Huawei expects 4G to help drive its double-digit growth

Corporate May 09, 2014 00:00

By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation

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Huawei aims to maintain double-digit growth in Thailand this year - driven by the deployment of a fourth-generation LTE (long-term evolution) network and the launch of two new business groups here, one for enterprises and one for individual consumers.

Chen Rui, managing director of Huawei Technologies (Thailand), said this country was the most important strategic market for the China-based company this year. 
“Huawei Enterprise Business Group is one of the three main business groups in Huawei, providing products, solutions and services based on the mature Huawei platform,” he said.
“Meanwhile, Huawei Consumer Business Group provides devices. These are not new business groups but they are new in the Thai market.”
He added that the revenue from these two business groups was expected to grow at double the speed of its telecom business group. The two groups will contribute a significant portion to the company’s total revenue this year. 
“This year, we will spend more on marketing to promote our brands among Thai consumers. We will focus more on offering smartphones and enterprise solutions in Thailand,” Chen said.
“More Huawei smartphones, both for 3G and LTE, will be available in Thailand soon, importantly at affordable prices.”
He added that the company expected to double its market share. 
For the 4G network deployment, which is expected to happen after a spectrum auction this year, Huawei is ready to support operators in rolling out LTE infrastructure. 
“We are very well prepared ourselves for assisting operators to roll out LTE networks,” Chen said. “We have the best local technology support team, local resources, local experience for network construction, and local services. 
“Personally, we’re proud of our local team’s outstanding 3G [establishment] here in Thailand.”
He said the LTE-infrastructure roll-out would be the biggest and fastest among countries in this region since Thailand has a large consumer base, the largest investment, and high potential for adoption of this wireless broadband technology. 
“We want to be the best in technology solutions, service, and devices to enable Thais to enjoy a mobile broadband Internet with a good experience,” Chen said. 
“We are confident of our readiness. We spend over 10 per cent of our total revenue on research and development each year. We have our own chipset technologies supplied to networks and devices.”
Huawei executive Ying Weimin said that this year its global revenue from 4G devices was targeted at US$4 billion, up from $2.5 billion last year. 
LTE contracts 
As of March, Ying said Huawei had assigned more than 290 commercial LTE contracts and deployed 133 commercial LTE networks and 113 commercial EPC (evolved packet core) networks.
He said LTE deployment generally was implemented in hot-spot areas first and then expanded nationwide in five years, but each country is different.
“And generally, 1,800 megahertz is the most popular spectrum for an LTE network, but 900MHz is also important because its coverage area is better. Practically, it can combine 1,800MHz and 900MHz together to offer LTE service,” he said. 
He added that 4G offered a better bit-rate per monetary outlay than 3G. While operators in Thailand continued to invest in mobile-broadband networks, Huawei was ready to be their partner.
“Thailand is the most important strategic market for us. Thailand’s economy, especially in the telecom industry, is very strong and we are very confident in the country,” he said.