Ericsson and Nokia up their R&D game to compound Huawei misery

Whenever Huawei is facing scrutiny, rivals simply have to sit back and reap the benefits, though Ericsson and Nokia are upping the focus on research and development to compound the gains.

This is the opportunity which is being presented to Huawei’s rivals. When it is banned from certain markets, there is a gain. When there are security concerns shown, there is a gain. When there are questions about the resilience of the supply chain, there is a gain. All the likes of Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung have to do is sit back and do what they have been doing for years. The worse beating Huawei takes, the better their alternative looks.

What is clear is these companies will have to be as careful when capitalising on the misfortune, tip toeing over broken glass as gunfire rages overhead. Just look at the trouble Nokia CTO Marcus Weldon got himself in when criticising Huawei a couple of months back.

However, looking more closely at the financial reports of the rivals, there is perhaps evidence of an attempt to compound the gains by increasing R&D investments. There are of course numerous reasons why this would be done.

Firstly, if Huawei is considered the market leader for radio and transmission equipment, this is an opportunity to close the gap. Secondly, this is a chance to seize the initiative in the 5G race while the reputation of Huawei is picking up dents. Looking at the numbers, this story becomes a bit more apparent.

Vendor R&D investment as % of total revenues
Huawei c.15%
ZTE 14.9%
Nokia 21.2%
Ericsson 18%

The numbers above are taken for the first six months of 2019. Huawei hasn’t given numbers for the first half, only a full year commitment, so this is more of a rough guess. Samsung does not break-out financials for its network equipment division, keeping up its reputation for being less-than-transparent, so it is difficult to offer a comparison.

Including Samsung with the other four major network infrastructure providers might raise some eyebrows, but with a strong 5G RAN product Samsung now deserves to dine at the top table according to Heavy Reading Analyst Gabriel Brown, particularly in markets where it has made long-term, sustained investment in R&D and in customer support, such as the US, India and South Korea.

After years of investment and working to meet customer requirements, the US market offers promise to Samsung. Without Huawei and ZTE in the game, operators are looking for credible alternatives to the Nokia and Ericsson duopoly in RAN, while its Korean domestic market clearly offers some wins. There is a clear opportunity for growth, though as Brown points out, there are other considerations.

In terms of the 5G RAN, Samsung has competitive base station products according to Brown. However, it doesn’t necessarily have the breadth of portfolio, relationships or footprint to compete globally. Brown stated this is often an area which is underestimated and is expensive to build-up and maintain. Outside of its priority markets Samsung does not have the local support that telcos have come to expect nor the long-term in-country presence that gives operators confidence to do business.

However, it is still an opportunity, with the team is making the right noises, producing the right demonstrations and making the right connections to grow and claim market share.

The numbers above are taken for the first six months of 2019. Huawei hasn’t given numbers for the first half, only a full year commitment, so this is more of a rough guess. Samsung does not break-out financials for its 5G network equipment division, keeping up its reputation for being less-than-transparent, so it is difficult to offer a comparison.

Including Samsung with the other four major network infrastructure providers might raise a few eyebrows but work done over the last few years has raised their game. According to Heavy Reading Analyst Gabriel Brown, Samsung now deserves to dine at the top table, with strong focus on the US, India and South Korea.

Samsung is a company which is clearly benefiting from the Huawei misery. The US is a market which will offer promise to Samsung, though it will have some difficulties considering an ex-CEO of Ericsson is in charge at Verizon, while its domestic market clearly offers some wins. There is a clear opportunity for growth, though as Brown points out, there are other considerations.

In terms of the 5G base station product, Samsung is up there with the best according to Brown, though as it doesn’t necessarily have the relationships or product inventory in place it might struggle in certain areas. Brown stated this is often an area which is underestimated, as Samsung may well struggle to meet the timelines demanded by telcos in Switzerland or Columbia (for example). It doesn’t have the ‘feet on the ground’ or scaled manufacturing experience of its rivals, an element many telcos will have come to expect.

However, it is still an opportunity and the team is making the right noises, producing the right figures and making the right connections to grow and claim market share.

Back to the R&D investments, this is an important metric to judge vendors by and will gain interest from potential customers. At Ericsson, the 18.7% ratio invested in R&D is certainly an increase from the 14% and 15% it spent in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Nokia’s investments are also up from this period, though it has consistently hovered around this level. As a percentage of net sales, R&D accounted for 20.5% and 21.2% for 2018 and 2017 respectively at Nokia.

Although both of these firms are leaping ahead when it comes to the percentage, another factor that you have to take into account is that Huawei is spending more in real terms.

Vendor Total R&D investment in US$
Huawei $8.38 billion
ZTE $900 million
Ericsson $1.93 billion
Nokia $2.53 billion

While Huawei is vastly exceeding the amount spent by its rivals, it has a much broader scope. Ericsson focuses on mobile predominantly, while Nokia has both mobile and fixed businesses, as well as licencing payments from its former glory days as a leading mobile phone manufacturer.

Huawei has its fingers in a lot more pies. Not only does it focus on both mobile and fixed, it also has a subsea cable business and an enterprise unit, while the consumer group is now the largest contributor to total revenues. Looking at the consumer unit alone, Huawei will be investing R&D funds into smartphones, laptops, wearable devices and a new operating system to potentially replace Google’s Android.

This $8.38 billion figure should always be considered when comparing the R&D investments from all the rivals, but it should also be weighed against the broader business exposure Huawei as.

There are of course numerous factors to consider when judging who is winning the 5G race, geopolitical trends are close to the top of the list, but the percentage of revenues being attributed to R&D is another very important one. Although these numbers do not tell the whole story, perhaps it does indicate rivals are attempting to make the most of Huawei’s misery while they have a chance.

ZTE gains confidence on the back of solid earnings growth

Perhaps ZTE has just been enjoying an uncomfortable silence and an expensive milkshake in recent months, but its financials for the first half of 2019 are screaming for attention.

It is quite difficult to measure the performance of the business looking at the financials alone, ZTE found itself in the Trump crosshairs in H1 2018, though the team is hyping itself up now, seemingly to gain attention in a very noisy segment. ZTE is often overlooked when considering the major network infrastructure vendors, but it certainly does warrant mention.

Revenues for the first half of 2019 stood at roughly $6.23 billion, up 13.1% year-on-year, profits increased a massive 118% to $210 million. The team is now forecasting profits between $530-640 million for the first nine months of the year.

These numbers might sound very impressive, but it was at this point last year when President Trump and his administration targeted ZTE. In May 2018, ZTE announced its major operating activities had ceased after the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) placed an export ban on the vendor. Without the US complement in the ZTE supply chain, the firm was almost extinct, though concessions were made and now it appears it is business as usual.

This is why the year-on-year gains are largely irrelevant. ZTE was a shell of a company at this point last year, fighting for its very survival.

That said, the company is surging towards the 5G finish line just like its rivals, and now it needs to convince potential customers it is a stable, reliable and innovative partner. Being selected to supply equipment to any telco will be after intense scrutiny, and thus the charm offensive has begun.

First of all, lets start with the R&D spend. ZTE has suggested it has spent roughly $900 million on R&D for the first six months of 2019, a 14.5% ratio of the total revenues for the period. This is an increase from the 12.8% share of the same period of 2018, with the new figure just ahead of the 13.8% share of revenues (estimate) Huawei allocated to R&D last year. The domestic rival has promised to increase this figure by 15-20% for 2019, though the overall percentage will not be known until the full year financial figures are known.

In comparison, Ericsson said it attributed 18.5% of net sales revenue to R&D over the course of 2018, a figure which increased to 18.7% by the end of the first six months of 2019. At Nokia, 18.4% of net sales revenues were directed towards the R&D department for the first six months of this year.

This part of the business has largely been focusing on the development of basic operating systems, distributed databases and core chipsets most recently. The company has completed the design and mass production of the 7nm chipsets, while it is currently undergoing the R&D phase for 5nm chipsets.

All this work has resulted in 3,700 5G patents being granted to the firm, though this number might notably increase in the near future. ZTE has also said it is partnering with various Chinese universities to source 5,000 new employees to bolster the R&D ranks. Once again, these are numbers which are being cast into the public domain to enhance the reputation of the business at a time where vendors are facing scrutiny at an unprecedented level.

Of course, when we are talking about creating a perception of stability and reliability, as well as increased scrutiny, you have to discuss security.

ZTE might have managed to avoid US aggression over the last couple of months, Huawei has been the primary target, but as a partly state-owned entity, such questions will never be that far away. This is where the cybersecurity centres will play an important role.

Opened in Nanjing, Rome and Brussels, the cybersecurity centres will allow potential customers to test and validate the security credentials of the firm prior to installing any equipment or software in the network. Some will not be convinced this is a fool-proof way to ensure resilience, though it is an act of transparency which the industry and governments have been crying out for.

The result of this work is 60 memorandums of understanding (MoU) with telcos around the world, 50 5G demonstrations in 20 industry verticals, 300 strategic collaborations and 200 5G products to date.

It is often easy to overlook ZTE and designate the firm as a poor man’s version of 5G network infrastructure, but the numbers justify inclusion at the top table. The challenge which ZTE now faces it making prominent strides into Western markets, the very ones which are getting twitchy over security and price today.

Samsung is already planning for 6G leadership – report

Samsung has reportedly announced the formation of the Advanced Communications Research Centre, which will have the mission of creating a 6G leadership position for Samsung.

5G is barely with us and we’re already talking about 6G. This should come as little surprise, such is the length of time it will take to bring the technology to fruition. According to the Korea Herald, Samsung has begun it’s 6G mission as part of the wider Samsung Research business unit.

A currently un-named official announced the news, stating “the current team on telecommunications technology standards has been expanded to start leading research on the 6G network.”

What 6G actually is remains to be seen, but such are the rewards in leading each generation of mobile technology, it would appear it is never too early to cast an eye on the horizon.

Unfortunately for Samsung, it is not the first to the party. In January, LG Electronics and KAIST announced a joint 6G Research Centre in Daejeon. LG has said it wants to use the research centre to pre-emptively secure technology for 6G.

Work has already started for 6G standards. In March, a small group of scientists gathered in Levi, Finland, to host one of the first global summits on the 6G Wireless standard. This was not the most of complex of meetings, though it was aiming to start work on the most important questions; why does the world need 6G?

The answer is relatively simple for the moment; we don’t know.

The technological and business case for 6G will emerge eventually as 5G gains more traction around the world. As with 5G in the 4G era, forward-thinking engineers predicted the demand for increased speed, more efficient spectrum use and efficiencies to drive profitability. 5G does of course offer more, but you only need a framework to build on to start with.

This is what the initial 6G forays will be based upon, but it is important to understand what the short-comings of 5G are. The problem needs to be understood before a solution can be crafted, otherwise, what’s the point?

Huawei R&D faces export ban in Silicon Valley

The US Commerce Department has refused to renew an export licence at a Huawei subsidy in Silicon Valley, meaning China cannot access new developments at the site.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Huawei R&D outfit Futurewei was informed over the summer that the US Department of Commerce would not be renewing the license meaning some of the technologies developed at the site, but not all, could not be exported back to China. It’s a new strategy in the conflict between the US and China, but it could prove to be an effective one.

Silicon Valley is not the hotspot of the technology world because of the favourable climate or the presence of helpful regulations, it has one of the most talented workforces around the world. There are of course challengers to this claim emerging, India or Eastern European for example, but companies flock to Silicon Valley to open up R&D offices to tap into this resource. Such a ban from the US Commerce Department means Huawei is going to miss out on some of these smarts.

The block will prove problematic to overcome as there does not appear to be any logical way to combat the move. The rationale behind the blockage is quite simple; national security. Seeing as Huawei is currently being trialled and punished without the burden of evidence, there seems to be little the vendor can do to combat such passive aggressive moves by the US.

This is of course just another stage is the incrementally escalating conflict between the US and China. The tension between the pair does seem to have escalated over the last few days following a minor hiatus at Christmas. Rumours are circling the Oval Office concerning an all-out ban on Huawei and ZTE technology in the US, while suspicions will only increase following the arrest of a Huawei employee in Poland on the grounds of espionage.

With all the drama before Christmas and the hullaballoo kicking off again now, perhaps we should expect some sort of retaliation from Beijing. The Chinese governments has not been anywhere near as confrontation as the US, though there might be a breaking point somewhere in the future.

Ericsson ups US investments in search of regionalised relevance

Ericsson has announced it will increase investments for R&D in the US as it revs its engines in pursuit of much-hyped 5G market share.

Increased investments in R&D is nothing which should be applauded, it is after all a monumental shift in the telecommunications and technology industry, and therefore should be expected. That said, Ericsson seems to be sending a message to the world with the focus on the US; Huawei continues to find itself on the sh*t list, so we are going to dominate this market.

“The increased investment is to support accelerating build out and rapid deployment,” said Ericsson’s Head of Networks, Fredrik Jejdling. “All about working with our customers more closely.”

While increasing the focus on the US might not be the greatest endorsement for the manufacturing capabilities or employee competence in Europe, Jejdling pointed out this is not a shift away from the continent, but Ericsson’s localisation strategy. This is where Huawei has found success in recent years, its engineers have been on hand to help development and deployment. These investments are focused on adapting R&D focus for the individual needs of the market.

For example, while the US is primarily focused on enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access, China has prioritised IoT. There isn’t necessarily a wrong answer for the 5G focus, but by moving R&D centres closer to customers, Ericsson is able to adapt operations to local demand. Jejdling also highlighted the strategy will allow the business to create a more flexible supply chain, working with manufacturers in the specific regions to shorten development lead time and bring products to market quicker.

“We need to make sure we are relevant to each customer,” said Jejdling. “It’s all about serving the markets in their own way.”

The US is currently Ericsson’s largest market, accounting for a quarter of the firm’s business over the last seven years. The absence of market leader Huawei is almost certainly working for the benefit of Ericsson, but the reasons don’t actually matter that much. The vendor landscape is highly unlikely to change considering the political paranoia towards China and its vendors; Ericsson’s decision to double-down on the US and capitalise on the opportunity is a very sensible strategy.

What is worth noting is this is new investment from Ericsson. Just because the US is getting attention right now, does not mean investments will be decreased in markets such as Europe. Accoring to Jejdling, this is not a trade-off, at the very least, investments will be sustained in Europe.

“One of our big manufacturers is in Talin, and so are some of our biggest research sites,” said Jejdling. “This announcement is not about moving away from Europe, but expanding in the US.”

Looking at the focus of the R&D investments, there are three areas of particular interest. Firstly, the Austin ASIC Development centre will receive some additional attention, as well as 80 more bodies. It might be worth noting, one of the AT&T research labs focusing on IoT manufacturing, retail and data analytics, is conveniently located a 50 minute flight away in Plano, Texas. The second will be a baseband software development centre, which will be staffed by 200 new employees. Finally, an artificial intelligence research centre will be located in California, close to the Silicon Valley technology hub, and will account for an additional 100 hires.

The focus for the AI research centre seems to be around machine learning and network automation technologies, these are closest to Ericsson’s core competencies after all, though Jejdling commented this is a relatively blank script for the moment. The team will lead with the demands of the market, which is still trying to grasp the potential of the technology.

“R&D for AI is in the process of being established,” said Jejdling.

While some might worry over the lack of concreteness around AI developments, it is worth noting this is the new status quo in the development world. The companies who have made best use of new breakthroughs in the world of intelligent technologies are the ones who adopt a fail-fast business model. These developers are adaptable and scale dependent on external factors such as market demand and parallel technological breakthroughs. Should Ericsson want to bolster its credentials in the software work, some might comment it is flagging currently, it will have to embrace this new, un-telco, mentality.

As a strategy, increasing investments in the US is certainly a sensible one. US customers account for a significant chunk of the Ericsson spreadsheets as it stands, therefore it would be a perfectly reasonable place to start the 5G assault, capitalising on established relationships. The strategy also has a Huawei feel about it. The Chinese firm has a reputation for accessibility, placing engineers close to customers to improve customer service. Consider the success over the last few years, why shouldn’t Ericsson take a lesson from the Huawei playbook.

Former Qualcomm CEO launches 5G startup

Paul Jacobs, who ran Qualcomm for a decade, has launched a new company designed to tackle technological challenges faced by next-gen mobile communications.

The company is called XCOM and currently has very little to say for itself other than listing Jacobs (center, above) as CEO, former Qualcomm President Derek Aberle (right) as COO and former Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob (left) as, you guessed it, CTO. There might not be a press release but at least there’s a hashtag – #keepinventing – although it doesn’t seem to have caught on yet.

Aberle seems to have granted interviews to a couple of US media. “Our feeling is there’s not enough investment happening around communications and wireless tech in the US in particular,” Aberle said to CNET.

“There’s still a fair amount of work that needs to be done to prove out the applicability of 5G through various Internet of Things applications,” he told CNBC. “We feel we have some better ideas for how to do some of that stuff.”

So it seems like we’re looking at an R&D company that will seek to license its patents to the broader telecoms world. This would seem to play to the strengths and experience of these former Qualcomm execs and they’re already recruiting engineers.

When Jacobs left Qualcomm earlier this year he expressed a desire to take the company founded by his father into private hands. Aberle made it clear that this project is unrelated to the Qualcomm stuff.

“It’s unclear where the take private plan will go or how long that will take,” Aberle told CNBC. “But this is not an either/or. We are pursuing this new company and we have high expectations and confidence in the take-private plan.” In the CNET interview he said that process may be contingent on how the NXP thing plays out.

Ericsson lands €250mn 5G loan from European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank has signed a €250 million loan agreement with Ericsson to boost the vendors R&D efforts in 5G.

The cash will be made available through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a joint initiative between the EIB and the European Commission, with the focus on development of hardware and software for the Radio Access Network (RAN). Most of the R&D activities will take place in Sweden, with minor parts also being carried out in Ireland, Spain and Poland.

“The development of 5G technology is easily one of the most important innovation initiatives for the telecom industry in the coming years. Ericsson has been one of the defining contributors to what mobile telephony is today and I think we can only be proud to support this,” said Alexander Stubb, Vice-President of the EIB. “Apart from supporting European technology, this project will also make sure that thousands of highly-skilled jobs will stay in the EU.”

“When it comes to developing 5G technology, we need to up our game in Europe,” said Jyrki Katainen, European Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. “I am proud that Ericsson – a European company – is investing heavily in preparing for 5G with the EU’s financial backing. Being a leader in telecoms is crucial to maintain our competitiveness on a global stage so sufficient investment in 5G is strategically important for Europe.”

Looking at the investments being made by Ericsson, the loan will certainly help the vendor in the quest for 5G glory. During the course of Q1, Ericsson invested just short of €900 million in R&D programmes, which accounted for roughly 20% of net sales for the period. In terms of comparison, Nokia invested €1.1 billion, or just over 23% of revenues brought in over the three months.

With early deployments set to kick-off towards the end of this year, and the majority to be set in motion by 2020, a €250 million loan will certainly help the Swedes prove their 5G credentials.

Pompous politicians start parading after Huawei’s £3bn UK announcement

MPs across the UK have started cracking the whip in the press room as each ego proclaims its own importance in securing £3 billion in procurement from Huawei over the next five years.

The announcement comes after Prime Minister Theresa May’s trip to China where Huawei Chairperson Sun Yafang committed at least £3 billion in procurement spend in the UK over the next five years. While such announcements are generally viewed as flimsy promises, the pair also announced Huawei had spent £2 billion over 2012-2017, which exceeded the £1.3 billion commitment made five years ago. Huawei came good on that promise so there is no evidence to say it won’t do it again.

What is interesting is this announcement only focuses on procurement spend over the next five years. Huawei told Telecoms.com this morning to keep an eye out for announcements over the next couple of months, as there will be a few more cheques written focusing on the investment side of the business. Details are commercially sensitive for the moment, but Huawei has been focusing on intelligent network solutions for its carrier business and AI on the consumer side of things. It would be a safe bet.

“Huawei values long-term partnership,” said Yafang. “The UK was one of the first international markets we entered, when we opened our first office there in 2001. We have now been working with our major customers in the UK for more than twelve years, helping to build a better connected UK. Over the coming years we look forward to continuing to collaborate with our customers and partners to help keep the UK at the very forefront of the digital age.”

Right now Huawei has three R&D centres across the UK, one in Cambridge which is focused on chip solutions and another two joint innovation centres with BT and Vodafone. The last couple of years has certainly seen Huawei increase its footprint within the UK, though the team is keeping tight-lipped on what the money will actually be spent on. This is not unusual, it is commercially sensitive after all, but it is a win for certain MPs.

“Huawei’s £3 billion announcement is yet another significant vote of confidence in our world-leading tech industry and I’m delighted to welcome their increased commitment to the UK,” said International Trade Secretary of the UK, Liam Fox. “With 90% of global growth forecast to come from outside the EU, my international economic department is working to ensure Britain continues to benefit from the vast opportunities available as we leave the EU.”

We can just imagine the headlines over the next couple of days as pro-Brexit politicians point to this investment as a promise that the expensive divorce won’t be that bad for the British people. Let’s not forget however that leaving the EU is going to have little impact on the technology world, or at least nowhere near the same impact as the more traditional industries.

The older the industry, the more genuine the threat is from the divorce as they are more tightly regulated. Aside from data protection and residency regulations which are being drafted at the moment, the technology industry operates in relative freedom; globalization of the supply chain was something which the industry was born into not forced upon it. Some countries might be trying to impose localized regulations to protect certain domestic industries, such as agriculture or automotive, but this is not as prominent in the tech space.

Don’t read too much into the MPs posturing as you’ll probably have to swallow numerous PR quips over the next couple of days. Might also be worth keeping an eye out at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as there will probably be a self-indulgent statement before too long, while Minister for Fun Secretary for State Matt Hancock will most likely find a party to celebrate at this evening.

ZTE flogs $2bn shares in effort to be 5G ready

ZTE board members have approved the issuance of 686,836,019 A Shares in an effort to raise capital for 5G research and development.

While ZTE could sometimes be seen as a poor man’s Huawei, in truth it is just as threatening to the more traditional network infrastructure vendors. Over the last couple of years, Huawei might have been grabbing the headlines and second helpings of global market share, ZTE has also been eating into the profit margins at former world-beaters Ericsson and Nokia.

It might still be sitting in fourth place, but looking at the most recent financial figures it is certainly heading in the right direction. For the nine months ending September,  ZTE boasted of operating revenues of roughly $12.2 billion, a 7% increase for the same period in 2016. When you compare this to Ericsson or Nokia’s quarterly results for the same period,  6% and 7% decline respectively, the story starts to make a bit more sense.

There still is a considerable buffer for ZTE to catch Nokia and Ericsson, but it is consistently heading in the right direction. Huawei has also shown how quickly the status quo can be changed as well.

Puffing out its chest, ZTE is now showing it means business when it comes to 5G. Adding to the billions it has spent or planning to spend on 5G R&D already, the team will also be selling off 686,836,019 shares on the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges to raise $2.1 billion. The majority of this will be directed towards ‘research and product development relating to 5G network evolution’, while roughly 30% will be replenish working capital.

“With the global leading position in 5G network sector, the Company expects that 2018 to 2020 will be a crucial period for the formulation and industrialization of the global standard for 5G technology,” the filing states.

“The Company considers that the Proposed Non-public Issuance of A Shares will enable the Company to maintain its high level of investment in research and development, help ensure its technological competitive edge and develop its main products and businesses with core advantages, which may help the Company increase its market shares in the mainstream products and markets as well as enhance customer satisfaction, thereby help increasing the profitability of the Company.”

An extra couple of billion is certainly something to boast about a couple of weeks ahead of Mobile World Congress. This year’s event promises to be a bombardment of euphoric 5G promises as vendors scrap for the attention of wide-eyed operators. ZTE seemingly profited quite handily out of the 4G evolution, and it would seem it is positioning itself well ahead of the 5G slug-feast.

Huawei goes on a road-trip

Networking vendor Huawei’s quest for global domination shows no sign of slowing in the run up to Christmas, with raids on Dublin and Cairo.

There’s nothing Huawei likes more than photos of people in business attire, symbolically shaking hands or signing important-looking pieces of paper. Visits to Trinity College, Dublin and the Cairo ICT conference afforded rich pickings for the company photographer.

A new research partnership with Trinity is, we’re told, emblematic of Huawei’s growing R&D footprint in Ireland. Rotating CEO Guo Ping and Patrick Prendergast – Provost of Trinity – can be seen below holding up bits of paper in time-honoured fashion. Apparently Huawei is dropping $21 million on R&D in Ireland this year.

Huawei Dublin

“Huawei’s continued investment in Ireland illustrates the innovative technology ecosystem we have developed, with more and more major international tech firms basing and growing their operations here,” said Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (pictured below, with Guo Ping). “The company’s new research partnership with Trinity and its expanding R&D footprint across its Dublin, Cork and Athlone operations are a strong endorsement of Ireland’s tech credentials and illustrates Huawei’s ongoing commitment to its Irish operations. Bilateral trade between Ireland and China is now worth over €12 billion each year, and by strengthening our links with companies like Huawei we can increase this further in the years ahead.”

Huawei Varadkar

Meanwhile Huawei launched the Cairo OpenLab in… Cairo, during the Cairo ICT 2017 conference, also, conveniently, in Cairo. It managed to get a bunch of dudes to take a commemorative photo of the occasion, which you can see at the top of this piece.

“We established the OpenLab in Cairo so that we can make full use of the advantages of Egypt and serve all of Northern Africa,” said Ni Zheng, President of Huawei Enterprise Business Group, Northern Africa Region. “First, the ICT industry market in Cairo is relatively mature and its marketing capabilities influence surrounding countries.

“Second, Egypt recognizes the significance of industrial digital transformation, and the local industry chain ecosystem supports this transition for a number of industry enterprises. In addition, the education industry in Egypt is relatively well developed, with more than half of the top 15 African universities of UK QS Ranking located in Egypt, also contributing to the advancement of the region.”

Lastly, back in China, Huawei Wireless X Labs was instrumental in the creation of a Wireless Connected Factory Special Interest Group (SIG). This is actually the third SIG this bit of Huawei has got involved in, and looks set to be a cracker, with half of the company apparently involved in the inevitable photo (below).

“The mission of exploring future wireless use cases lies with X Labs,” said Ying Weimin, Huawei Wireless R&D President. “Huawei hopes that SIGs such as those set up by X Labs can discover and inspire many more 5G use cases and promote 5G technologies’ application in future smart manufacturing. Such efforts will contribute to the rise of connected factories. Huawei will work diligently alongside its partners to simulate further growth and innovation.”

Huawei SIG