During a talk Lei gave at the three-day conference, held between October 20 to 22, he laid out the company’s plan to release more than 10 new 5G phones in 2020.
The embrace of the 5G era by the likes of Xiaomi (1810: HKSE) is part and parcel of China’s strategy to lead the development of a 5G network and build better infrastructure for IoT.
The Beijing-based handset manufacturer unveiled its first 5G smartphone models on September 24, Xiaomi 9 Pro and Xiaomi Mix Alpha, becoming the second company to release phones with 5G modules after Huawei in the Chinese market.
Nearly 1,000 of the company’s staff were involved in the R&D drive to build the Mix Alpha 5G, with USD 500 million splurged on this project. The model comes with 100-million-pixel cameras, the first of its kind globally.
Xiaomi was named as one of the top 10 global mobile phone brands in 2019, according to Mbaskool – an outstanding achievement for the 9-year-old company.
Telecom giant Huawei, based in Shenzhen, has been a pioneer in the development of the next-generation 5G technology, having invested heavily in innovation and research behind the 5G network. Huawei Mate 20X, which was debuted in July, is the first Chinese handset to obtain a 5G network license.
The introduction of the new 5G smartphone didn’t translate into sustained equity market momentum for Xiaomi, though. The Hong Kong-listed company saws its shares close at HKD 8.55 as of October 18, down 7.2% from a peak of HKD 9.32 the day Mi 9 Pro was released.
During his opening remarks on October 20, Lei, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, emphasized the importance of building the 5G network and explained how it works.
After experiments in the lab, we find out that 5G can reach 2Gigabytes bps, which means we can download a 2 gigabyte game in just 15 seconds, and 100 songs in just 3 seconds, Lei said of the 5G's fast speed.
5G network is the fifth generation wireless technology that is up to 100 times faster than the current 4G networks. The technology not only enables ultra-high speed and low latency performance, but also allows for simultaneous and stable connection of devices.
In the first half of 2019, China made a major step forward when it granted the 5G license to major telecom operators including China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, as well as China Broadcasting Network, authorizing them to provide commercial 5G services.
The license will help phone makers to boost their production and speed up investment in 5G, enhancing the country's competitiveness in the global market.
As 5G technology matures, new emerging industries including smart security, VR/AR, smart city, autonomous driving, and smart home will greatly benefit from the technology. These industries rely heavily on high-speed connection between devices.
Other possible beneficiaries include hotels, kindergartens, malls, and hospitals. They can also jump on the 5G bandwagon to access better identification and surveillance services across a wide spectrum of application scenarios.
Many observers believe 5G technology will change the way we use high-tech devices and how we interact with them. It has the potential of propelling the robotic industry to new heights and effecting huge breakthroughs in areas like healthcare and AI.
Countries like the US, Japan, and Australia and a handful of EU members are also developing new 5G network infrastructure. However, due to security concerns, Chinese heavyweights such as Huawei have been barred from participating in the construction of 5G networks in the US, Japan and some EU countries.