Huawei hosted a conference in Beijing today to showcase its upcoming 5G products: the Balong 5000, which it claims is the world's fastest 5G chip, and the 5G CPE Pro, a powerful home router. With these devices, the Chinese manufacturer is aiming at becoming a reference in 5G chips, and is trying to dethrone Qualcomm with a more powerful product.

Balong 5000

Spearheading Huawei's 5G efforts is the Balong 5000, the first multi-mode 5G chip. Instead of being a dedicated 5G modem, this one supports 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G together. The immediate benefits here are reduced intermode latency and improved energy efficiency: As a single chip deals with all network modes instead of several, it's faster and less power-consuming to switch from a mode to another.

The Huawei Balong 5000 is smaller than a fingernail

Huawei also presents the Balong 5000 as the world's most powerful 5G chipset, with download speeds reaching up to 6.5 Gbps. Thanks to its TDD and FDD support, this modem can dedicate a separate band to uplink and downlink streams, allowing for faster transfer speeds.

It's also the only 5G chip to support both NSA (Non-standalone) and SA (Standalone) networking. In short, NSA is considered a transitional infrastructure where 5G devices still use 4G networks for non-data related tasks, such as connecting to servers and base stations. It's therefore a forward-thinking modem by supporting future network standards.

Throughout the conference, the Balong 5000 was compared to Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50, with Huawei claiming it's better in almost every aspect, as the American rival supports neither multi-mode, SA, nor FDD, and consequently offers lower speeds and energy efficiency.

Lastly, the Balong 5000 is not only meant to be used in phones and tablets but also in IoT objects, routers and even cars, as it supports the Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communication protocol.

We're expecting the chipset to launch in the foldable display smartphone that the company will unveil at MWC.

5G CPE Pro

Huawei concomitantly announced the 5G CPE Pro, a 5G home router powered by the Balong 5000. On top of all the 5G capabilities we mentioned above, the router features WiFi 6 connectivity, offering speeds up to 4.8 Gbps. The 5G CPE Pro also comes with a set of handy functionalities: Thanks to a mobile app, you can quickly find the best location in your home for the best signal. It also supports Huawei's Hi-Link protocol, which lets you connect other devices with a single tap.

For more details, you can replay the conference on YouTube and read the full press release below.

Press Release

[Beijing, January 24, 2019] Huawei officially launched its 5G multi-mode chipset Balong 5000 today – along with the first commercial 5G device powered by it, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro. Together, these two new products provide the world's fastest wireless connections for your smartphone, your home, the office, and on the go.

Balong 5000 officially unlocks the 5G era. This chipset supports a broad range of 5G products in addition to smartphones, including home broadband devices, vehicle-mounted devices, and 5G modules. It will provide consumers with a brand new 5G experience across multiple scenarios.

"The Balong 5000 will open up a whole new world to consumers," said the CEO of Huawei's Consumer Business Group, Richard Yu. "It will enable everything to sense, and will provide the high-speed connections needed for pervasive intelligence. Powered by the Balong 5000, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro enables consumers to access networks more freely and enjoy an incredibly fast connected experience. Huawei has an integrated set of capabilities across chips, devices, cloud services, and networks. Building on these strengths, as the leader of the 5G era, we will bring an inspired, intelligent experience to global consumers in every aspect of their lives."

Balong 5000: Ushering in the 5G era

HUAWEI launches 5G multi-mode chipset and 5G CPE Pro
Huawei launches the world's first single-chip multi-mode modem

With a small form factor and high degree of integration, Balong 5000 supports 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G on a single chip. It effectively reduces latency and power consumption when exchanging data between different modes, and will significantly enhance user experience in the early stages of commercial 5G deployment. Balong 5000 marks a significant step forward for the Balong series of chipsets.

Balong 5000 is the first chipset to perform to industry benchmarks for peak 5G download speeds. At Sub-6 GHz (low-frequency bands, the main spectrum used for 5G), Balong 5000 can achieve download speeds up to 4.6 Gbps. On mmWave spectrum (high-frequency bands used as extended spectrum for 5G), Balong 5000 can achieve download speeds up to 6.5 Gbps – 10 times faster than top 4G LTE speeds on the market today.

Balong 5000 is also the world's first chipset that supports both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) network architectures for 5G. With non-standalone, 5G network architecture is built on top of legacy 4G LTE networks, whereas standalone 5G, as the name implies, will have its own independent architecture. Balong 5000 can flexibly meet different user and carrier requirements for connecting devices throughout different stages of 5G development.

Balong 5000 is the world's first multi-mode chipset that supports Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communications, providing low-latency and highly reliable solutions for connected vehicles. Huawei's 5G smartphones powered by Balong 5000 will be released at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Huawei 5G CPE Pro: Changing user experiences in home broadband networks

HUAWEI launches 5G multi-mode chipset and 5G CPE Pro
The Huawei 5G CPE Pro achieves a high speed of 3.2 Gbps in live network tests

Powered by Balong 5000, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro supports both 4G and 5G wireless connections. On a 5G network, a 1-GB HD video clip can be downloaded within three seconds, and 8K video can be streamed smoothly without lag. This sets a new benchmark for home CPEs. In addition to homes, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro can also be used by small and medium-sized enterprises for super-fast broadband access.

Adopting new Wi-Fi 6 technology, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro delivers speeds of up to 4.8 Gbps. It is the first 5G CPE that supports HUAWEI HiLink protocols, bringing smart homes into the 5G era.

As a 5G pioneer, Huawei began research and development in 5G as early as 2009, and is currently the industry's only vendor that can provide end-to-end 5G systems. Huawei has more than 5700 engineers dedicated to 5G R&D, including over 500 5G experts. In total, Huawei has established 11 joint innovation centers for 5G solutions worldwide.