A lack of government allocated spectrum resources and cross industry collaboration are some of the biggest challenges facing the development of 5G technologies within the next five years, according to the Deputy Chairman and Rotating CEO of Huawei, Ken Hu.

“The 5G future is bright, but there are a lot of challenges and therefore we need to make revolutionary innovations,” said Hu during a keynote at today’s Mobile World Congress in Shanghai. “We need cross-industry innovation… and we need to call on governments and regulators to allocate more spectrum resources.”

Earlier this week Huawei announced in a press release the launch of their involvement in the European 5G Public Private Partnership (5G-PPP) Project. Huawei is working on a handful of other 5G projects across Europe, the UK and in Asia. On the same day, Huawei sealed an MOU with the Maltese government to launch an R&D centre with the aim of testing 5G technology in Malta.


Nokia CEO & President Rajeev Suri, who spoke at the same event, also shared concerns about the development of the industry including security for 5G and IoT connected technologies. “I don’t think we as an industry are focussed on security as much as we should be,” said Suri. “Standardization issues, privacy and security, network security will be a big part of the challenge.” 

Asian countries are among the leaders in implementing 5G technology. South Korea has committed to providing 5G services as soon as 2018 during the Winter Olympics, while Japan has made a similar commitment for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Initiatives from China have also signposted 2020 as the earliest date for 5G services, while providers including Huawei and ZTE aim to launch tests in the coming years.

While tests and initial services may be ready within the next five years, there is an industry consensus that wide-scale 5G services will take closer to a decade to develop. Currently, the industry focus is still on 4G technology, with China being the fastest growing market for 4G services.

Images: Huawei rotating CEO Ken Hu (Top) and Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri.

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com

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