Huawei to throw hundreds of millions at 5G research over five years

Will allow speeds up to 100x faster than 4G networks

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Huawei's incumbent CEO, Eric Xu, has announced that the Chinese networking giant will be committing a whopping $600 million (£370m) to resources dedicated to research and development in next generation wireless network technology, commonly known under the umbrella term "5G".

The company, who is better known for its mobile devices but also provides enterprises worldwide with networking technology, said that the investment would be carried out over five years.

5G technology, Huawei said, would allow speeds of up to 100x faster than the 4G networks that are in operation in the UK and may be rolled out commercially by the end of the decade, something which is turning into a leitmotiv for the company.

At 10Gbps (on the 5GHz band), it would be as fast as the backplanes of most servers used in data centres. Beyond speed, Xu also reckons that the technology will allow even more devices to be connected, many of which being part of the Internet-of-things ecosystem.

Speed bump

EE teamed up with Huawei earlier this week to launch the first LTE advanced network in the UK with a theoretical speed on up to 300Mbps, a tenfold improvement on EE's 4G speeds at launch. Shame that no mobile devices can actually take full advantage of that speed bump unless they connect to a compatible hotspot via 802.11ac.

Other than Huawei, Samsung and NTT Docomo have also jumped on the 5G bandwagon and late last year, the Chinese company joined forces with Telefonica and Fujitsu to partner on a new £35m 5G research centre in collaboration with the university of Surrey.

Earlier this year, European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes went even further saying that she wants 5G to be pioneered by the European industry. The EU has spent well over £600m over the past six years on 4G and next generation wireless technologies.