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Folding phones? Makers pray you'll want one

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 25, 2019 - Duration: 02:03s

Folding phones? Makers pray you'll want one

The biggest annual event for the mobile phone industry kicks off on Monday in Barcelona.

Folding smartphones are the headline in hardware at the Mobile World Congress, but the West’s mounting dispute with Chinese giant Huawei is the story that’s hard to avoid.

Doug Busvine reports.

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Folding phones? Makers pray you'll want one

Well the big theme of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year is 5G.

That's the next generation mobile technology that promises download speeds many times faster than those we get from existing networks.

I'm Doug Busvine reporting for Reuters from Barcelona.

Operators and thousands of companies in the telecoms ecosystem are trying to figure out use cases that can make them enough money to justify the billions that they need to invest in 5G networks.

These range from connected cars to remote surgery to intelligent wastewater management.

Whether the reality will live up to the hype is still an open question.

Huawei is making the biggest splash with the launch of its Mate X folding five geophone - it claims it will be the world's fastest.

It can download a movie in just three seconds.

Huawei is going head to head with Samsung which has just announced a two thousand dollar folding phone.

There are launches too from LG, Sony, HMD - they own the Nokia brand and Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker.

Huawei is in the spotlight because of the critical role it plays as a network vendor.

The U.S. administration argues that because of the company's closeness to the Chinese state it poses a national security threat.

Well, Huawei disagrees and is flooding the zone here in Barcelona to make his case.

U.S. officials will also be here arguing the case as they have done in recent weeks for European governments to shut Chinese vendors out of their markets as countries like Australia have already done.

However, in the last couple of days U.S. President Donald Trump has signaled a potential softening in his position.

He says the Chinese vendors could be included as part of a wider trade deal between Washington and Beijing.

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