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Huawei’s Next Phone Will Have 5G — And Might Be Foldable

Huawei has announced it will be launching its next phone at Mobile World Congress 2019 in February, and that it will be a 5G-enabled device.

A render of Huawei's foldable phone. Credit: ET News

(Image credit: A render of Huawei's foldable phone. Credit: ET News)

At an event in Beijing, Huawei’s consumer business group CEO Richard Yu announced the component that will give the device its 5G powers - a new modem named Balong 5000. In addition to working with 5G signals, the Balong will also support all previous cell communication generations (4G and backwards), and can achieve high speed download rates, passing the 5G benchmark of 4.6Gbps, according to Yu (via GizmoChina).

But more importantly for the average tech buyer is the first phone that will contain this modem. The Kirin 980 chip, currently in use in the Mate 20 and the recently released Honor View 20, is already 5G compatible and will combine with the Balong in a new handset. The device will be shown off the public next month at MWC in Barcelona.

MORE: All the Incoming Foldable Phones of 2019

The Balong 5000 is also going to see service in other devices apart from smartphones. At the same event, Yu announced the 5G CPE Pro, a broadband router for homes and small businesses using the modem, one that’s capable of speeds of up to 4.8Gbps.

Huawei has talked in the past about its interest in foldable phones, and we've seen potential images of the company's foldable design. Using that as the framework for its 5G ready components would make for a phone that would capture plenty of attention. Previous reports have indicated that Huawei would be showing off a foldable device at MWC, and that it will be announcing something in advance at a press conference on February 24.

There’s no guarantee that Huawei’s foldable technology is in a state ready for the market yet, but it’s an enticing thought all the same to imagine that this incoming smartphone is going to be cutting edge both internally and externally. And let’s face it, Huawei could use some good press after the U.S. government accused the company of stealing trade secrets made by the US government.