Huawei lays down 5G leadership gauntlet

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Huawei has challenged its competitors in the 5G market to step up and join it in the race to make next-generation networks better than ever.

The Chinese firm believes it is "12-18 months ahead of the competition" when it comes to 5G technology, having invested millions in research and development in recent years.

But as Huawei has faced global opposition led by the US, its rivals have also lined up to target the Chinese giant. Most notably, Ericsson claimed that it was “leading 5G” at its pre-MWC event earlier this month as it looked to put itself in the heart of the speed race - and possibly steal some of Huawei’s customers in the process.

Huawei 5G lead

However, speaking at the company's Mobile World Congress preview event in London, Ritchie Peng, Chief Marketing Officer of Huawei Wireless Network, challenged this when asked about Ericsson’s claims by TechRadar Pro

“The leadership Huawei has is not a self-claim - we are told by our customers that in some markets, Huawei products and solutions are 12 to 18 months ahead," Peng noted, “(and) the reason they would make such statements is because Huawei provides a product that they want.”

“Our leadership is reflected in the fact that we can provide the services and solutions others can not,” Peng noted.

Huawei unveiled a number of new services and products at what would typically be its MWC showcase, including a new 5G massive MIMO base station which weighs a mere 25kg, making the installation and rollout of new networks easier than ever. 

The company revealed it has won 91 commercial 5G contracts across the world, including 47 in Europe and 27 in Asia, with more than a hundred different 5G testing projects currently in operation. 

“We can lay these features on the table and wait and see when other companies can provide such features,” Ryan Ding, President of Huawei’s carrier business group, added. 

“We will be happy to see any of our competitors claim their features or products are ahead of Huawei…(and) I welcome healthy competition - I think it's a good thing for the industry.”

(Image credit: Huawei)

Elsewhere at the event, Ding (pictured above) revealed that Huawei did not expect any long-term disruption to its supply chain from the effects of coronavirus.

He noted that the company was carrying out daily assessments at its factories, but did not foresee any issues over the next three to six months - with the company’s factories all “100%” re-opened.

Ding also claimed Brexit would have no impact on Huawei’s business model in Europe or the UK, with the company now having worked on the continent for over a decade. 

Huawei has long maintained it will continue a large-scale presence in the UK, and last week announced an additional $20 million in investment and funding for its work here.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.