Huawei has opened a 5G Innovation and Experience Centre in London as it steps up its efforts to promote the virtue of next generation networking – and its own technology in the process.
The Chinese firm describes the facility as a “base for knowledge and skills sharing” with the stated ambition of promoting collaboration between business and innovators in the development of 5G ecosystems.
It also offers visitors a chance to experience 5G applications, including Virtual and Augmented Realities (VR and AR), as well as new innovations in industry.
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Huawei 5G UK
“With the opening of our 5G Innovation and Experience Centre in London we, as a leader of 5G, are taking another important step,” said Huawei’s Victor Zhang. “What we have opened today will enable true collaboration amongst UK businesses and technologists and showcase the huge potential of 5G applications for both the private and business sectors.”
The opening forms part of Huawei’s ongoing mission to promote 5G and the importance of its role in the deployment of networks and the economic value it can deliver to industries such as healthcare and manufacturing.
The company has so far signed 60 commercial 5G contracts, including with all four UK mobile operators.
However its future in the UK is uncertain due to ongoing political pressure from the US to ban the use of Huawei kit in 5G on national security grounds. Huawei has denied any allegations of wrongdoing, while Washington has not produced any evidence to supports its allegations.
US pressure has had limited effect on Europe, where Huawei has a significant presence. There is little support for a ban because of concerns that costs would rise and innovation would decline as a result. Meanwhile Huawei has called for a cross-industry approach to security – hence its emphasis on collaboration.
In the UK, it was suggested that Huawei would be banned from the core layer of 5G networks – but not the radio layer. This would, in effect, maintain the status quo. However the government has still not reached a final decision with reports suggesting Prime Minister Boris Johnson is inclined to follow the US’s lead.
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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.