Ren’s remarkable story of hard times

A recent conversation between Ren and Yoshida Kenichiro, Sony CEO, revealed a great deal of his personality and history. Ren lost his army job when the construction division was reduced, with little money or prospects. He was 44 and had a family. Going into communications was an accident, he says. A few years later, he saw construction was booming and regretted not becoming a contractor.

There were many hard times, not least when the Internet bubble collapsed in 2001. He had to deal with challenges far more extreme than the battle with America. He set up the employee stock plan when Huawei didn’t have the cash to pay employees.

Kenichiro described his philosophy: First, we need to have a sense of crisis. Second, we need to maintain a modest attitude. Third, we must have a long-term vision.

Ren said his thought is “Basically similar. But I think the first point should be to have a sense of direction, including the sense of direction of customer demand and the sense of direction of future technological innovation.”

He also explained the main reason he didn’t do interviews was that he is shy.

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5G 360 VR test at Turkcell

Using a Huawei 3.5 GHz 5G system, Turkcell is streaming real time virtual reality.   If drones stop shutting down airports, the telcos see a major business. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg promised at CES 2019, “Verizon is committed to being the first to connect 1 million drone flights on its 5G network.” Saudi Telecom, KT, Vodafone, and KDDI are doing active testing and hope to go into commercial operation in 2019. 

The number of drone flights will likely be limited until practical flight control is demonstrated. 5G (and most 4G) networks can easily handle the modest number of drones in the air if human control is needed.  Military and civilian research into truly autonomous control of drones is active worldwide. The pr

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U.S. targets Huawei for seeking Apple information

The Information, which is known for strong reporting, has details of an Apple supplier who claims Huawei pressed him for information, apparently including his work on the Apple Watch.

I understand there was gambling in Casablanca.

This happens constantly in business. In about 1 in 10 phone calls, I am pressed for information about competitors if I might have any. Two weeks ago, a router manufacturer wanted to know what I knew about competitors software.

Any reporter who cares about her reputation would say no, as I did. If a multi-million dollar contract was at stake, it would be tempting. I’ve never been in that position.

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US war pushes Huawei sales up

A major European telco is “stockpiling equipment in the event of an American ban on Huawei’s purchase of US-made components.” Iain Morris at LR also reports Huawei is giving better service in Europe, quoting another operator, “The Chinese supplier would respond immediately to any problem, while Ericsson might take several days.”

Telcos worldwide support the GSMA position that essentially backs Huawei. They know that having fewer suppliers would raise prices. Morris quotes a senior tech person asserting that Ericsson & Nokia couldn’t replace Huawei in the short term if European governments demanded cutting out Huawei.

Ericsson is still in the 5G race. They’ve added 4,000 engineers for 5G R&D. Morris notes Ericsson has cut 16,000 employees in two years. Nokia also has massive layoffs; I know because of how many of my emails bounce.

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Huawei World Cloud adds Johannesberg & Singapore

While it’s not the size of a Baidu Cloud, much less an Amazon, Huawei is expanding rapidly around the world. HiSilicon has produced a dedicated data center chip with an AI core and a network processor. Huawei is working with the Open Source projects for data centers.

Huawei Cloud locations

It has strong relationships with Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom/Orange. Service will soon be available almost everywhere except the U.S.

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World telcos push for Huawei

GSMA lobbies for all the giant telcos. Nothing in this release about security mentions Huawei but everyone knows that’s the real subject. Telcos know that losing a supplier would raise prices. Huawei has earned respect through 15 years of hard work.

One comment is almost certainly a mistake. Cutting out Huawei would not, “delay 5G deployment by years across Europe.” Huawei is ahead of Ericsson and Nokia in many things, but not years ahead. Huawei does well when telcos compare it with the Europeans, but Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsumg are also very, very good.

If I headlined GSMA says Ericsson, Nokia years behind in 5G, Matts Granryd would get some very angry phone calls. That’s the implication of what they wrote, probably without thinking.

GSMA could makes strong points on this subject without stretching the truth.

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Top spook says “No Huawei spying.”

Robert Hannigan was Head of GCHQ, Britain’s equal of the U.S. NSA. Before that, he was the Prime Minister’s Security Adviser. England and the U.S. work together on security so he probably knows more about the spy stuff than anyone else in Europe.

In the Financial Times, Hannigan just wrote “Blanket Bans on Chinese Tech Companies Like Huawei Make No Sense” R| Feb. 12, 2019

“The UK National Cyber Security Centre has never found evidence of malicious Chinese state cyber activity through Huawei.” He was in charge.

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Huawei’s 2.6 GHz 5G will make China Mobile one of the best in the world

China Mobile has two million cells, three or four times as many as Verizon, even adjusted for population. The likely result: China Mobile’s 160 MHz at 2.6 GHz will probably deliver performance comparable to Verizon’s 400-800 MHz at 28 GHz. Since Verizon has backed away from CEO Lowell McAdam’s plan to use mmWave across the country, on average China Mobile will probably have more capacity & speed.

Huawei is now demonstrating equipment designed for 2.6 GHz and sold 250 radios to China Mobile. More on the topic.

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?April for 5G chips & phones?

Taiwan Semiconductor expects “volume production” of 5G EUV chips in March. HiSilicon’s 5G chips will be coming off that line alongside the April A13 – if they are ready for production.

Lawrence Livermore EUV 230
EUV at Livermore

At least a dozen 5G phones will be announced in the next two weeks for MWC Barcelona. Some of them may start shipping as soon as April, earlier than expected. That’s not guaranteed. The primary chips should be available but the front end of the phones – RF or Radio Frequency – also has been struggling.

End of March, Taiwan Semi promises volume production of 7 nm chips produced using an Extreme Ultraviolet system (EUV.) TSMC is taking delivery on 18 of the US$100 million-plus machines this year. Some will be tested on 5nm, with production expected in 2020.  Samsung and TSMC have begun construction on 3 nm facilities that will cost US$20 billion.  More

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Huawei wins largest share of China Mobile 5G. Datang is back

China Mobile has ordered the first (small) batch of 5G base stations, splitting the 500 units between Huawei (half), Ericsson (110), ZTE (80), Nokia (30), and Datang/Fiberhome (30.)

Datang was the pioneer in TD-SCDMA, the standard developed in China. They have a strong patent position in 5G as well. They fell on hard times and the government merged them with Fiberhome in Chengdu.

Datang has been appearing at meetings but this is the first 5G sale I’ve seen. Fiberhome should not be underrated; they have been competing with Huawei for more than a decade and are still standing.

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French Finance Minister wants Huawei out

Reuters quotes Bruno Le Maire. “The move from 4G to 5G changes many things at a technical level. It means that the most sensitive information are not only in the core networks but also in the antennas. We must protect this sensitive information.”

Le Maire supported a last-minute amendment to an unrelated bill that was aimed at Huawei. It was blocked by the Senate but will likely be tried again.

As far as I know, nothing in 5G makes it significantly more vulnerable to attack.

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U.S. security people urge European telcos to us Huawei. ?Satire

Reuters reports an anonymous U.S. official “we are urging folks not to rush ahead and sign contracts with untrusted suppliers.” Given that nearly all telco executives see Huawei as one of their most trusted suppliers, that should be interpreted as the U.S. urging them to buy from Huawei.

Huawei today has the most extensive security review of any telco supplier. Britain has a high level committee of experts with complete access. Chancellor Merkel this week proposed that Germany should set up a similar review, with support from Deutsche Telekom.

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