Chinese networking giant Huawei is on somewhat of a roll. It was one of the world’s leading 5G innovators at Mobile World Congress; its flagship phone, the P10, has been introduced to mostly positive reviews (including mine); its sub brand Honor has also just put out a concept phone that does very cool tricks; and today the company’s CEO just announced Huawei is pumping NZ$400 million (US$282 million) into New Zealand’s tech infrastructure.
Citing New Zealand’s “open and fair” trade development as a reason for wanting to invest in the country, Ren Zhengfei said at a press conference in New Zealand that Huawei will work with local partners to build a cloud data center along with an “Innovation Lab” at Victoria University of Wellington by the end of this year. The Lab will focus on the use of big data, and how to maximize the potential of the Internet of Things through future technology, most notably 5G.
5G, as you’ve probably heard, is going to be a big deal. Huawei hosted a group of senior reps from the world’s leading telecommunication powers (such as AT&T, Japan’s Docomo, and China Mobile) at MWC last month in a panel that was aimed to develop a structured development for the new type of connectivity tech. Having a lab devoted to that in New Zealand is a boon for the country’s networking scene, of which Huawei has been a part since 2005.
You see, while many smartphone blogs report on Huawei as just a phonemaker, the reality is the company is a telecommunication giant, providing networking equipment to more than 170 countries (including New Zealand, whose major carriers all use Huawei to deploy 4G or 3G networks). That means Huawei not only makes phones, and the modem inside the phones, but the network on which these phones run. That’s like if Honda sold cars … and also the freeway and gas.
The Huawei P10.
Huawei’s involvement with the developing of New Zealand’s telecommunication networks will “touch many areas of the economy and open up global opportunities” for the country, said New Zealand’s Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges today.
While Huawei’s continual goal to grow and expand to be the world’s number one phone company and telecommunication provider has ran into red tape and bureaucracy in the United States and some countries like Australia, it would appear that the company is making headway everywhere else. Huawei’s New Zealand plan means various Kiwi carriers, such as Spark, which is already beginning trials of 4.5G, is on track with 5G development.
New Zealand’s clocks are already more ahead than the rest of the world, maybe the connectivity tech will be, too.