China Telecom launches 5G standalone cloud native network with Tianyi Cloud

China Telecom claims it has launched what it says is the world’s largest 5G standalone (SA) network.  Executives announced the start of commercial 5G SA operations during a company virtual conference last week and said their 5G SA network is currently supported by 30 devices, with 100 expected by year-end.

China Telecom’s 5G SA end-to-end capability testing with Tencent and Huawei was completed in September.  Earlier in the week, China Telecom said it will offer 5G SA services to over 300 cities in China at a press event held with Qualcomm at Guangzhou, China.

Like all the other telcos on the path to 5G SA (only T-Mobile US has deployed it), China Telecom’s is said to be 5G SA is a cloud native network called the “Tianyi Cloud.”  Company leaders said it’s 5G SA cloud network can guarantee “five-nines reliability,” secure network slicing and latency of below 5ms.  In particular:

With the popularization of cloud computing, hybrid multi-cloud has become the new normal for cloud migration. It is just necessary to realize high-speed network interconnection and unified management between multi- clouds. The full-stack hybrid cloud launched by Tianyi Cloud realizes the same technical architecture of the underlying cloud platform and has no cloud capabilities. It extends and covers the deployment of three scenarios: edge, private cloud, and industry cloud. At the same time, it provides first-line multi-cloud capabilities, a dedicated line connects multiple mainstream public cloud service providers at the same time, and high-speed interconnection between public and private clouds can also be realized. In addition, it is worth mentioning that Tianyi Cloud’s full-stack hybrid cloud has been adapted to national production and production at the chip, hardware, and operating system levels, and has the ability to provide national production and service services.

The new generation of cloud-native database developed by Tianyi Cloud completely independently developed and technically tackled key problems. It successfully realized the de-IOE of China Telecom’s core IT system database. Telecom users and billion-level terminal equipment access. Through continuous upgrading and evolution, Tianyi Cloud’s new generation of cloud-native database has reached financial-level data security and high reliability, and has continuously broken through the limits of scale and performance, while being compatible with a complete database ecological chain, so as to meet customers’ diverse data service needs.

Also, China Telecom officially launched the “Cloud Terminal” plan at the event. Tianyi Cloud, as the base of the cloud terminal strategy, has independently created a cloud computer through computing in the cloud, data in the cloud, application in the cloud, security in the cloud, and imagination in the end mode. And cloud mobile phone products.

President and COO Li Zhengmao said the arrival of the 5G era provided the opportunity and the technical ability for the integration of cloud and the network.

 

In terms of 5G cloud integration, Hu Zhiqiang said:

“In the 5G era, cloud-network integration has entered a new realm. Cloud-network integration is the goal that Tianyi Cloud pursues.” On the one hand, Tianyi Cloud launched an intelligent edge video cloud to break through the bottleneck of ultra-high-definition real-time encoding technology. At the same time, it has real-time scheduling capabilities of millions of video streams. On the other hand, 5G is a cloud-based network. Tianyi Cloud provides 99.999% reliability guarantee and exclusive slice data security, achieving a comprehensive TCO reduction of more than 90%, and a delay of less than 5ms.”

A white paper presented at last week’s event describes China Telecom’s cloud-network integration as driven by open sharing, open network capabilities, multi-network access 5G and SD-WAN support.  The China Telecom paper said the company was a hybrid multi-cloud strategy, integrating Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud, Huawei Cloud, AWS, Azure and others into its aggregation platform.

In conclusion, Hu Zhiqiang said: “China Telecom Tianyi Cloud will continue to strengthen technological innovation, strengthen open cooperation, and accelerate the construction of a digital China and a smart society, and make greater contributions with partners.”

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References:

http://www.c114.com.cn/news/117/a1143514.html

https://www.lightreading.com/asia/china-telecom-gets-cracking-on-5g-standalone/d/d-id/765464?

China says it has deployed 700,000 5G base stations this year; Huawei’s forecast

China says it has deployed 700,000 5G base stations this year; Huawei’s forecast

China has announced it has built nearly 700,000 5G base stations this year, exceeding its original target of 500,000, South China Morning Post reports. That’s more than twice the number of 5G base stations in the rest of the world combined, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) vice-minister Liu Liehong.

The vice-minister said there are currently more than 180 million devices operating on China’s 5G network.

“The good infrastructure has spurred a range of new 5G-based applications,” Liu said in remarks reported by Chinese media Sina News. “For instance, the smart education sector has witnessed the emergence of new education models such as ultra-high-resolution, remote interactive teaching powered by 5G, immersive teaching with augmented and virtual reality technology and hologram classrooms during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

To achieve complete coverage, China will need 10 million 5G base stations in total, which involves an overall investment of CNY 2 trillion (approximately USD 280 billion) of investment, according to Zhang Yunyong, CPPCC member and president of the China Unicom Research Institute.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has singled out 5G networks and data centres as top priorities in the country’s plans to invest in “new infrastructure”. The next-generation network is considered a fundamental element of China’s new digital infrastructure, aimed at driving greater connectivity for consumers and businesses.

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The latest analysts’ estimate from Jefferies, put the total number of 5G base stations across the country at 650,000. Their data projected China’s three major telecommunications network operators to have up to 750,000 5G base stations by the end of this year.

Analysts said that although the 5G base station roll out has been impressive, it was still only a fraction compared with China’s huge base of 1.2 billion 4G users. Photo: AP
Analysts said that although the 5G base station roll out has been impressive, it was still only a fraction compared with China’s huge base of 1.2 billion 4G users. Photo: AP
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Analysts said that although the 5G base station roll out has been impressive, it was still only a fraction compared with China’s huge base of 1.2 billion 4G users, creating a situation where consumers have been reluctant to upgrade to more costly 5G plans because there are no killer apps and must-have consumer services.

South Korea, the first country in the world to provide 5G services, has 115,000 base stations in operation, according to government data in April. The South Korean government recently announced that the number of 5G service users across the country reached 8.65 million in August.

The global 5G network infrastructure market is expected to nearly double to USD 8.1 billion in 2020, according a report from Gartner.

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Huawei Technologies expects 5G users to account for 20% of total mobile users in China and South Korea by the end of June 2021, Ryan Ding, president of Huawei’s carrier business group, said during a presentation at the company’s Global Mobile Broad Forum in Shanghai, China.

The executive said that 5G adoption was happening faster than some of the initial predictions in China, with operator China Mobile now having 130 million 5G subscribers, ahead of its target of 100 million for the year.

“5G is developing much faster than previous generations. Currently, there are more than 100 commercial 5G networks worldwide, and budget 5G mobile phones have dropped to CNY1,000 ($151). This is driving up the number of 5G users around the world, and leading carriers are already benefitting from 5G data plans. They are seeing an increase in the ARPU of 5G users through multi-metric service packages and upgraded services like 5G messaging and enriched calling,” Ding said.

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References:

https://www.scmp.com/tech/big-tech/article/3109512/china-says-it-has-built-700000-5g-base-stations-year-more-rest-world

5G users to account for 20% of China’s mobile base by June 2021: Huawei

China Mobile has 114M “5G Package” subscribers vs 204M broadband wireline customers

China Mobile announced yesterday that it had approximately 946 million mobile customers as at 30 September 2020, which was down about 1 million from the previous quarter.  There were 770 million 4G customers and 114 million 5G package customers. The latter number is a 44 million increase in the past three months. However, the growth in 5G subscribers is not quite what it seems. Like China Telecom, China Mobile uses the term “5G package customers,” which counts 4G customers on 5G plans. [The 3rd state owned China telco – China Unicom – does not yet give a breakout of 5G subs from its mobile subscriber base.] The 4G subscriber base, reflecting some migration to 5G package plans, shrank by 10 million during Q3-2020.

During the first three quarters of the year, China Mobile handset data traffic increased by 35.0% year-on-year to 65.3 billion GB with handset data DOU reaching 9.1GB. Total voice usage dropped by 7.1% year-on-year to 2,258.0 billion minutes, showing a further reduced rate of decline. Total SMS usage rose by 15.5% year-on-year to 713.0 billion messages and maintained favourable growth. Mobile ARPU continued to demonstrate a flattened rate of decline, dropping by 2.6% year-on-year to RMB48.9 for the first three quarters of the year.

As of 30 September 2020, China Mobile’s total number of  broadband wireline customers was 204 million, with a net increase of 17.17 million for the first three quarters of the year. Wireline broadband ARPU amounted to RMB32.4.

Slight of hand: China Mobile's growth in subs includes 4G customers on 5G plans.

Image Credit: China Mobile

China Mobile said it will “continue to put in an all-out effort to implement the “5G+” plan, further promote scale-based and value-oriented operations and foster the all-round development of CHBN markets, thereby maintaining growth in telecommunications services revenue for the full-year of 2020.”  The Group acknowledged the increasing cost associated with 5G operations and maintenance, but did not elaborate on what those costs were:

Facing the challenges resulting from increasing costs incurred by 5G operations and maintenance and business transformation, the Group will allocate resources by adhering to the principle of ensuring a sufficient budget for areas essential to promote growth, while reducing and controlling expenses on certain selected areas. In addition, it will take further measures to reduce costs and enhance efficiency, alongside efforts to maintain good profitability. The Group will maintain stable profit attributable to equity shareholders for the full-year of 2020, continuously creating value for investors.

Ericsson, which previously received a $593 million 5G contract with China Mobile for base stations wrote in an email to Light Reading: “”We have been riding on the investments in China and there are likely to be more than 500,000 base stations by the end of the year in China launched on 5G and of course we are quite pleased to participate in that rather fundamental and quite strong rollout.”

Market research firm Dell’Oro forecasts that China’s 5G rollout will drive an 8% increase in worldwide sales of radio access network products this year. Excluding China, it forecasts no growth in the RAN infrastructure market. Additional highlights from Dell’Oro’s 2Q2020 RAN report:

  • 5G NR radio shipments accelerated 5x to 6x during 1H20, driven by robust growth in China.
  • Millimeter Wave 5G NR deployments continued to advance rapidly, with revenues growing nearly four-fold.
  • Initial estimates suggest that vendor rankings remained stable between 2019 and 1H20, while revenue shares changed somewhat as the Chinese suppliers reached new revenue share highs.
  • Near-term RAN forecast has been adjusted upward, to reflect the faster-than-expected growth in China.

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References:

https://www.chinamobileltd.com/en/file/view.php?id=237832

https://www.lightreading.com/5g/china-mobile-5g-subs-top-114m-in-q3/d/d-id/764778?

https://www.lightreading.com/5g/ericsson-rides-high-on-china-5g-boom/d/d-id/764770?

Huawei Executive: “China’s 5G user experience is fake, dumb and poor”-is it a con game?

RAN Market Growth Accelerated in 1H20, According to Dell’Oro Group

Huawei Executive: “China’s 5G user experience is fake, dumb and poor”-is it a con game?

At the opening ceremony of the China International Information and Communication Exhibition on October 14th, Ding Yun, executive director of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd  said that China’s 5G user experience has three problems of “fake, dumb, and poor.”  In particular, some users have a 5G LOGO on their mobile phones, but they are not connected to the 5G network, cannot make 5G calls, or frequently switch signals, according to an article by Xia Xutian on the Sina Tech website.

How could a Huawei executive say such things about its home country which supposedly has very close ties, impact and influence on the world’s top telecom equipment supplier and #1 or #2 global smartphone vendor?  See Comment and Analysis below for more on this.

While China has built the world’s largest 5G network, it has a gap in experience, coverage, and commercial closed-loop operation, Ding Yun said. For comparison purposes, that the 5G downlink rate in South Korea is more than 600 megabits while the average in China is only a bit more than 270 megabits.  South Korea’s 5G user penetration at the end of September reached 25%, while China’s penetration level is only about 8%.

“Objectively speaking, I am also a 5G user. We have just completed the first phase of 5G construction today. It is indeed a great improvement over the 4G experience, but our network still has many problems. I use three words to sum it up: fake, dumb, bad/poor.”

Huawei's Ryan Ding is scathing about China's much lauded 5G rollout. (Source: Huawei)

Huawei’s Ryan Ding speaking at the China International Information and Communication Exhibition about 5G in China

Photo Credit: Huawei

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What’s fake? In many cases the user’s smartphone has a 5G logo but no 5G coverage.  The experience is still 4G, but the display is 5G.  Those users are not connected to the 5G network and can’t make 5G calls.”

What is dumb? Some places in China have 5G signal coverage, but there is no 4G anchor station, so calls cannot be made.  He said the anchor point of 4G happens to be on the edge of multiple cells. The frequent handover of 4G and 5G results in a very poor user experience.

Ding Yun noted that although the number of 5G users in China has reached 150 million, the matching rate of networks, mobile phones and packages of 5G users is still very low. Many users have bought 5G packages, but their mobile phones are still 4G. There are also many users who have 5G mobile phones, but there is no 5G network coverage in their geographical area.

Ding Yun pointed out that operations and maintenance costs are also an unavoidable issue for 5G. At present, the peak rate of 5G is 25 times that of 4G, but 5G equipment (especially mmWave if and when deployed in China) will greatly increase the power consumption of 5G base stations, which poses a huge challenge to the entire power supply system (not to mention the huge electricity costs incurred by the 5G network operator).

“We have conducted a survey on the power consumption of China’s network. About 32% of the sites have insufficient power, and in some places, the battery capacity is also insufficient,” he added.

Ding Yun urged 5G network operators to:

1] build out 5G business ecosystems through innovative and differentiated applications;

2] reduce expenditure and optimize the TCO of operators from an overall perspective; and

3] look towards the future and upgrade the current operating platform as soon as possible to face potential problems such as the bill storm that 5G will bring.

In response to the 3rd objective, Huawei is using big data to connect user data, operational data, and terminal data, so that the machine, network, and applications can provide a better match.

In conclusion Ding Yun suggested the following:

  • To build the most successful 5G for thousands of industries, wireless network operators must first have a deep understanding of the industries they are targeting.  Different industries have different specific requirements for 5G in terms of latency, reliability/availability, throughput, security, etc. Therefore, to develop 5G industry applications, we first need to clarify the boundaries of capabilities, consolidate the ability base to serve thousands of industries, implement a replicable business model, and actively promote ecological construction, especially the development of application ecology.
  • As operators expand the construction of 5G industry applications from connection to connectivity + computing, and then to SLA (network) slicing, their corresponding business models will gradually shift from a direct sales model to a value sharing model that combines active integration and integration . Ultimately, the business model of 5G industry applications will develop in the direction of multi-path, closed-loop, and multi-win as operators choose their roles.
  • Unify (5G and other) standards and develop ecology. (What 5G standards is he referring to? There are none at this time).  The application development of the 5G industry is not only a matter for operators, but also requires the entire industry chain to “stretch it into one strand” and integrate the telecommunications industry with other industries to form industry standards. Only in this way can the development of 5G industry applications be accelerated.

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Comment and Analysis:

Ding Yun’s remarks are a refreshing change from the usual self congratulatory speeches given by 5G network operators and equipment suppliers (like Huawei).  We are astonished he can be so honest with the Chinese government and China Communist Party having so much control over telecommunications and other industries in China.

Here are a few copy/paste (and translated from Chinese to English) Sina reader comments:

“I have not found a demand for 5G in the current application (environment)”

“Haha, so embarrassing[Yun Bei][Yun Bei]

“China’s 5G, got up early. Experience the night episode (where there is no 5G service to conserve electricity costs for carriers)”

“In Qingdao, there is basically no real 5G SA network. When only the SA mode is selected, the 5G signal is gone, and now the operator’s 5G speed limit is 500M bps”

“The conclusion is that I continue to use my 4G”

“The worst is a three-year contract with China Mobile”

 “The three major operators are too hateful and must be punished.”

“China network operators are deliberately lowering the 4G signal, forcing everyone to use 5G. Just this dirty trick, give his grandma a whistle.”

“No 5G signal coverage.”

“Fake, dumb, and bad are synonymous with China’s three major network operators.”

“What is the conclusion? For 5G, it’s better to wait first, don’t worry about changing phones [Hee hee], let alone changing pricing packages. It’s not very useful and costs money.[Yun Bei]

“The basic meaning is, the operator, burn me[doge]

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Email from a very knowledgeable, anonymous Chinese 5G expert corroborates what Ding Yun said:

  • China claims they have 100 millions of 5G end point devices now.  Actually, those are mostly 4G handsets whose users were coerced to subscribe to a 5G package. The 3 major state owned network operators purposely lowered 4G-LTE speeds and forced subscribers change to the 5G package which only provides the previous 4G-LTE speeds.
  • China claims they have deployed 40,000 5G NR base stations. But without URLLC (ultra high reliability, ultra low latency) enhancements to 5GNR (3GPP Release 16) and mMTC (massive machine to machine communications) standards, 5G NR is not complete.  (3GPP has not set a date for the conclusion and evaluation of URLLC in the RAN performance testing which is supposed to be in the “frozen” 3GPP Release 16 set of specs)
  • There are no mmWave 5G base stations at all in China.
  • Currently China 5G  base stations consume huge amounts of energy, so the 3 major 5G network operators shut them down at night to reduce electricity bills.  Note the above readers comment, “Experience the night episode.”
  • Former minister of China Ministry of Finance and seated deputy minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) recently publicly expressed concerns about China’s 5G development and investments.  They said China had made bad 5G investments and that China has not yet balanced the 3G and 4G investments made by its network operators).
  • What kind of joke is this?

References:

https://finance.sina.com.cn/tech/2020-10-15/doc-iiznezxr6037613.shtml

https://t.cj.sina.com.cn/articles/view/1642471052/61e61e8c02000ynrk?cre=tianyi&mod=pcpager_tech&loc=1&r=9&rfunc=3&tj=none&tr=9

https://www.wsbtv.com/news/ap-explains-promise/KEKKYBDSVGE4W66CY24PMOYMJA/

ZTE reports strong 1st Half 2020 financials; 5G Flexhaul; Automatic Antenna Pattern Control Trial with China Mobile

ZTE reported strong first half financial results, with operating revenues up 5.8 percent from the year before to RMB 47.20 billion and net profit increasing 26.3 percent to RMB 1.86 billion.  Net profit after extraordinary items increased 47.4 percent to RMB 0.9 billion. The operating cash flow grew over 61 percent to RMB 2.04 billion while spend on research and development (R&D) advanced to RMB 6.64 billion.

In the first half of 2020, the company strengthened its cash flow and sales revenue collection management. Its net cash flow from operating activities for H1 2020 is approximately RMB2.04 billion, about 61.1% year-on-year growth. With great commitment to 5G R&D investment, the company’s R&D spending increased to RMB6.64 billion in H1 2020, covering 14.1% of operating revenue.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact, ZTE decided to push its R&D initiatives and to take advantage of the mega shift brought on by its own ongoing digital transformation. The company also focused on customer service, helping to achieve a steady growth of business.

ZTE put its in-house new-generation core chipsets for access, bearer and fixed-networks into large-scale commercial deployments, further improving the performance, integration and energy efficiency ratio of its chipsets. The company is also focusing on strengthening its algorithm processes, new materials and new technologies in general, as it helps build 5G commercial networks and works towards becoming the “ultimate” cloud company.

In terms of operator network business, ZTE, underpinned by the rapid 5G rollouts in China, achieved revenue of RMB34.97 billion, a year-on-year growth of 7.7%. (Note that ZTE and Huawei were recently banned from the UK’s 5G rollouts).  In 1st half o 2020, the company continuously strengthened the landscape of global network infrastructure.

ZTE facilitates 4G and 5G co-evolution with a comprehensive set

Image Credit: 123RF

Proactively taking advantages of new infrastructure construction and new services, ZTE further explored market growth opportunities, with the revenue of ZTE’s government and enterprise business reaching RMB4.82 billion, a year-on-year growth of 2.5%. The company further explored high-value overseas markets while promoting healthy operations during the period.

In its consumer business, ZTE has continuously strengthened its 5G terminal (mostly smartphones) agreements with over 30 wireless network operators around the world, with a focus on China’s “open market.”

Moving forward, ZTE says it will continuously strengthen the research and development, operate steadily and proactively address the risks and challenges in the global markets, thereby achieving the quality growth. Meanwhile, the company will seize the opportunities of new infrastructure and network technology innovations to expand its market shares, accelerate the digital transformation, and improve the organizational efficiency, so as to become an ultimate cloud company.

The company recently announced its 5G Flexhaul solution, which adopts a minimal forwarding plane architecture and a cloud-native control plane to provide 5G fronthaul, midhaul, and traditional backhaul, flexibly meeting the differentiated needs of 5G multi-scenarios and the ultimate performance challenges of 5G services. Based on a full range of self-developed and the industry’s only “3-in-1” highly integrated 5G bearer chip, combined with the pioneering FlexE Channel technology, ZTE’s 5G Flexhaul solution not only provides ultra-large bandwidth capabilities, but also supports massive connections for different services Provide differentiated SLA guarantee and network slicing capabilities to provide customers with a flexible, scalable, and operable 5G bearer network.

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ZTE’s announced financial report comes one day after the company said that it has completed the trial of Automatic Antenna Pattern Control (AAPC) self-optimization solution in Guangzhou, China along with the Guangzhou branch of China Mobile.

By means of the seamless integration between the AI technology and the network structure optimization, this solution can greatly simplify the optimization and O&M of the 5G Massive MIMO network, thereby effectively improving the efficiency and reducing the costs.

The trial result shows that the network coverage rate has increased by nearly 12%, and the signal strength has increased about 4-to-5 dB while the signal-to-noise ratio has increased nearly 1-to-2 dB and the download rate has risen by about 10%.

The solution is based on ZTE’s intelligent AAPC optimization tool, employing the AI algorithm and the network management platform to quickly search and lock the optimal antenna parameters in complex scenarios. According to the MR (measurement report) data, the solution can accurately evaluate the quality of the network coverage.

In addition, the solution has adopted an AI model to achieve the iterative optimization, and the optimal matching between scenarios and antenna parameters, so as to create an end-to-end operational solution of self-configuration and self-evaluation.

Moving forward, ZTE and China Mobile will further explore various complex scenarios, and develop a larger-scale AI self-optimization system, expecting to accelerate the transformation and upgrade of intelligent networks.

About ZTE:

ZTE is a provider of advanced telecommunications systems, mobile devices and enterprise technology solutions to consumers, operators, companies and public sector customers. The company has been committed to providing customers with integrated end-to-end innovations to deliver excellence and value as the telecommunications and information technology sectors converge. Listed in the stock exchanges of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, ZTE sells its products and services in more than 160 countries.

References:

https://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/news/20200828e1.html

https://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/news/20200827e1.html

https://www.zte.com.cn/china/solutions/201905201708/201905201738/5G_Flexhaul

ZTE facilitates 4G and 5G co-evolution with a comprehensive set of solutions

No stopping Huawei: 1st half 2020 revenues rose 13.1%, to $64.9 billion despite U.S. led boycott; ~60% of biz from China!

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the #1 telecom equipment company #2 smartphone maker, reported a 13.1% rise in revenue in the first half of the year, showing slower growth as U.S. officials continue to pressure the company’s suppliers and customers.  Revenue rose to 454 billion yuan ($64.90 billion) in the first half of the year. ($1 = 6.9958 Chinese yuan renminbi or RMB).  That was compared to 401.3 billion yuan revenues the year before. Huawei’s growth rate was down from 23.2% in the first half 2019. Huawei said net profit margins were 9.2%, up from 8.7% in the first half 2019.

Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Huawei’s new flagship store is seen ahead of tomorrow’s official opening in Shanghai, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, China June 23, 2020.

REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo: REUTERS

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The Chinese behemoth technology company posted the report a day before United Kingdom officials are expected to order the removal of Huawei gear from the nation’s telecommunications networks.

The results were published as Huawei fights a U.S.-led campaign to ban it from Europe’s 5G markets and choke off its supplies of components based on U.S. design expertise or manufacturing technology.  Speculation has risen that UK authorities will this week move to exclude Huawei from the country’s 5G market just months after saying they would restrict it to 35% of any radio access or fiber broadband network.

The UK government previously thought such restrictions – combined with a ban on Huawei in the intelligent “core” of any network – would mitigate the risk and minimize disruption to service providers reliant on Huawei technology.

But security watch dogs are now worried the latest U.S. sanctions would heighten risks and potentially threaten Huawei’s ability to continue serving UK operators.

While other European governments and operators have similar concerns, Huawei has been able to rely on a 5G rollout in China for sales growth.

Victor Zhang, the company’s head of government affairs, told UK officials last week that Huawei will this year erect about half a million base stations for Mobile, Telecom and Unicom, China’s three national operators.

The company has referred to the scale of the Chinese deployment in refuting suggestions it may run out of components early next year. With the current 35% cap on its UK role, it needs components for only about 20,000 UK base stations, which it can easily supply through existing inventory, said a Huawei spokesperson.

A breakdown of the figures released today indicates growth in all three of Huawei’s business lines.

At the carrier division, which develops network products for communications service providers, sales were up 9%, to RMB159.6 billion ($22.8 billion), despite coronavirus-triggered lockdowns in some of Huawei’s most important markets.

While Huawei did not provide a regional breakdown of the numbers, a Chinese splurge on 5G equipment is likely to have fueled the increase given the pressure elsewhere.

Last year, the Chinese market accounted for nearly 60% of Huawei’s entire business, a figure that proves any European restrictions would have only a limited effect on the company.

Huawei’s relatively small enterprise business managed a 15% increase in sales, to RMB36.3 billion ($5.2 billion), while its device-making consumer business – which last year blamed U.S, sanctions for wiping about $10 billion off sales – said revenues were up 16%, to about RMB255.8 billion ($36.6 billion).

“Our business depends on delivering what our customers need,” said Zhang in a prepared statement about the latest numbers. “These results show that they continue to choose Huawei when they want reliability, security and value.”

Zhang said: “Our priority here is to build a better-connected UK where everyone can benefit from 5G and fiber broadband, no matter where they live.”

BT and Vodafone, the UK operators most heavily reliant on Huawei’s products, have told UK officials they need at least five years to phase out the Chinese vendor.  Anything less and customers would face major disruption, including outages as equipment is replaced, said technology executives during a parliamentary committee last week.

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Huawei’s rise in sales comes after more than a year of pressure from American officials on the company’s suppliers and customers. The company sells 5G networking equipment to carriers and smart phones and laptops to consumers.

American officials placed Huawei on a blacklist in May of last year, restricting sales to the company of U.S.-made goods such as semiconductors. Huawei built up inventories and also continued to design its own chips and have them manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd and others.

“Huawei has promised to continue fulfilling its obligations to customers and suppliers, and to survive, forge ahead, and contribute to the global digital economy and technological development, no matter what future challenges the company faces,” the company said in a statement on Monday.

In May, U.S. officials announced new rules aimed at constricting Huawei’s ability to self-supply chips, an ability that is critical to its efforts to sell 5G networking gear.

The first half results showed faster growth than Huawei’s first quarter results released in April. For the first quarter, revenues rose by about 1% to 182.2 billion yuan, versus 39% growth posted a year previous. Net profit margin in the first quarter narrowed to 7.3% from about 8% a year earlier.

Huawei did not report unit shipments of phones. Research firm IDC reported Huawei was the second largest phone maker in the first quarter of 2020, with 17.8% market share, behind No. 1 Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and ahead of No.3 Apple Inc.

References:

https://www.usnews.com/news/technology/articles/2020-07-13/huawei-reports-131-rise-in-first-half-revenue

https://www.lightreading.com/asia/huawei-books-$1b-growth-in-h1-profit-despite-us-led-backlash/d/d-id/762360?

Bloomberg Opinion: China Is Winning the 5G Base Station Race

By Anjani Trivedi

China is building tens of thousands of 5G base stations every week. Whether it wins technological dominance or not, domestic supply chains may be revived and allow the country to maintain – and advance — its position as the factory floor of the world, even as Covid-19 forces a rethink in how globalization is done.

By the end of this year, China will have more than half a million of these 5G cell towers on its way to a goal of 5 million, a fast climb from around 200,000 already in use, enabling faster communication for hundreds of millions of smartphone users. By comparison, South Korea has a nearly 10% penetration rate for 5G usage, the highest globally. The much-smaller Asian country had 115,000 such 5G base stations operating as of April.

5G base stations are sprouting all over China. Photo Credit: China News Service/Visual China Group/Getty

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The coronavirus shut down factories and industrial sectors, triggering a rethink of supply chains – away from China. What analysts are calling “peak” globalization and the rise of factory automation could shift production to higher-cost countries in North America and Southeast Asia. It will take a while, but the global dependence on China will come down, the thinking goes. Still, with trade ravaged by Covid-19, other countries and telecom operators will struggle to match China’s spending.

For China, there’s an opportunity to clear the way to forcefully implement its industrial policy agenda, without interference from criticism over subsidies and unfair competition. The so-called Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission, headed by President Xi Jinping, has approved a three-year plan to give state-owned enterprises yet more sway in the economy.

Beijing’s ambitious programs are still in the construction phase. Macro base stations are the nuts and bolts of building out 5G networks, and will exceed their 4G predecessors by almost 1.5 times. Capital expenditure could peak at $30 billion this year, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts, up from $5 billion last year. Beijing wants more local governments and companies to get involved. Each station costs around 500,000 yuan ($71,361) and has a long value chain that includes electrical components, semiconductors, antenna units and circuit boards. The vast number of companies spawned by the project are all contributing to China’s push to get ahead.

For the industrial complex, the onset of 5G will enable greater connectivity between machines and much more data transfer and collection. Fifth-generation technology is expected to have a big impact through increasingly efficient and automated factory equipment, and tracking the movement of inventory and progress of production lines and assets. Manufacturing is expected to account for almost 40% of 5G-enabled industry output, according to  Bernstein Research analysts.

From sensors and data clouds, to chips and collaborative robots and computer-controlled machinery, a whole universe of little-known Chinese companies is coming to the fore. Memory chip maker Gigadevice Semiconductor (Beijing) Inc. has ridden the trend, as has Yonyou Network Technology Co., China’s version of Salesforce.com Inc. For some of these companies, government subsidies are a significant part of earnings, as my colleague Shuli Ren has noted. Stock prices have surged in recent months for firms like Shennan Circuits Co., which makes printed circuit boards, and Maxscend Microelectronics Co., a manufacturer of radio frequency chips. Some are seeing their market capitalization values balloon by billions of dollars as Beijing has upped the ante on new infrastructure.

As Covid-19 absorbs the world’s attention, Beijing’s steady focus on implementing this industrial policy may make China the manufacturer of parts that most countries will need – soon. In other words, it will yet again become the factory floor, mastering the production of all things 5G.

Article originally published at https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-07-12/china-s-next-trillion-dollar-war-is-over-5g-manufacturing

References:

https://techblog.comsoc.org/?q=China%205G#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=China%205G&gsc.page=1

https://www.cnet.com/news/5g-will-change-the-world-and-china-wants-to-lead-the-way/

https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/chinas-long-term-plan-shape-future-technology

https://www.livemint.com/news/world/world-waking-up-to-china-s-true-intentions-to-dominate-5g-us-official-11593171649885.html

Trump and FCC crack down on China telecoms; supply chain security at risk

Excerpt of a Wired article by Justin Sherman (edited by Alan J Weissberger):

The Trump administration is clearly and publicly upping its scrutiny of Chinese-incorporated telecoms. After Washington’s crusade against Huawei, and a forthcoming Senate report that allegedly blasts U,S. regulators for failing to properly oversee Chinese telecoms and their handling of data, these recent actions aren’t exactly surprising. But even if they’re genuinely focused on real national security risks, that doesn’t change the fact that President Trump’s administration doesn’t have a broader strategy.

What the FCC sent to the four companies are called Orders to Show Cause. These orders instruct a recipient firm to demonstrate that its continued operation in the United States doesn’t pose national security risks. Specifically, the ones issued here demand evidence from the four telecoms of why the FCC shouldn’t “initiate proceedings to revoke their authorizations” to operate in the U.S., under Section 214 of the Communications Act.

“The Show Cause Orders reflect our deep concern … about these companies’ vulnerability to the exploitation, influence, and control of the Chinese Communist Party, given that they are subsidiaries of Chinese state-owned entities,” said FCC chair Ajit Pai. “We simply cannot take a risk and hope for the best when it comes to the security of our networks,” he added.

The orders to China Telecom (Americas) CorporationChina Unicom (Americas) Operations LimitedPacific Networks Corporation, and ComNet (USA) LLC gave the companies until May 24 to respond. Included in this answer must be a “detailed description” of the firm’s “corporate governance,” network diagrams describing how its systems are used, lists and copies of interconnection agreements with other carriers, and descriptions of the extent to which the firm “is or is not otherwise subject to the exploitation, influence, and control of the Chinese government”—neither a small request nor a mere formality.

Editor’s Note:  China Mobile, the largest wireless telecom carrier in China is missing from the above list!

China Telecom and China Unicom are both state-owned enterprises, which raises legitimate questions about the Chinese government’s potential access to data. Could it easily request the companies hand over information to intelligence services? Could it compel the firms to insert backdoors on its behalf? What does this presence in the US mean from a resilience standpoint, when U.S. networks could be potentially controlled or manipulated or flat-out shut off in a conflict-like situation?
A China Telecom store in Wuhan, China. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Pacific Networks (of which ComNet is a subsidiary) is owned by the state-owned CITIC Telecom International; the government connection here is almost as direct. Linking its board room to the CCP’s Zhongnanhai headquarters is certainly a bit clearer here than with Huawei, which isn’t outright state-owned but has nonetheless been subject to many questions, especially from the White House, about its Chinese government ties. Again, Beijing’s potential access to data from Pacific Networks Corporation is a legitimate risk.

The clock is ticking for these companies to respond to the U.S. government. China Telecom asked the FCC for a 30-day extension on the original May 24 deadline. Its lawyers got a reply this past week considering extra time, conditioned on specifying by May 11 which parts of the order they want clarified. Meanwhile, the executive branch is forging ahead—per the recently issued executive order—with formalizing a committee to scrutinize foreign telecoms’ presence in the US. Recommendations to the FCC could include modifying a company’s FCC license with “mitigation” measures or even outright revoking it.

Many issues plague the recent executive order. There is broad language about which kind of FCC licenses can be reviewed; the EO’s title would suggest only those of foreign telecoms, but it appears it could be much bigger. The EO also leaves many questions of implementation up to a memorandum of understanding, which is due several weeks from now.

After the order’s publication, multiple people I spoke with had additionally drawn attention to the future head of this newly called-for, yet-to-be-created committee: the attorney general. In different times, perhaps that’d be a reasonable way to balance represented interests, from the intelligence community to the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. But these are not normal times—and William Barr is hardly known for his impartiality or respect for the rule of law.

Zooming out even further, the U.S. government lacks clear and objective criteria to define and articulate what makes one foreign telecommunications supplier more trustworthy than another. After all, post-Snowden, it’s a bit hard for the U.S. to beat the “other countries backdoor their systems” argument, sans evidence, without raising eyebrows. The Trump administration also continues throwing digital sovereignty policies in other countries—from onerous source code inspection requirements to limited data localization provisions—into the same “protectionist” bucket. Given this reality, how will these telecom reviews be diplomatically handled?

Even the recent FCC orders don’t get especially detailed. Beyond citing that the companies are state-owned or are controlled by those that are state-owned, the documents don’t elaborate much on why these firms cannot be trusted. So, is it more about ownership, corporate governance, and legal authorities in the country of incorporation than it is about technical security issues?

Or for the administration’s China hawks, is it the mere connection to Beijing? Because as the Trump administration and the president in particular continue China-bashing, spreading xenophobic rhetoric (e.g., around coronavirus’ origins), and preferring in general a zero-sum engagement with counterparts in Beijing, it seems more likely that factor overshadows all else.

There are real national security risks that must be weighed around foreign telecommunications companies. Questions of foreign state ownership should be explored, especially as the world becomes more digitally interconnected and the technological supply chain is a growing vector for hacking and exploitation. But foregoing a broader strategy on supply chain security is not an effective, long-term option for parsing these modern digital risks. Despite the recent China focus, these questions of supply chain policy go far beyond Chinese technology firms, and the U.S. government needs a comprehensive and repeatable process for answering them.


China Mobile and Huawei deploy 5G base station at 6,500m on Mt Everest!

China Mobile and Huawei have together built the highest elevation 5G (or any other) base station on this planet– at 6500 meters (21,300 feet) at Mount Everest where there are no roads or trails. [Note that the summit is 8,848 meters, but will be measured again this year].

The base station along with two others at lower elevations, will enable China Mobile to run its 5G wireless network on the world’s highest mountain.  It will surely be a great aid to climbers which had to previously use satellite phones for ultra high altitude communications with their high camps.

Zhou Min, general manager of Tibet branch of China Mobile, said the facility will ensure reliable telecommunication for the activities of mountain climbing, scientific research, environmental monitoring and high-definition live streaming. The building of 5G infrastructure is in tandem with the measuring of the height of the peak, which officially started on Thursday.

“It comes on the 60th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest from the northern slope and the 45th anniversary of China’s first official accurate measurement of Mount Everest,” declared the press release. “Significantly, the 5G network on Mount Everest will provide communication services for the 2020 Mount Everest re-measurement.”

How high is Mount Everest in meters, feet, km & miles

The base station launch marks the 60th anniversary of the first successful ascension of Mount Everest from the northern slope. Base stations are now at the Mount Everest Base Camp at 5,300 metres, the Transition Camp at 5,800 metres, and the Forward Camp at 6,500 meters.

A China Mobile technician told state media that the new 5G network is fast enough for climbers and scientists to have 4K and VR live streaming on the mountain.

Huawei’s 5G AAU and SPN technologies were applied at the base stations, managed and maintained by a dozen network specialists stationed there 24/7 at altitudes of 5,300 meters and above.

Huawei claims that its 5G AAU is highly integrated into a compact size, making it easy for deployment and installation and it fits particularly well for infrastructure in extreme environments such as Mount Everest. In this project, a network in the “stand-alone plus non-stand alone” (SA+NSA) mode connects five 5G base stations.Meanwhile, the 5G connectivity is achieved by Huawei’s Massive MIMO technology.

Huawei’s Massive MIMO comes with three-dimensional narrow beams. At an altitude of 5,300 meters, the 5G download speed exceeded 1.66 Gbps, where the upload speed tops 215 Mbps, claims Huawei. Some of the other technologies being employed by the Chinese telecom equipment giant are Intelligent OptiX Network and HoloSens intelligent video surveillance system.  The 5G base station at Everest base camp includes a Gigabit ONT, Huawei’s 10G PON OLT and 200G ultra-high-speed transmission platform, and the HoloSens intelligent video surveillance system.

Pictures of 5G Base station at 6500 meters   Photo credits: Huawei

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The press release concluded as follows:

Huawei strongly believes that technology means to make the world better.  The beauty of Mount Everest can be displayed via 5G high-definition video and VR experience, which also provides further insights for mountaineers, scientists and other specialists into the nature. The ground-breaking establishment on Mount Everest once again proves that 5G technology connect mankind and the Earth harmoniously.

References:

https://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2020/4/china-mobile-huawei-deliver-world-highest-5g

https://www.bloombergquint.com/technology/5g-signal-now-available-on-mount-everest-peak

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/gadgets-news/china-mobile-and-huawei-establish-worlds-highest-5g-site-on-mount-everest/articleshow/75493507.cms

 

 

ZTE reports Q1 revenue & profit declines; boosts R&D; telemedicine diagnosis with hospitals to fight COVID-19

ZTE reported operating revenues for the first quarter were CNY 21.48 billion – down from 22.02 billion or -3.23% from the previous year.  Net profit declined to CNY 780 million from 863 million or -9.58% year-over-year.  ZTE’s net profit after extraordinary items rose 20.5% to CNY 160 million.

The company said the quarter was marked by the coronavirus pandemic and measures taken to alleviate the distress cause by it, as well as by the deployment of new infrastructures such as 5G and the Industrial Internet.  ZTE’s R&D costs in the quarter increased to CNY 3.24 billion, comprising over 15.1% of revenues and up 1.2% from the year earlier.

Zte Corporation Stock Pictures, Royalty-free Photos & Images ...

ZTE CORPORATION –a joint stock limited company incorporated in the People’s Republic of China with limited liability. As at 31 March 2020 There were 483,643 shareholders in total (comprising 483,330 holders
of A shares and 313 holders of H shares). 

Here are the shareholders holding 5% or above or top 10 shareholders:

  1. Zhongxingxin Telecom Company Limited
  2. HKSCC Nominees Limited
  3. Bank of China Limited
  4. Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Ltd
  5. NSSF Portfolio #101
  6. Central Huijin Asset Management Co. Ltd
  7. Shenzhen Huitong Rongxin Investment Co. Ltd
  8. Nanjing Xinchuangxing Consulting and Management Partnership Ltd
  9. New China Life Insurance Company Ltd
  10. Shenzhen Investment Holding Capital Company Ltd
  11. Guangdong Hengjian Asset Management Company Ltd.

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ZTE continued to strengthen its R&D investment to build up its core competitiveness. For the three months ended 31 March 2020, the research and development costs amounted to RMB3.241 billion, 15.1% of operating revenue, increased by 1.2% compared to the same period last year.

During the first quarter of 2020, ZTE has placed great priority on its employee health and global customer services by promptly building and upgrading a remote office and customer service platform for all its employees. Moreover, the company has coordinated with partners to fight against COVID-19 and facilitate the resumption of production with digital means in an orderly manner. The company has been proactively promoting the new infrastructure-related services, and has managed to maintain the steady growth of its businesses during the review period.

Meanwhile, ZTE has been actively practicing social responsibilities. The company has collaborated with operators to guarantee the communication services of the front line against COVID-19. It has constructed 4G/5G networks and telemedicine diagnosis systems for hundreds of hospitals in China.

Teaming up with industry partners, ZTE has been committed to empowering various industries to fight against COVID-19 by leveraging its leading technological strength like 5G and AI. Specifically, ZTE has released 5G remote diagnosis and mobile diagnosis services, as well as the smart video cloud solution for epidemic prevention and control.

Moreover, the company has launched the family “cloud classroom” services to support online education. Featuring high efficiency and collaborativeness, ZTE’s secure remote office solution has enabled users of different industries to have remote office services during the outbreak of COVID-19, thereby facilitating the safe and rapid resumption of work and enhancing economic resilience.
With the acceleration of new infrastructures, such as 5G and the Industrial Internet, ZTE has been actively involved in the deployments of operators’ 5G infrastructure, and constantly scaled up its 5G production capacity. Meanwhile, the company has solidified cooperation with top industry players to promote the digital transformation of power, transportation, finance, government affairs and other key industries.

By the end of the first quarter of 2020, ZTE has consecutively secured significant shares for the 5G RAN, 5G SA core network, 5G transport centralized procurement of China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. The company has constructed 5G demonstration networks in multiple cities in China, achieving Giga+ 5G continuous coverage experience. Moreover, the company has completed 5G commercial deployments in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and other major 5G markets.

In addition, ZTE has sustained high growth in market shares in optical networks, as well as in the segments of Metro WDM and Backbone WDM. The company and its partners have jointly explored 86 application scenarios and carried out over 60 demonstration projects on a global scale, building a series of 5G intelligent manufacturing demonstration projects along with top industry players.

With respect to terminal devices, ZTE has unveiled its first 5G video smartphone ZTE Axon 11 5G. The company has continuously strengthened its 5G terminal devices cooperation with more than 30 operators worldwide. It has embarked on the 5G terminal market in Japan by partnering with operators.

Looking ahead , ZTE will pay close attention to the global epidemic situation, and make reasonable coordination accordingly with its global customers and partners to cope with the global epidemic. The company will strongly concentrate on its major businesses while leveraging the opportunities of new infrastructure construction, expecting to create more value for its telco customers.

References:

https://res-www.zte.com.cn/mediares/zte/Investor/20200424/E3.pdf

https://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/news/20200424e1.html