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China seeks 5G mobile-tech lead

By Zhnag Ruinan in Las Vegas | China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-01-11 16:15
CES 2018 attendees step into ZTE's 5G Future Tunnel to find out what fifth-generation mobile technology is all about on Wednesday in Las Vegas. JUDY ZHU / CHINA DAILY

ZTE unveils Future Tunnel; Huawei makes move with new smartphone

The 5G ambitions of China's top telecom-equipment makers — Huawei and ZTE — are on display at CES 2018.

ZTE rolled out its 5G Future Tunnel to show visitors how the technology will change people's lives.

For Huawei, 5G innovations made it into a keynote speech that launched the Mate 10 Pro smartphone, which features the world's fastest "4.5G or pre-5G experience."

5G, or fifth generation, is the next frontier in mobile networks and wireless communications and will feature faster data transfer.

"China wants to be the leader, not the follower in the generation of 5G," said Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei's consumer products division, who made the speech. "We were late in the 3G development, but we caught up with others in 4G and will be the global leader of the ICT (information and communications technology) industry in the era of 5G."

"China has attached great importance to 5G development," said Cheng Lixin, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices. "And we are speeding up our development this year, accelerating steps to gain a lead in the race toward commercializing the next-generation communication technology."

China has attached great importance to 5G in its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), with the aim of commercializing it by 2020. And China is expected to become the world's largest 5G market before 2025, according to a report released by GSMA Intelligence, a global mobile think tank, and the China Information and Communications Technology Academy.

"The impact of 5G is groundbreaking and will accelerate innovation in all of the technologies we showcase at CES, from smart home and appliances, drones and robotics to self-driving vehicles and smart city technologies," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of Consumer Technology Association (CTA), in a press release. Companies such as Qualcomm, Nokia, Ericsson, Intel and Samsung are also emphasizing 5G in their CES exhibitions.

Both Huawei and ZTE said they are working with the country's three telecommunications network operators - China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom - in testing those technologies and helping plan their 5G infrastructure deployment.

"We are speeding up our pre-commercial testing for 5G in China, Europe, Japan and the US now, and next year we will launch our 5G phones," Yu said.

ZTE also has invested heavily in 5G research and development since 2009, and its pre-5G-related products and solutions have so far been deployed in more than 115 networks across more than 60 countries, Cheng said.

"5G is also one of the driving factors of AR and VR development - to achieve the true immersion and to support the view of 4K ultra-high definition video streaming, 4G is not enough," said Yu.

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