Chinese mobile phone maker Huawei Technologies is reportedly planning to possibly introduce a 5G/8K television by the end of next year.

The report didn’t say exactly in which markets it would launch, how large the set would be or what the full feature set would entail.

According to a report from Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review Wednesday, Huawei is looking to expand its product portfolio into high-end consumer electronics going up against the likes of Samsung and Apple.

Nikkei’s story said Huawei’s planned TV will feature 8K resolution and integrate a 5G module to allow it to connect directly to wireless 5G broadband service without the need of routers. Reportedly, the television could also be used as a 5G router for other compatible devices to tap into.

Set owners would be able to use the television to set up a 5G network capable of downloading data-heavy content, including 8K, 360-degree and virtual reality videos. However, the television’s functionality as a 5G router this year might be a little early, as 5G wireless services are still being developed and deployed.

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Once 5G networks arrive, the technology promises fast, broad wireless connectivity that won’t require cable or fiber optic runs or set-top boxes. The 8K display would be one of only a handful of mostly very large-screen 8K televisions expected to be available this year. Currently, only Samsung is offering 8K televisions in the United States, although Sony, LG and possibly others are planning 8K product introductions before the start of 2020.

Huawei is the world’s largest telecom equipment maker and second largest smartphone marker by unit shipments, trailing Samsung. Huawei has also indicated its intent to lead the 5G market.

The company has already introduced 5G base stations, 5G home-use routers and a 5G foldable smartphone that are supposed to reach market soon.

Huawei also has been controversial for producing equipment that allegedly pose security concerns. This accusation was raised when President Trump recently tried to block allies from using 5G equipment produced by the Chinese company.

The concept of bringing 5G and 8K television is not new. Shortly after acquiring controlling interest in Sharp, executives with Terry Gou’s Foxconn discussing plans to develop a “5G 8K ecosystem” in which 8K video signals could be relayed over 5G connections from Sharp 8K video cameras. The Taiwan-based company was also at one time planning to produce 8K televisions in its Wisconsin electronics campus, before downscaling the size of that panel-production venture in a series of changes to the original plan.

Meanwhile, Huawei also has a subsidiary in the IC chip manufacturing industry, which makes chips for many of Huawei’s devices as well as for televisions under several major Asian TV brands.

By Greg Tarr

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