Some positive news for Huawei, hard on the heels of its difficulties in the US, comes from its home market. It has won a large part of two 5G core network contracts from China Mobile.
China Mobile awarded Huawei 49 per cent of a mobility management entity (MME) device contract and 54 per cent of a system architecture evolution (SAE) gateway tender.
China Mobile has said it will upgrade 450 MME devices on its existing network, which will support dual connectivity of both 4G and non-standalone 5G.
Ericsson will provide 34 per cent of the equipment for both contracts. Nokia will provide 12 per cent and nine per cent respectively. China’s ZTE won five per cent and three per cent.
The total value of the deals is not known, though some local reports have suggested US$2 billion. 5G radio access network deals will no doubt add significantly to that amount.
China Mobile has said it will continue to work with both domestic and international suppliers.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued four commercial licences on 6 June. Three permits went to the incumbent mobile operators, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. The fourth was given to China Broadcasting Network (CBN).
The government allocated 5G spectrum in the mid-band frequency range to the three state-owned mobile operators in late 2018. Large-scale network trials began soon afterwards.