Huawei Technologies is ramping up its investment in the development of 5G mobile broadband technology, saying it will invest at least $600 million over the next five years into research and development in 5G-enabling solutions.
The giant tech vendor has been investing in 5G research since 2009, and in 2011 and 2012 demonstrated 5G prototype base stations with up to 50G bps capacity, according to the company. The new investment will touch a range of efforts, such as research of air-interface technology.
Huawei officials expect that the first 5G networks will be ready to be deployed commercially in 2020, and will offer data rates of more than 10G bps, 100 times faster than the peak rate of 1G bps delivered by 4G networks. At 10G bps, users will be able to download high-definition movies in one second and get a "true-to-life video communications experience," according to Huawei CEO Eric Xu.
"Innovation is a continuous journey," Xu said in a statement. "While we continue to evolve our existing 4G network capabilities, we plan to invest … on research and innovation for 5G mobile network technologies to ensure that we are meeting the consumers' demands for increasingly faster and better connections."
Carriers currently are continuing to build out their 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks, and growing numbers of mobile devices are supporting 4G. However, Xu said there are still challenges that need to be addressed before 5G can be commercially deployed.
"These include the availability of spectrum and technological challenges, such as how to engineer network architectures capable of handling increasingly higher data volumes and transmission speeds necessary to accommodate more users on the network," he said. "We have already achieved many technological breakthroughs in 5G research and innovation, but the majority of the work remains ahead of us."
A growing number of vendors, including Samsung, BT, ZTE and Ericsson, also are investing in 5G research, and work on a new 5G Innovation Center on the University of Surrey campus in England—which has the financial backing of Huawei, Fujitsu, Samsung, BT, Vodaphone and others—began this week. In addition, China Mobile's Research Institute is partnering with Nokia Solutions and Networks in developing 5G standards.