“In terms of 5G technology, Huawei has made impressive progress including the recent progress that we have made in India,” Ken Hu, deputy chairman and chief executive told ETTelecom, and added that the firm has inked as many as 60 commercial deals, and by next year, the firm would be able to guage 5G contribution to its overall business.
“So far, we have signed over 60 commercial contracts. Honestly, I have become less interested in the number of 5G contracts that Huawei has secured. Since, many projects are in the pipeline, numbers are not absolute,” Hu said.
The Chinese telecom giant has come under widespread scrutiny by many countries since the US President Donald Trump has put it on the blacklist, following security-related allegations, escalating it into a trade war with China.
Earlier, the Trump administration has also issued advisory to India asking it to shun the Chinese gear maker. The Narendra Modi government has so far not taken any decision while Huawei has been asking for clarity with one of its senior executives saying India’s ambitious 5G roll out might be delayed if it thinks otherwise.
Huawei that has the largest number of 5G patents, offers economically viable technology and after-sales services as compared with rivals, to the telecom service providers which are stressed under a cumulative debt of more than Rs 7 lakh crore in India.
India’s market leader Vodafone Idea has already entered into an alliance with Huawei to run 5G network pilot initiative while the Chinese company is under advanced discussions with Sunil Mittal-driven Bharti Airtel for a similar partnership.
“The current phase is an accelerated phase of 5G commercial roll outs and to see how much 5G contributes to Huawei;s overall share, we have to wait until next year for a clearer picture when China has a first commercial deployment, ” Hu added.
The company also feels that the Indian government should allow affordable next-generation airwaves to Indian operators.
“Government should allow spectrum resource at a cheaper price to Indian carriers and hope it to be allocated in an efficient manner so that industry will have contiguous radio waves,” the top executive said.
Delhi-based telecom group Cellular Operators Association of India (Coai) has also said that at the current spectrum price recommended by the regulator, telcos would not like to begin the much-awaited 5G services, except few trials.
Last year, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has suggested a base price of Rs 492 crore per unit for frequencies in the 3.3 GHz – 3.6 GHz band.
India, according to Hu, is a very important market for Huawei in the Asia Pacific region.
“In telecommunications industry, India has made much progress, and as a young country it has great prospects with a majority of young population that means the country has great essentials for telecom services,” he added.
The telecom major, which is foraying into computing segment with advanced technologies such as cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT), has earmarked $1.5 billion fund to encourage developers.
(The author is attending the Huawei Connect 2019 in Shanghai, at the invitation of the company)