide bandwidth, low latency wireless connections, with a peak downlink rate of 20Gbps, support for one million devices per square kilometre and latency as low as 0.5ms.

"5G promises an enhanced connection between people and the Internet of things, raising the potential for the number of devices that can be connected, and the amount and type of data that can be shared between them," Huawei said in a statement.

Huawei said it has partnered with over 30 global telecommunication carriers, including Vodafone, Softbank, T-Mobile, BT, Telefonica, China Mobile and China Telecom. In 2017, Huawei began testing 5G commercial networks with partners. It has completed interoperability testing and started offering the first round of 5G commercial networks in 2018.

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