5G to bring $1.2 trillion industry opportunity in Southeast Asia: Huawei

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5G will bring industry opportunities worth $1.2 trillion in Southeast Asia in the next five years, Huawei’s regional president said at the MWC 2019 Media interview in Barcelona on Sunday.

James Wu, president of Huawei Southeast Asia has an interview of media Sunday in Barcelona during MWC 2019

“Southeast Asia will stand out with the fastest GDP growth around 5-6% in the next five years, and digital economy will be the major driver behind such growth accounting for 20 percent,” said James Wu, president of Huawei Southeast Asia. “We are committed to developing the digital economy of Southeast Asian countries, and collaborating with partners in order to build a digital ecosystem.”

Wu predicted that massive commercial use of 5G in markets such as India, Thailand and Vietnam will start as early as 2020. In the next five years, the number of 5G subscribers in the region will top 80 million. Wireless, digital and intelligent equipment will improve social productivity by 4-8% on average.

According to the regional president, the ICT giant has received invitation from multiple countries and customers across Southeast Asia to 5G trials. Wu revealed that Huawei has invested $5 million in 5G trials in Thailand, and the 5G equipment ready for commercial use have arrived in Thailand for the trial.

“Southeast Asia is an emerging market, a great engine that connects innovation and business. We are trying our best to contribute to a digital economy and intelligent vision through innovation” said Wu.

Market in the region like Thailand has risen fast in ICT Development Index (IDI) ranking of ITU in the past years as well, which showed huge potential of an emerging market on speeding up the digitalization. There is no doubt that ICT infrastructure contributed to it a lot.

In 2018, Huawei built the “Bangkok Platform” antenna solution, which was specifically designed for high-density, high-speed and rapid-growth LTE services. It came up the CloudAir to solve the high costs and low utilization rate of the LTE spectrum, a move that ensured 40% extra bandwidth and improved user experience. In India, Huawei introduced 5G microwave which doubled the spectrum efficiency of wireless transmissions.

“I believe 2019 will be a significant year for 5G in Southeast Asia. Huawei, as the world’s leading vendor of 5G, will help all operators in the region realize their 5G dreams. We will continuously invest in 5G, broadband, cloud, artificial intelligence and smart devices, to help our customers maximize the benefits of this emerging technology.”

Huawei, founded in 1987 in China, has grown to become the world’s largest supplier of telecommunication equipment and the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones. In 2018, its revenue is expected to reach a record high of $108.5 billion, up 21% year-on-year. In Southeast Asia, the company also experienced a strong growth. In 2018, its consumer business grew by 42% in the region.

Go Digital, Not Political

Since last year, the Chinese tech giant has been facing challenges by the US-lead campaign that urges its allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G development, claiming the company’s technology would compromise national and user security. Huawei denies the claims that its technology could be used for espionage, and until now no evidence has been raised to support the allegations.

Ask about the allegations, the James Wu said that he’s “personally not concerned about this issue” and grateful for the support of the customers.

“All countries should not turn 5G into a political or ideological issue,” Wu said. “We prove ourselves with 20 years of cyber security record in Southeast Asia to all government and people, that Huawei can be trusted. I’m sure that they have a clear judgement. As an exemplar of emerging markets, Southeast Asia needs to cooperate with ICT vendors who truly contribute locally.”

Huawei has been investing in 5G for more than 10 years, and is recognized with 12 to 18 months of leading advantage in the market. Industrial experts argued that banning Huawei from 5G development could delay the entire network growth.

5G is an inheritance and extension of 4G in terms of security architecture. Thanks to the joint efforts of hundreds of experts from dozens of enterprises and regulators in the 3GPP security work group, now we have a tiered security architecture assurance mechanism for data transmission, user information and user application, which fully guarantees security from mechanism perspective.”

In a recent report, the UK has concluded that the risks posed by Huawei 5G equipment could be mitigated.

“I believe, the wisest and most pragmatic choice is to create an environment where all vendors can fairly compete with each other. Huawei welcomes competition, because it leads to the most efficient investment into 5G infrastructure, and benefits to the general public of all countries. My suggestion is, go digital, not political. And this is a choice that serves the interested of all stakeholders,” Wu said.

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