Actually, that’s exaggerated. Huawei is an extraordinarily able company. So is Ericsson. In 2011, Samsung’s Jerry Pi wrote An introduction to millimetre-wave mobile broadband systems. It was the first paper that suggested mmWave for home systems and they remain a pioneer. Cisco is winning contracts for network cores.

CEO Börje Ekholm is right to be angry “that there is a myth that we are behind in 5G roll-out and 5G technology.” Ericsson and Huawei are neck and neck when going for contracts. Huawei is ahead in some things; Ericsson in others.

Ekholm doesn’t realize how much his own company is responsible for the limited respect. Ericsson and Nokia pr people clearly believe they should not answer reporters questions beyond the approved press release material.

For the last decade, people really interested in a subject get the pr directly over the Internet. Good reporters don’t waste their time repeating it. One reason Huawei gets better coverage is that they try to answer reasonable questions. That responsiveness gave me a good story about LTE latency.

When I ask about the interesting work Ericsson is doing in wireless backhaul, for instance, I can’t get enough information to make it a good story. Ericsson has done important work improving LTE I’d love to report in depth.

Neil McRae, chief architect at British Telecom, did say, “Others need to catch up.” An analyst I respect, Carolyn Gabriel, came to the opposite conclusion.

I’ve watched similar technical races between outstanding companies go back and forth and expect similar here. Comments like the quote above go beyond the data.

Donald Trump is the greatest salesman Huawei ever had. Ren joked “We should pay him a commission.” The ferocity of the U.S. attack has inspired governments and pundits to overstatement. Huawei is definitely not “two years ahead” no matter how many politicians say so.

I’ve often covered Huawei advances, which are many. I believe I was the first to write in English about Huawei’s Massive MIMO system. China Mobile told me it was roughly tripling performance, far more than 5G NR. Softbank said 4X. The Western companies didn’t match Huawei and ZTE for two years. I think I was also the first with Huawei’s 8×8 MIMO systems and the more recent improvements they’ve made in 4G with AI techniques.

We all put on our pants one leg at a time.