Philippine telco to roll out Huawei-backed 5G service

Huawei has emerged as a key bone of contention in the wider China-US trade war that has seen tit-for-tat tariffs imposed on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 June 2019
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Philippine telco to roll out Huawei-backed 5G service

  • US President Donald Trump put Huawei on a blacklist over national security concerns just over a month ago
  • Manila is a historic Washington ally, but Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has pulled away to attract Chinese business and investment

MANILA: The Philippines’ Globe Telecom said Friday it will launch Southeast Asia’s first 5G broadband service next month using Huawei technology, despite US blacklisting of the Chinese giant over cybersecurity concerns.
The system uses wireless radios instead of fiber optic cables to deliver service to thousands of customers in a nation that suffers from a lack of fast connections.
US President Donald Trump put Huawei, the world’s number two smartphone maker, on a blacklist over national security concerns just over a month ago.
Manila is a historic Washington ally, but Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has pulled away to attract Chinese business and investment.
Huawei has emerged as a key bone of contention in the wider China-US trade war that has seen tit-for-tat tariffs imposed on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods.
Last week its founder, Ren Zhengfei, announced the company would slash production over the next two years as it grapples with a US push to isolate the company internationally.
But that has not derailed the effort in the Philippines, where Globe announced last year that Huawei Technologies and other vendors were preparing fifth-generation fixed wireless broadband.
Globe president and chief executive Ernest Cu said in a statement: “We made a crucial step in fulfilling our goal of connecting more Filipino homes, and our vision of bringing first-world Internet to the Philippines.”
US Defense Secretary Mike Pompeo earlier warned the Philippines and other nations during a visit to Manila in March against using technology from Huawei.
US officials suspect Beijing could use Huawei’s products to spy on foreign governments. The company denies the allegations.
Apart from Globe, Huawei is also contracted to supply video surveillance gear to a $400 million Philippine police project to deter crime in several cities.
A Philippine police spokesman told reporters last month that they investigated espionage allegations against the Chinese firm, but “have not uncovered any evidence to confirm that Huawei is actually spying.”


UK core pay growth strongest in nearly 11 years, but jobs growth slows

Data showed the unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent as expected. (Shutterstock)
Updated 16 July 2019
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UK core pay growth strongest in nearly 11 years, but jobs growth slows

  • Core earnings have increased by 3.6 percent annually, beating the median forecast of 3.5 percent
  • The unemployment rate fell by 51,000 to just under 1.3 million

LONDON: British wages, excluding bonuses, rose at their fastest pace in more than a decade in the three months to May, official data showed, but there were some signs that the labor market might be weakening. Core earnings rose by an annual 3.6 percent, beating the median forecast of 3.5 percent in a Reuters poll of economists. Including bonuses, pay growth also picked up to 3.4 percent from 3.2 percent, stronger than the 3.1 percent forecast in the poll. Britain’s labor market has been a silver lining for the economy since the Brexit vote in June 2016, something many economists attribute to employers preferring to hire workers that they can later lay off over making longer-term commitments to investment. The pick-up in pay has been noted by the Bank of England which says it might need to raise interest rates in response, assuming Britain can avoid a no-deal Brexit. Tuesday’s data showed the unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent as expected, its joint-lowest since the three months to January 1975. The number of people out of work fell by 51,000 to just under 1.3 million. But the growth in employment slowed to 28,000, the weakest increase since the three months to August last year and vacancies fell to their lowest level in more than a year. Some recent surveys of companies have suggested employers are turning more cautious about hiring as Britain approaches its new Brexit deadline of Oct. 31. Both the contenders to be prime minister say they would leave the EU without a transition deal if necessary. A survey published last week showed that companies were more worried about Brexit than at any time since the decision to leave the European Union and they planned to reduce investment and hiring. “The labor market continues to be strong,” ONS statistician Matt Hughes said. “Regular pay is growing at its fastest rate for nearly 11 years in cash terms and its quickest for over three years after taking account of inflation.” The BoE said in May it expected wage growth of 3 percent at the end of this year.