Suppose you’re downloading a two-hour long movie on Netflix, with 3G connectivity, it could take about 2 hrs. 4G / LTE could take 5-10 minutes, and using 5G connectivity, it would take less than 5 seconds to download a 2-hour long movie from Netflix.
Now, that’s next phase of wireless connectivity, and it appears Huawei is leading the 5G race.
Wow. How fast would 5G be?
5G is expected to download data 20 times faster than 4G, and some experts argue it could even be much faster. We might be looking at having a 5-10 GB per second download speed, with 1 GB per second becoming the norm. Geez! ⚡
Okay, tell me about Huawei?
Pronounced Who-Wa-Way, Huawei is a Chinese multinational and is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications equipment, and the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones. In Q1 of 2019, they shipped 59.1 million mobile phones, that’s more than every other smartphone maker except Samsung (71.9 million).
Looking good, but…
Huawei is a Chinese company that operates in a national economy where the lines between the government and major private enterprises is fuzzy.
According to Axios, It is accused of:
- Placing backdoors in equipment which allows China to spy on telecom networks, allowing it to steal billions in intellectual property to prop up domestic businesses.
- Building its business on the back of stolen intellectual property.
- Ignoring sanctions against Iran.
Is this true?
Huawei denies any of the above allegations, and others seem to think so as well.
“There’s no evidence at all that Huawei has put anything inappropriately in its equipment,” said Entwistle. “If they did and it was discovered, it would be game over for them.”
Why is this an issue?
Huawei already has contracts to install its 5G equipment, which is most likely cheaper than its rivals in many countries.
So what’s the U.S doing about this?
According to Bloomberg, The U.S. is warning countries not to include equipment from Huawei or other Chinese suppliers in any parts of their telecommunications network because there’s no way to fully eradicate cybersecurity risks.
What are other countries doing?
While some countries are clear on their stance on the issue, the UK and Germany, two closest allies of America, haven’t outrightly rejected Huawei in hopes of what they stand to gain and are also trying to preserve their relationships with the U.S.