HTC 5G Hub isn't the sexiest 5G device at MWC but it might be the most useful

The Hub and products like it will eventually make wired routers redundant

HTC 5G Hub

There's been unprecedented excitement at MWC 2019 regarding folding phones, 5G phones and phones that you wear on your wrist like a stylish bangle. Well, like a bangle, anyway. There's been less hype about routers because routers are intrinsically unsexy but HTC's 5G Hub is literally like a product from the future that you can buy right now: a router (or 'mobile smart hub' in today's parlance) that lets you access 5G speeds wherever you are, without the need for a Xiaomi 5G Mi Mix 

The first of its kind, the HTC says its 5G Hub allows you to have 5G speeds at home, business, and 'everywhere in between' – good news for everyone stuck in Barcelona's rolling traffic jam when heading back from the convention centre.

HTC 5G Hub, front and back: looks like bad news for owners of shares in Ethernet Inc.

The 5G Hub receives a big, fat 5G signal then shares it via next-gen AD 2x2 Wi-Fi, which has similarly zippy top speeds, 'dramatically faster than 4G LTE' and 'wire equivalent' latencies. Gamers will like the 'ultra-low' latency, with 4K at 60fps on compatible devices. There's only one Gigabit ethernet connection built in – another sign of things to come.

A 7,660 mAh battery means the HTC 5G Hub can be used outside of the home or office. HTC adds that you can connect up to 20 devices 'safely and securely on a high-speed encrypted network' or via your VPN.

The Wi-Fi is powered by Qualcomm's chips, and the brand also provides the processing power, with the HTC 5G Hub powered by the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform and connectivity handled by the Snapdragon X50 5G Modem. The device runs on Android 9 Pie, for 'unprecedented' download speeds and power on Android devices and PCs. Control and 'high-quality visuals' are via a 5-inch HD touchscreen. 

In the UK it'll run on EE and Three's 5G networks (neither of which actually quite exist yet but lets not split hairs), with other European carriers including Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Sunrise (Switzerland), and Elisa (Finland).

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division yelled: “Our 5G network will give EE customers even faster, more reliable connections where they need it most." 

He then took a very deep breath before adding, "Whether online gaming on the move, downloading or streaming 4K content, or simply keeping a fast connection in the busiest areas, EE customers with HTC’s new 5G Mobile Smart Hub will be able to connect any of their Wi-Fi enabled devices to our 5G network for the best connected experience.”

• HTC 5G Hub will go on sale in Q2 of 2019 at 'select retailers'

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."