Many countries including the U.K. and China are only just beginning to introduce reliable 4G networks, but Huawei is already steaming ahead with fifth generation technology -- and hopes to introduce it commercially within seven years.
The telecommunications equipment maker has devoted hundreds of engineers to the research and development of such technology, as reported by Bloomberg.
In an interview with ZDNet, Zhou Yuefang, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Huawei's LTE business unit and mobile broadband technologies said that five years is usually required for new broadband technologies to become mainstream and be accepted by the mobile ecosystem. Therefore, as 4G is only beginning to gain traction, the natural progression of mobile broadband technology will likely result in the 2020 introduction of 5G.
Zhou believes that our fifth generation networks will have better spectrum management flexibility and indoor coverage will be improved due to the use of small cells installed within buildings.
In an email, Ken Hu, the firm's rotating chief executive officer said that there are approximately 200 4G networks operating in 75 countries today, with roughly 200 more in progress or planned for the future -- granting roughly half of the global population access to the network -- which is quicker and more reliable than third generation Internet access often found on mobile devices.
The Shenzhen-based company believes that if governments release the airwaves necessary for the adoption of 5G, mobile broadband could reach speeds of up to 10 gigabytes, roughly 100 times than the best 4G speeds currently available.
According to Taiwan's Commercial Times, Liu Lihua, deputy minister at China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has asked MediaTek and Hon Hai to join forces in the research of 5G networks in China.
Huawei said earlier this year that it was "answering the call of 5G" by engaging in industry collaborative projects including METIS (Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for Twenty-twenty Information Society) project, which aims to lay down the foundation for 5G technology. Members include Docomo, Orange, T-Mobile and a number of universities.