The race to 5G is at the center of rising international trade friction, but at the 2019 Mobile World Conference in Shanghai, it was business as usual. Companies from around the world were eager to demonstrate their deployment of 5G in robotics, augmented reality (AR), entertainment, food delivery, and others.
China Mobile used 5G to send signals from a human wearing sensors, and a robot reflected the movements almost instantly.
ZTE showed off a robot playing the piano. While the music was pleasant, it was unclear what role 5G played in the demonstration.
ZTE also partnered with Nreal to deliver an AR headset.
Huawei put on an impressive show; it was everywhere, and it was big. It had the largest booth in the exhibition area, which was invite-only. The telecom giant kicked off the conference with a presentation called “5G is ON” and headlined another five events—more than any other company.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Huawei said that its 5G equipment will not be affected by the American technology ban. It also announced that it had secured 50 commercial 5G contracts worldwide.
On Wednesday, Huawei announced a partnership with China Telecom to enhance uplink speed to support the telecom operator’s plan to deliver artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in industry, transport, home, and more. The Baolong 5000 chip made by Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon will be used for the project, the company said.
Huawei also spoke about its goal to become a first-tier supplier for 5G-powered AI transport systems, offering end-to-end intelligent system solutions, both horizontally and vertically.
China Mobile introduced plans for smart mobility and spoke about the role of the Chinese government in autonomous vehicle (AV) development. Authorities have made clear the strategy to develop vehicle-road cooperation using 5G so that China can compete in the global market for autonomous driving, it said.
International semiconductor and telecom equipment manufacturers were also present and showcasing hardware capabilities for building 5G systems.
With additional reporting by Jill Shen, Wei Sheng, Jiayi Shi, and Eugene Tang.