Thu, Nov 29, 2018 - Page 12 News List

HTC, Sprint to team up on 5G router

DIVERSIFICATION:HTC chairwoman Cher Wang said that the firm’s development of several leading-edge technologies would lead advances over the next decade

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday said that it would partner with Sprint Corp to develop a 5G mobile smart hub to tap 5G network technology opportunities in the US.

The device is to begin shipping in the first half of next year, said HTC, which has continued to establish footholds in leading-edge technologies including 5G, augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and blockchain.

The device is to be powered by Qualcomm Inc’s Snapdragon X50 modem, which can provide gigabit-class data speeds, Sprint said.

The companies provided scant details on the upcoming device’s features, pricing or name.

“This innovative product will allow customers on the go, at work or at home to enjoy Sprint 5G on multiple devices with incredibly fast connectivity for content sharing, mobile gaming, entertainment and so much more,” Sprint chief technology officer John Saw said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sprint also announced that its 5G network would launch in nine of the US’ largest cities: Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago; Dallas; Houston, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles; New York City; Phoenix, Arizona; and Washington.

Based on these early details, US media outlets have predicted that the device would serve as a portable router that would provide Wi-Fi connectivity via Sprint’s 5G network.

Web site Engadget suggested that Sprint is using the portable router as an interim solution until more 5G-capable smartphones and mobile devices hit the market.

HTC said that the device is part of its efforts to build a 5G ecosystem.

“Just as HTC led the migration from 3G to 4G, we are making preparations to build a 5G ecosystem to take advantage of its unparalleled data speeds,” HTC chairwoman and CEO Cher Wang (王雪紅) said.

HTC believes that its efforts in developing virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, blockchain and 5G communications will lead technology advances over the next 10 years, she said.

HTC unveiled its first virtual-reality headset in 2015 to diversify away from its core smartphone business, an industry that has become saturated and intensely competitive, in the hopes of creating an additional revenue source and turning its business around.

However, the virtual-reality business still accounts for only a small fraction of HTC’s revenue and has failed to boost the company’s bottom line.

HTC shares yesterday jumped 4.98 percent to NT$45.3, outperforming the TAIEX, which rose 1.08 percent to 9,884.31 points.

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