While effectively shunned in the United States where it faced countless issues spanning close to two decades, Huawei has no intentions of toning down its general 5G ambitions after spending massive resources toward pioneering the next generation of mobile networks. The company's wireless focus is now turning to Europe, particularly Portugal, the Iberian country that the technology giant now pledged to turn into a 5G leader on the Old Continent. Its efforts to do so will materialize through a new partnership with the local branch of Altice, a Dutch telecom giant which announced the collaboration earlier this week.
Altice Portugal Chief Executive Officer Alexandre Fonseca said his company will be among the first wireless players in the world to commercialize 5G networks, having confirmed the firm's ambitious plans after demonstrating a 1.5Gbps throughput using an experimental Huawei router on Wednesday. Portuguese consumers will be able to purchase 5G devices no later than 2020, with the first such products possibly debuting in the country as early as next year, Mr. Fonseca said. While Altice will have the technological capabilities to sell and maintain 5G offerings within the next two years, 5G solutions may not become widespread in Portugal prior to 2021 or 2022 due to profitability concerns, the industry veteran suggested.
That timeline is still much more ambitious than what network operators in most other European countries are planning and coupled with the incoming threat of stricter rules regulating the usage of millimeter-wave spectrum, the political bloc as a whole is likely to lose the 5G race to the United States, South Korea, Japan, Australia, China, and possibly several other countries. The next generation of mobile networks is promising a true wireless revolution enabling new technologies such as fully connected and autonomous vehicles, remote surgery, and cutting-edge IoT, all of which should create millions of new jobs and consequently spur economic growth worldwide.