ZTE’s CEO Lixin Cheng has announced on the sideline of CES 2018 that ZTE would be one of the first companies to release a 5G smartphone in the US by early 2019.
In the last posts, we talked about the 5G networks and also how fast it is compared to the previous networks. The testing has already begun, and after the 3GPP set of standards, manufacturers like Qualcomm and Intel are developing products based on them which they plan to launch sometime next year.
Chinese smartphone and telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE now plans to launch its first 5G smartphone in early 2019 as reported by Bloomberg. Lixin Cheng, the chief executive officer of ZTE’s mobile business plans, remarked that the plans could change based on the availability of 5G networks and also compatible chipsets. But he also said that 5G tablet or home internet hub might be possible.
In the US, a lot of telecom operators have been talking about the possibility of installing fixed wireless 5G in several states so it natural that ZTE will be planning to launch customer-premise equipment as well. ZTE doesn’t make its modems, but Qualcomm and Intel sell their models to various companies, so a 5G smartphone from ZTE may not be the first on in the market.
ZTE may be a major member of the telecommunication sector and also has actively pursuing development in the 5G sector. But their lack of home-grown modem put them at a great disadvantage, and this may be a reason why they should capitalise to gain the upper hand against other rivals like Huawei and Apple.
The version at Mobile World Congress announced that it had started 5G trials in Texas while AT&T also announced they would be testing 5G technology in their labs before fixed trials. These two are the biggest internet service providers, so we could be seeing the first 5G handsets at Q1 2019 and likely a year before the 5G technology becomes mainstream and available widely all over the world.