Huawei boasts of 22 5G commercial contracts

Huawei has boasted it has signed 22 commercial contracts for 5G equipment in a move that it will hope will not only demonstrate demand for next generation networks, but also quash any doubts about the integrity or capabilities of its networking equipment.

The company will compete with the likes of Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung to help operators around the world build out their 5G infrastructure and Ryan Ding, head of Huawei’s carrier business, used his keynote speech to tout the merits of its technology.

Ding spoke of the technical capabilities of its kit, such as an uplink and downlink decoupling product that can achieve co-coverage of 4G and 5G using C-band spectrum, and the ability to offer end-to-end solutions meant it was an ideal partner for operators.

Huawei 5G progress

Also mentioned was the relatively small size and lightweight of Huawei’s gear. This will appeal to operators struggling to add more equipment to mobile sites, especially in urban areas.

"Every new generation of network comes with new challenges, and this applies to 5G commercial deployment, too," said Ding. "We take complexity and deliver simplicity. That means we will provide innovative solutions to address challenges in 5G commercialization. Our close collaboration with carriers will help them find the easy way to 5G.

“Huawei has earned customer recognition for our leading 5G end-to-end capabilities and innovative products and solutions. So far, we have signed 22 commercial contracts for 5G, and we are working with over 50 carriers on 5G commercial tests. Through heavy investment and continuous innovation, we are committed to helping carriers deploy 5G networks easily, rapidly, and cost-effectively. And we are ready to work with all stakeholders to drive robust development of the 5G industry."

But the contracts could also be viewed as a vote of confidence in Huawei. It has effectively been frozen out of the US and Australian markets due to national security fears, specifically that the use of its equipment risks the possibility of Chinese government backdoors.

Huawei has repeatedly denied such accusations, pointing out that it works with security agencies around the world and that it sells products to more than 500 operators in 70 countries without issue. This includes the UK, where BT, EE, Vodafone and Three are all customers.

There is little demand among operators for any barriers to the use of Huawei kit as this would reduce choice, hinder innovation and increase costs.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.