Huawei intends to double its current production of 5G base stations, without U.S. components, in 2020.
A Reuters report indicated that the company will be mass-producing U.S component-free base stations next month.
“We carried out the testing in August and September, and from October on we will start scale production,” Huawei’s CEO Ren Zhengfei told a forum, according to the article. He said that the company will start with making 5,000 of these stations a month.
The article noted that the annual production of these stations will hit about 1.5 million units, compared to the 600,000 that has been estimated for this year and that includes stations with U.S. components.
U.S. President Donald Trump banned Huawei from working with any U.S.-based companies in May and in June his administration slightly lifted the ban. A new deadline has been set for November for companies to determine alternative plans if they currently are invested in working with the China-based company.
In Canada, while 5G might not be coming until at least 2021, the government still has not made a decision regarding Huawei participating in the rollout of 5G infrastructure. Incumbent Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale indicated that a decision would only come after the federal election that is currently underway.
What we do know of Huawei’s competitors is that in July, Nokia said it has 45 commercial contracts for 5G equipment and that Ericsson has 24 contracts with operators that are primarily based in Europe and the U.S.
Huawei more recently launched its latest version of the Mate 30 flagship phone, but it won’t be sold with Google services. It’s also still unclear if the phone is releasing in Canada.
Will Zhang, Huawei’s president of corporate strategy, told Reuters that the new base stations that are without U.S. components are “no worse” and that Huawei “has had positive surprises.”
But Ren has indicated that he would like to still work with the U.S. and use U.S. components because the company has “emotional ties” with many suppliers based in America.
Shruti Shekar is a telecom and tech reporter for MobileSyrup. She was formerly a political reporter at The Hill Times based in Ottawa and prior to that was a communications officer for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. She loves reading, the Raptors, and all the alcohol.