Smartphone maker Huawei was one of the attendees at this year's World Internet Conference in Wuzen, China, where it accepted an award for its 5G research and buildout. Specifically, the pre-commercial system that Huawei has been busy building out to be as close to the current release candidate of the official 3GPP specifications as possible was hailed as a World-Leading Internet Scientific and Technological Achievement. The award was handed down in recognition of a full-fledged, end-to-end 5G system that Huawei CEO Eric Xu announced for a release in 2019.
The proposed system is set to come out before 2020, which is currently thought to be when the 3GPP will come out with the final version of the 5G standard. Huawei's solution consists of network systems made to work all the way from the base station to the consumer end of the connection, and bundles in many key technologies created specifically for this purpose. The system sticks to the current release candidate of the official 3GPP specifications, meaning that it stands a fairly good chance of being viable, if not compliant, when the full standard is revealed. Alongside the network equipment and support systems, Huawei plans to release 5G-capable chipsets in its Kirin flagship mobile processor lineup, and consumer-facing smartphones equipped with those chips. In essence, Huawei is planning to have a very close approximation of the final 5G standard up and running for consumers, from the fixed base stations through the carrier-leased equipment and all the way to smartphones in consumers' hands, before the full standard is even announced. By the time carriers and network equipment makers who wanted to wait for the full specification can actually begin working on their systems, Huawei's solution will have been in consumers' hands for a year, if all goes to plan.
Huawei has been investing heavily in 5G research and development as far back as 2009, committing billions of dollars to the effort leading up to today. The company has been participating in numerous 5G trials with various carriers and OEMs in recent months but has yet to fully demonstrate the system that's planned for a 2019 release since the required smartphone chipsets are not yet being manufactured.