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According to Reuters, Portugal's largest telecom operator, Altice Portugal, is working with China's Huawei company to promote Portugal as a leader in the development and deployment of next-generation 5G networks in Europe.
“I think the Portuguese market will be one of the first markets in the world to be able to use 5G technology,” said Alexandre Fonseca, CEO of Altice Portugal. The two companies demonstrated Huawei's prototype router for the first time on Wednesday, with a maximum speed of 1.5GB/sec.
Alexandre Fonseca expects Portugal's first 5G commercial terminals to appear in 2019 or 2020, but ordinary users may not be able to use 5G technology until 2021 or 2022, "because there are still many questions to answer, such as investment and business profitability. The trade-off between capabilities."
Globally, the first commercial 5G services are expected to be launched in the US this year, Japan and South Korea will be launched next year, and then China will be launched in 2020.
Telecom operators across Europe are also working hard to promote the development of 5G services. Vodafone said last month that it will test 5G mobile networks in seven of the top 10 cities in the UK by the end of 2018, and then start small-scale deployments in some cities next year. In Italy, communications regulator AGCOM said the government will auction the 5G mobile service spectrum in September.
The Dutch-based Altice acquired the assets of Portugal Telecom, Portugal's largest telecom operator, in 2015. Altice's fiber-optic network will help develop 5G services. Currently, its fiber-optic network covers 4.3 million of Portugal's 5.3 million homes. Altice expects to cover the remaining home users by early 2020.
“This is unusual and has not happened in other European countries, such as Germany,” said Chris Lu, head of Huawei's Portuguese operations. He expects Huawei to launch a 5G smartphone prototype next year or in 2020.