Huawei expects to see revenue uplift from 5G roll-out next year

China’s big three state telcos are racing to roll out 5G services in more than 50 cities this year, following countries such as South Korea and the US. (AP)
Updated 18 September 2019

Huawei expects to see revenue uplift from 5G roll-out next year

  • 5G is the fifth-generation cellular network technology giving consumers and businesses much faster access to information

SHANGHAI: Huawei Technologies expects the roll-out of next-generation 5G wireless networks to start contributing to the firm’s revenue from next year when China launches services, the company’s deputy chairman said on Wednesday.

The Chinese telecoms equipment giant has said that it has secured more than 50 5G commercial contracts even as it fights accusations from the US and its allies that its networks are vehicles for Chinese espionage.

Ken Hu said that while the roll-out was accelerating, especially in Asia, the company believed that it would still need to “wait for a while before 5G contributes a sizeable share to revenue.”

“We will have a clearer picture by mid-next year because by then the first batch of 5G commercial roll-outs in China will reach a certain phase,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a company conference, estimating that Huawei had now signed about 60 contracts.

China’s big three state telcos are racing to roll out 5G services in more than 50 cities this year, following countries like South Korea and the US which have already started the service that promises to support new technologies such as autonomous driving.

Huawei’s home market has become more crucial to the company since Washington in May banned US firms trading with it due to national security concerns, hitting the company’s international business.

The company denies the allegations and says Washington is trying to curb its industry leadership to benefit US companies.

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei last week told The Economist magazine that in order to resolve US concerns, he is open to selling his firm’s 5G technology — including patents, code, blueprints, production know-how — to Western firms for a one-off fee.

Hu said that Ren’s suggestion was not complex and that a new player could help alleviate security concerns.

“If the proposal gets implemented it will on one hand support more competition in 5G across the global supply chain, and such competition is beneficial to consumers and users and also contributes to the industry itself,” he said.

The company also on Wednesday launched what it described as “the world’s fastest artificial intelligence training cluster,” dubbed Atlas 900, and pledged to invest $1.5 billion in its developer program.

Huawei, which is also the world’s No.2 smartphone maker, is scheduled to launch a new high-end smartphone on Thursday, despite uncertainty about whether the new handset will be able to run Google’s Android operating system and apps.

Huawei said last month that, while the impact of the US curbs was weaker than previously expected, it would still push its smartphone unit’s revenue lower by about $10 billion this year.


Dubai counts on pent-up demand for tourism return

Updated 11 July 2020

Dubai counts on pent-up demand for tourism return

DUBAI: After a painful four-month tourism shutdown that ended this week, Dubai is betting pent-up demand will see the industry quickly bounce back, billing itself as a safe destination with the resources to ward off coronavirus.

The emirate, which had more than 16.7 million visitors last year, opened its doors to tourists despite global travel restrictions and the onset of the scorching Gulf summer in the hopes the sector will reboot before high season begins in the last quarter of 2020.

Embarking from Emirates flights, where cabin crew work in gowns and face shields, the first visitors arrived on Tuesday to be greeted by temperature checks and nasal swabs, in a city better known for skyscrapers, luxury resorts and over-the-top attractions.

Tourism chief Helal Al-Marri said that people may still be reluctant to travel right now, but that data shows they are already looking at destinations and preparing to come out of their shells.

“When you look at the indicators, and who is trying to buy travel, 10 weeks ago, six weeks ago and today look extremely different,” he said in an interview.

“People were worried (but) people today are really searching heavily for their next holiday and that is a very positive sign and I see a very strong comeback.”

The crisis crushed Dubai’s goal to push arrivals to 20 million this year and forced flag carrier Emirates, the largest airline in the Middle East, to cut its sprawling network and lay off an undisclosed number of staff.

But Al-Marri, director-general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said that unlike the gloom after the 2008 global financial crisis, the downturn is a one-off “shock event.”

“Once we do get to the other side, as we start to talk about next year and later on, we see very much a quick uptick. Because once things normalize, people will go back to travel again,” he said.

The reopening comes as the UAE battles stubbornly high coronavirus infection rates that have climbed to more than 53,500 with 328 deaths.

And as swathes of the world emerge from lockdown, for many travelers their holiday wish lists have shifted from free breakfasts and room upgrades to more pressing issues like hotel sanitation and hospital capacity.

With its advanced medical facilities and infrastructure, Dubai is betting it will be an attractive option for tourists.

“The first thing I’m thinking is — how is the health-care system, do they have it under control? Do I trust the government there?” Al-Marri said. “Yes they expect the airline to have precautionary measures, they expect it at the airport. But are they going to a city where everything from the taxi, to the restaurant, to the mall, to the beach has these measures in place?”

Tourists arriving in Dubai are required to present a negative test result taken within four days of the flight. If not, they can take the test on arrival, but must self-isolate until they receive the all-clear.

While social distancing and face masks are widely enforced, many restaurants and attractions have reopened with business as usual, even if wait staff wear protective gear and menus have been replaced with QR codes.

“When it comes to Dubai, I think it’s really great to see the fun returning to the city. As you’ve seen, everything’s opened up,” Al-Marri said.