There is no doubt that Huawei is taking on more challenges. According tomedia reports, the U.S. technology giant Hewlett-Packard also “pulled the knife” to Huawei. In recent days, HP has put more pressure on the UK to exclude Chinese Huawei devices from the UK 5G market. In a letter dated 7 June, Marc Waters, managing director of HP’s UK and European operations, said the new 5G option meant “there are fewer reasons to include potentially unsafe technologies in the UK network.” “
While the letter did not mention Huawei by name, it did not mention “unsafe technology”, and U.S. politics has repeatedly restricted Huawei on the grounds that Chinese authorities are using Huawei devices to spy on other countries, even for Chinese technology companies, which have repeatedly denied the allegations. In fact, in January, the British government proposed a compromise to limit Huawei’s 5G, which would limit Huawei to 35% of its 5G network and 35% of its full fiber network.
This time, if the Government compromises, the report says, a blanket ban would jeopardize the UK’s 5G prospects and force them to spend “hundreds of millions” of dollars on demolitioncosts.
The UK needs Huawei
So why can’t the UK completely cut Huawei apart?
The first is the important role of Huawei 5G in suppliers.
According to the GSA report, 62 operators in 34 countries have officially declared 5G commercial saucy by the end of 2019, with Huawei supporting 41 of them, accounting for up to two-thirds, and Huawei being the first provider in the industry to offer 5G industrial modules for vertical applications.
As of November 2019, Huawei has the world’s first independent 5G patent number, the world’s first 5G patent standard, the world’s first 5G required patent application, and the fourth largest required patent approval in the world. Huawei also plays an important role in communications in the UK.
Huawei is a leader in the BT equipment market, according to a government report released in the UK in 2019. In 2018, the UK government estimated Huawei’s market share in 4G networks in the UK at about 35%. In terms of high-speed fiber-optic networks, that number has risen to 45%, meaning Huawei has a more critical role to play in this regard.
British Telecom, the UK’s largest telecoms operator, is also a long-time customer of Huawei and is now using equipment from Huawei to build a 5G network.
On June 9th Mr Petti, chief technology officer of Vodafone, the UK telecoms operator, said the UK would lose its leading position in 5G if the government decided to ban Huawei from 5G infrastructure, the Economic Daily reported. This will mean that the UK’s major 5G service operators will then need to dismantle and replace billions of pounds worth of Huawei equipment.
Photo from Economic Daily
Huawei currently leads the world in the number of 5G patents, while BT, Vodafone and 3 Telecom, the UK’s leading mobile operators, have all used Huawei devices to launch 5G mobile services, making the UK one of the first countries in the world to introduce 5G mobile services.
If BT re-plans and procures new equipment, it could delay the full deployment of 5G technologies by up to two years, slowing the process of iteration of technology updates across the communications industry at a significant cost.
Second, the huge socio-economic value of 5G is one of the main reasons why the British government and operators cannot turn down Huawei.
The McKinsey report predicts that 5G will have a big impact on the development of many industries, with global GROSS domestic product likely to increase by an additional $1.2 trillion to $2 trillion in just four areas by 2030 – mobility, healthcare, manufacturing and retail.
In the UK, for example, 5G will generate 112 billion pounds of revenue for the UK economy this year, up from 164 billion pounds a year in 2030, according to a new report by Mobile UK.
It is conceivable that if the UK excludes Chinese Huawei equipment from the UK 5G market, it will not only cost billions of dollars, but the entire 5G network in the UK will be pushed for years.
Photo from Economic Daily
Why did US tech giant Hewlett-Packard step in?
There is another question worth thinking about, why should American technology companies also intervene in the construction of 5G in other countries?
Marc Waters reportedly said in the letter:
The 5G standard is designed to promote diversity of supply and to establish an open approach to standards , Open 5G , which essentially provides operators with more options when building infrastructure.
The implication is that Huawei 5G is not a big one.
Thirty-one global technology and telecommunications companies have announced the creation of the Open RAN Policy Alliance, which wants to create an “open and interoperable” 5G network.
Photo from the Open RAN Policy Alliance website
Designed to change the way base station wireless access networks (RANs) are based, breaking traditional vendor constraints and allowing operators to mix and match components that can be used interchangeably, instead of using just one vendor’s proprietary “closed” products, lower the cost of 5G networks and improve network connectivity.
The alliance’s website says:
The U.S. government continues to play an important role in promoting and nurturing the openness, diversity, and security supply of advanced wireless technologies, including 5G, including funding research and development, testing open and interoperable network solutions, and encouraging diversity in the supply chain.
In short, Open RAN was created to encourage innovation in 5G, promote competition and expand supply chains in the United States. In other words, want to overturn market rules and reshuffle.
So what is HP’s role in it?
It is reported that while HP is not a major player in the RAN market, it does provide servers used on radio sites under the Edgeline brand. The company also announced its entry into the 5G core network ingress in March and expects to provide an update next week.
It is also one of the companies that play a role in the market, including Nec of Japan and Oracle, the US software giant.
In his letter, Marc Waters also vaguely explains why HP wants the UK to exclude Huawei devices:
“Without government-led action, 5G applications will slow because the industry is still unsure whether to continue using traditional suppliers or investing in open platforms.”
In short, only if governments actively exclude Huawei devices can the rules of the market be broken and the pattern re-established more quickly.