Huawei expects to see revenue uplift from 5G roll-out next year

China’s big three state telcos are racing to roll out 5G services in more than 50 cities this year, following countries such as South Korea and the US. (AP)
Updated 18 September 2019

Huawei expects to see revenue uplift from 5G roll-out next year

  • 5G is the fifth-generation cellular network technology giving consumers and businesses much faster access to information

SHANGHAI: Huawei Technologies expects the roll-out of next-generation 5G wireless networks to start contributing to the firm’s revenue from next year when China launches services, the company’s deputy chairman said on Wednesday.

The Chinese telecoms equipment giant has said that it has secured more than 50 5G commercial contracts even as it fights accusations from the US and its allies that its networks are vehicles for Chinese espionage.

Ken Hu said that while the roll-out was accelerating, especially in Asia, the company believed that it would still need to “wait for a while before 5G contributes a sizeable share to revenue.”

“We will have a clearer picture by mid-next year because by then the first batch of 5G commercial roll-outs in China will reach a certain phase,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a company conference, estimating that Huawei had now signed about 60 contracts.

China’s big three state telcos are racing to roll out 5G services in more than 50 cities this year, following countries like South Korea and the US which have already started the service that promises to support new technologies such as autonomous driving.

Huawei’s home market has become more crucial to the company since Washington in May banned US firms trading with it due to national security concerns, hitting the company’s international business.

The company denies the allegations and says Washington is trying to curb its industry leadership to benefit US companies.

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei last week told The Economist magazine that in order to resolve US concerns, he is open to selling his firm’s 5G technology — including patents, code, blueprints, production know-how — to Western firms for a one-off fee.

Hu said that Ren’s suggestion was not complex and that a new player could help alleviate security concerns.

“If the proposal gets implemented it will on one hand support more competition in 5G across the global supply chain, and such competition is beneficial to consumers and users and also contributes to the industry itself,” he said.

The company also on Wednesday launched what it described as “the world’s fastest artificial intelligence training cluster,” dubbed Atlas 900, and pledged to invest $1.5 billion in its developer program.

Huawei, which is also the world’s No.2 smartphone maker, is scheduled to launch a new high-end smartphone on Thursday, despite uncertainty about whether the new handset will be able to run Google’s Android operating system and apps.

Huawei said last month that, while the impact of the US curbs was weaker than previously expected, it would still push its smartphone unit’s revenue lower by about $10 billion this year.


Huawei in early talks with US firms to license 5G platform: executive

Updated 19 October 2019

Huawei in early talks with US firms to license 5G platform: executive

  • Currently there are no US 5G providers and European rivals Ericsson and Nokia are generally more expensive
  • Huawei has spent billions to develop its 5G technology since 2009

WASHINGTON: Blacklisted Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei is in early-stage talks with some US telecoms companies about licensing its 5G network technology to them, a Huawei executive told Reuters on Friday.
Vincent Pang, senior vice president and board director at the company said some firms had expressed interest in both a long-term deal or a one-off transfer, declining to name or quantify the companies.
“There are some companies talking to us, but it would take a long journey to really finalize everything,” Pang explained on a visit to Washington this week. “They have shown interest,” he added, saying conversations are only a couple of weeks old and not at a detailed level yet.
The US government, fearing Huawei equipment could be used to spy on customers, has led a campaign to convince allies to bar it from their 5G networks. Huawei has repeatedly denied the claim.
Currently there are no US 5G providers and European rivals Ericsson and Nokia are generally more expensive.
In May, Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment provider, was placed on a US blacklist over national security concerns, banning it from buying American-made parts without a special license.
Washington also has brought criminal charges against the company, alleging bank fraud, violations of US sanctions against Iran, and theft of trade secrets, which Huawei denies.
Rules that were due out from the Commerce Department earlier this month are expected to effectively ban the company from the US telecoms supply chain.
The idea of a one-off fee in exchange for access to Huawei’s 5G patents, licenses, code and know-how was first floated by CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei in interviews with the New York Times and the Economist last month. But it was not previously clear whether there was any interest from US companies.
In an interview with Reuters last month, a State Department official expressed skepticism of Ren’s offer.
“It’s just not realistic that carriers would take on this equipment and then manage all of the software and hardware themselves,” the person said. “If there are software bugs that are built in to the initial software, there would be no way to necessarily tell that those are there and they could be activated at any point, even if the software code is turned over to the mobile operators,” the official added.
For his part, Pang declined to predict whether any deal might be signed. However, he warned that the research and development investment required by continuously improving the platform after a single-transfer from Huawei would be very costly for the companies.
Huawei has spent billions to develop its 5G technology since 2009.