European telecommunications giant Altice Portugal will cooperate with Chinese company Huawei on the 5G network. The goal of this cooperation is to allow Portugal to lead the rest of Europe in developing and launching 5G networks.
“I believe that Portugal will be the first market in the world to use this 5G technology. ” Alexandre Fonseca, CEO of Altice Portugal, said. Fonseca has just demonstrated 5G technology for the first time on a Huawei router prototype on Wednesday, with a maximum transfer speed of 1.5GB per second.
Fonseca expects that Portugal will launch its first commercial 5G equipment in 2019 or 2020, but ordinary users will not be able to use the technology until 2021 or 2022.
“This is mainly because the various questions need to find an answer, such as the investment and profitability ratio of this business. & rdquo; Fonseca added.
Looking globally, the United States is expected to launch its first commercial 5G project this year. The 5G projects in Japan and South Korea are expected to start in 2019, and China is expected to launch in 2020.
At present, telecommunications companies across Europe are striving to launch 5G services. Vodafone, Altice's biggest rival in Portugal, said last month that the company will begin testing 5G mobile networks in seven of the UK's 10 largest cities in late 2018, and then start in the UK next year. The city has limited deployment of the network.
In Italy, the communications regulator AGCOM believes that the government will auction 5G network frequencies in September this year.
Historically, Portugal is no stranger to world-class technological innovation. For example, the world's first prepaid mobile phone and a nationwide single highway electronic toll collection system were first introduced in this European country. And the country also has a dense fiber network, which makes it a fertile ground for the development of new telecommunications standards.
In general, when 5G network technology is implemented on a larger scale, it will have a denser array of smaller antenna arrays than the current 4G standard, and will make data transmission speed 50-100 times faster than now.
Altice, based in the Netherlands, acquired the assets of Portugal Telecom in 2015. Altice's fiber-optic network currently covers 4.3 million of Portugal's 5.3 million homes, which will help Altice provide 5G services, and the company expects full coverage by early 2020.
Chris Lu, head of Huawei's Portuguese operations, said: “This cooperation is unusual and unlikely to happen in other European countries such as Germany. ”
Chris Lu expects that Huawei will develop prototypes of 5G smartphones next year or 2020.
Telecom industry analysts expect that the upgrade of 5G networks will gradually expand over the next decade and will be used for faster mobile phone network access, fixed wireless video transmission and new industrial uses. But so far, there have been no devices or services that can change the rules of the game to quickly push the market for 5G networks.