Chinese smartphone maker ZTE plans to launch smartphones with faster 5G networking capabilities within a year, said Cheng Lixin, CEO of the company's mobile terminal business.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Cheng Lixin said the terminal will be launched in the United States by the end of 2018 or early 2019. The plan may vary depending on 5G network availability and availability of the required chipset. He said it will be a smartphone, but also pointed out that there may be the 5G tablet or home wireless routing.
Earlier this month, AT & T said it plans to launch 5G services that have no specific name in more than 10 cities this year. Qualcomm spoke of new chips to be sold to enable this faster wireless connection. Without them, ZTE and most other handset makers will find it hard to deliver viable 5G digital products.
Cheng Lixin's comments were published during the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas at a time when Chinese handset makers are under scrutiny by U.S. authorities.
ZTE has sold handsets in the United States through AT & T and Verizon. Handset makers do not need to work with operators to sell handsets in the United States, but such partnerships will lead to significant improvements in marketing and retail.
According to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence, ZTE is not a significant player in the global market with a market share of 2.1% in Q3 2017. However, the company is part of a series of global competition promoted by Chinese handset makers with Apple and Samsung. If it could really launch a 5G smartphone in early 2019, it would be the first handset brands to enter the market, possibly competing with Apple and Samsung to beat them even in providing this functionality。