At CES 2018, CEO of ZTE, Lixin Cheng revealed that the company plans to release a 5G smartphone at the end of the year or early 2019.
5G was one of the major topics discussed at the event this year. Its applications span several sectors and will change or greatly improve how we do things.
Mr. Cheng says the company may also add a 5G tablet or a wireless-internet hub for homes. Some carriers such as AT&T already announced plans to test 5G services in about 12 cities. Qualcomm is also already working on 5G chips that will drive devices. For ZTE to achieve its plans, it needs the carriers and also chips from Qualcomm.
However, things may not be so smooth. Authorities in the US are scrutinizing Chinese smartphone makers. Last year, ZTE was fined by the US for selling technology to Iran. Huawei also had its deal with AT&T fall apart this week. There are also reports that a proposed bill may ban devices and services from both companies
Some Chinese manufacturers do offer their phones in the US unlocked but working with a carrier helps boost their popularity among consumers. ZTE is not new to selling phones via carriers. Its latest phone, the Axon M is sold by AT&T. However, if the bill is passed, it will affect the scheme of things.
Other manufacturers are also working on 5G in their own way but have not made any announcements about phones yet. Samsung is partnering with Verizon this month to test 5G in parts of California. Apple has also gotten permission to begin testing 5G networking.