Chinese telecom giant Huawei has announced that it will invest more than half a billion dollars over the next five years to develop 5G mobile network technologies. The firm, one of the largest mobile phone manufacturers in the world and an important developer of wireless technologies, revealed its research and development intentions on Wednesday in a statement on the Huawei website, according to Reuters
. The development of 5G technologies could boost wireless transmission speeds multiple orders of magnitude beyond their current levels with 4G LTE technology.
While the technology is still quite a ways into the future, Huawei sees 5G networks delivering data speeds 100 times faster than existing networks. The company notes that its $600 million investment is geared toward developing the mobile network technologies, and it does not include any further investment in the development of 5G products.
"While we continue to evolve our existing 4G network capabilities, we plan to invest a minimum of $600 million over the next five years on research and innovation for 5G mobile network technologies to ensure that we are meeting consumers' demands for increasingly faster and better connections," Eric Xu, Huawei's current rotating chief executive, said in a statement.
Huawei expects that 5G networks will be ready for commercial deployment by 2020.
Huawei and fellow Chinese firm ZTE are among the largest phone manufacturers in the world, but are to an extent virtual unknowns, as they lack the brand recognition of manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, and even Motorola. The two firms make both phones and telecommunications network gear – thus Huawei's planned 5G investment – but they have seen increased scrutiny in the West
due to their ties to the Chinese government. Western governments have actively pressed against Huawei having a say in the development of their telecommunications infrastructures due to concerns that reliance on such a company could represent a risk to national security.
Huawei and ZTE have all along maintained that there is nothing untoward about their relationship with China's government. The two companies hold that they are more interested in selling their smartphones
than in spying for China.