First, let’s arm you with some knowledge.
5G (fifth generation) cellphone networks are coming to South Africa in 2020. This means that we can expect speeds between 5Gbps to 8Gbps, and up to 20Gbps in theory – compared to 4G LTE which has a maximum throughput of 1Gbps.
If none of that made sense to you, then all you need to know is that 5G is way faster than the current cellphone networks, and according to BusinessInsider, the introduction of 5G will “dramatically change what is possible to do over a cellular connection”.
Think super fast internet and connectivity.
Cool. Sounds good.
On to the story at hand – CNN reports that America is trying to persuade other countries (and that includes SA) not to allow Huawei equipment into new superfast 5G networks, because it claims the gear could be used by the Chinese government for spying.
Huawei strongly denies the accusations. And it has already built up such a strong lead in 5G technology that it’s practically irreplaceable for many wireless carriers that want to be among the first to offer the new services.
“Banning Huawei will create a vacuum that no one can fill in a timely fashion and may seriously impair 5G deployments worldwide,” said Stéphane Téral, a mobile telecom infrastructure expert at research firm IHS Markit.
This is particularly bad for Europe, where Huawei is key to building 5G networks that the region’s leaders say are vital for its economic future.
The international rollout of 5G has taken front and centre stage in the ongoing conflict between China and the States.
The United States doesn’t have a heavyweight global competitor to Huawei in telecommunications equipment. The Chinese firm’s biggest rivals are Ericsson(ERIC) of Sweden and Nokia (NOK) of Finland. But they have struggled for years with losses and job cuts while Huawei has powered ahead, generating annual revenue of more than $100 billion, building a strong base in China and amassing intellectual property that will help determine the future of 5G.
Shutting Huawei out could have devastating consequences on the advancement of a number of countries’ tech capabilities going forward.
You can read more about that here.
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