EE’s 5G victory and Huawei’s Android ban woes: Winners and Losers

This week has been a turbulent one for the tech community, with Google and pretty much every tech company under the sun turning its back on Huawei, and telcos Vodafone and EE rushing to launch 5G in the UK.

Add to the that the sea of news about upcoming phones like the Galaxy Note 10, iPhone 11 and Xiaomi Redmi K20, and the rapidly approaching Computex trade show in Taipei.

Figuring out what matters in the word of shiny things has become a pretty tough task.

But for us here at Trusted Reviews, there have been two key winners and losers this week. Read on as we break down who they are and why, in our inaugural Winners and Losers weekly column.

Winner: EE for its stellar 5G launch line-up

ee 5g

5G’s been a hot topic since MWC (Mobile World Congress), where pretty much ever company under the sun discussed its 5G plans. But in the UK, exact details about when the next-gen networking tech would land were thin on the ground. All we had was a bunch of nebulous promises from carriers that it would launch in “select cities” in the UK before the end of the year.

This week EE completely changed the game, by announcing that its 5G network will launch next week on 30 May in London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham. The move will make EE the first network in the UK with an active 5G network, putting it well ahead of arch-rival Vodafone, which won’t send its own 5G network live until July.

Related: EE 5G price, plans and phones

This could be a key victory for EE, which pulled a similar trick many moons ago when it launched the UK’s first 4G network. Add to this its robust launch line-up of 5G phones, which includes the 5G version of the OnePlus 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Oppo Reno 5G and LG V50, and EE easily earns its place as Trusted Reviews‘ winner this week.

Things will get more competitive in the near future though. Vodafone’s 5G network may be scheduled to arrive later, and will only offer a choice of two handsets at launch, but it has one key weapon in its arsenal: roaming.

Vodafone’s the only carrier to currently have a confirmed 5G data roaming plan, which will launch later in the summer after the main network activates. This will be a key selling point for business users and regular travellers.

Related: What is 5G?

Loser: Huawei, in just about every way

Huawei MWC 2019 press image

Huawei has had a hell of a week. If you somehow missed the deluge of headlines about the Chinese firm, here’s the short version: a recent executive order from US President Donald Trump forced numerous tech companies to cut ties with it.

This started last Sunday, when Google announced that future Huawei phones and tablets will not have an Android license. For the moment, this won’t impact the company’s existing handsets, like the Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Pro. But it could deal a huge blow to future Huawei devices.

Related: What you need to know about the Huawei Android ban

The block means newer handsets will not be officially supported by Google, hindering their ability to be updated to new versions of Android, like Android Q. It also means they will not have access to Google’s Play Store and Services. This will stop key apps like Google Maps, Assistant and Gmail running on Huawei phones.

Numerous other tech giants including ARM, Qualcomm and Intel have since issued similar statements cutting ties with Huawei, leaving the company’s future as the second biggest smartphone maker in question. It’s hard to see how Huawei could have had a worse week.

Winners and Losers is a new weekly column by Trusted Reviews. In it, the Trusted Reviews team breaks down the biggest winners and losers in the technology industry over the last seven days. If you’re after a more general breakdown of the tech scene’s happenings check out our The Week in Geek column. For something more mobile focused, we deep dive into the latest rumours around incoming handsets in our Fast Charge column. Want your say? Then email our editor in the email address below for a chance to be featured in our weekly letters column.

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