Security concerns have not, it seems, undermined Huawei’s drive to be among the leaders in 5G technology provision – or affected its earnings.
Given some of the recent security-focused headlines concerning the Chinese telecoms giant, Huawei has not had a bad week. A notable success was the news that the UK government has approved the participation of Huawei in some non-core parts of Britain’s 5G data network.
The core infrastructure (areas affecting billing and customer details, for example) is not part of the decision, which will involve elements such as base stations and transmission equipment. The UK has so far resisted pressure from the US to remove Huawei from consideration in 5G planning altogether, as has Germany.
Huawei has always denied being controlled by the Chinese government or that its equipment could be used for espionage. US lobbying efforts to ban Huawei equipment from 5G networks on security grounds are, it seems, not being universally embraced.
And the telecoms giant has another cause for celebration, reporting a 39% surge in first quarter revenue, which included the signing of 40 commercial 5G contracts and the shipping of more than 70,000 5G base stations, not to mention 59 million smartphones, significantly up (by nearly 20 million) on the same period last year.
Following hard on the heels of the recently announced Innovation 2.0 initiative, through which Huawei hopes to overcome the bottlenecks that have hampered innovation in the ICT and telecoms spheres, and plans, reported in the UK's Financial Times, to sell a 5G phone for only $600, the impression is of a company in fairly rude health – at least in 5G terms. Certainly last year’s investment of $14 billion in research and development, puts it among the biggest investors in 5G technology.