Displaying items by tag: Innovation

Ooredoo announced that the company has reached another world-first milestone, with the delivery of the first live 5G home broadband devices.

The devices, which are currently being tested on Ooredoo’s 5G network before distribution, will work on both the Ooredoo 4G and 5G network and can achieve speeds of up to 2 Gbps, that’s 20 times the speeds of Ooredoo’s 100Mbps fibre.

With an Ooredoo 5G connection via the 5G home broadband device, Ooredoo customers will be able to download movies in seconds, seamlessly stream VR gaming experiences and video call like never before.

The company has announced that currently there are only a few 5G home broadband devices in the world, however Ooredoo is working to acquire more stock in the very near future.  As commercial production increases alongside the 5G roll-out, Ooredoo will aim to ensure Qatar is the first country to enable this next-generation technology for its customers.

Talking about the milestone, Waleed Al Sayed, Ooredoo’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ooredoo is ecstatic to announce that last night, we became the first in the world to have a live commercial 5G home broadband device. This is another amazing world-first milestone for Ooredoo and Qatar and demonstrates that we are on track to offering 5G mega speeds for everyone in the very near future. I look forward to seeing how this technology will benefit all sectors in Qatar, from businesses, to education and beyond.”

Since the announcement of the first live 5G network in May 2018, Ooredoo has begun an intense 5G network roll-out plan across Qatar, with the aim to update 100 network stations to 5G, in the 3.5GHz spectrum band, within the next three months. 

The current live 5G sites, which include West Bay and Katara, have demonstrated an impressive speed of 2.51 Gbps with an extremely high throughput and low latency. Thanks to these results, Ooredoo is working to find 5G compatible devices from across the world to test them on the network, including next-generation Internet of Things applications such as smart cars, VR, AR and drones. 

Published in Telecom Operators

Ericsson announced an internal shake-up on Wednesday with the launch of a new unit, Business Area Emerging Business, which will consolidate other units within the company. The new business unit will focus on innovation and new business development, with a focus on IoT and 5G. It will be led by former McKinsey & Company partner Asa Tamsons.

“I am excited to work together with a great team to drive the next wave of growth and new business for Ericsson. With the company’s strong capabilities in 5G, IoT and other emerging technologies, I see a big potential to bring innovation and new solutions to existing and new customers,” said Tamsons.

Through a structured approach to both technology and business innovation, Ericsson said its new business unit will over time “identify, nurture and scale new businesses to support our customers to capture the potential of 5G and IoT.”

The company is simplifying its group function structure, from currently six to four. The majority of current Group Function Technology & Emerging Business, including hosted group responsibilities such as the CTO office and Ericsson Research, will form part of the new unit Business Area Emerging Business.

Ericsson said it will merge its Group Function Marketing & Communications unit and Group Function Sustainability & Public Affairs unit into one consolidated unit called Group Function Marketing & Corporate Relations. This new unit will be led by Helena Norman who is currently the head of Group Function Marketing & Communications.

Börje Ekholm, Ericsson’s president and CEO, said the internal changes aim to simplify the company’s structure to focus on innovation and new business ventures. “With these changes,  we will also increase focus on sustainability and corporate responsibility in each business area and market area, making the unit heads fully accountable for their respective areas,” said Ekholm.

Ericsson also announced that Ulf Ewaldsson will step down from his role leading the Business Area Digital Services unit which is undergoing “significant transformation to create a profitable and strong offering in this strategically important area.” Following the completion of its build up phase, Ewaldsson will assume the role as advisor to the CEO.

Earlier in January Ericsson said it will book SEK 14.2 billion (US$ 1.77 billion) in write-downs in its Q4 2017 financial results. The write-downs, Ericsson said, are related to the company's Digital Services and Other divisions, in addition to an SEK 1 billion charge related to tax changes in the United States.  

“During a very challenging year we have taken important steps to create stability and quality in our products and roadmaps,” said Ewaldsson reflecting on his time leading the business unit. Jan Karlsson, currently head of Solution Area BSS, will step in as acting head of the unit when Ewaldsson leaves the Executive Team effective February 1.

In light of the change in responsibilities, Ericsson also announced that Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, currently head of Group Function Sustainability & Public Affairs, will leave the company “to pursue other opportunities”.

“I want to thank Ulf and Elaine for their contributions to the Executive Team and to Ericsson,” said Ekholm. “They have both been instrumental in shaping our strategies and have built important relationships with customers and other stakeholders to the company.”

Ericsson announced in 2017 that it was restructuring the business, following an extensive cost-cutting program as it seeks to offset the decline of its traditional network business. In Q3 2017, the company recorded a loss of SEK 4.3 billion, which included a restructuring charge of SEK 2.8 billion and a write-down of assets in Canada amounting to SEK 1.6 billion.

"We continue to execute on our focused business strategy," said Borje Ekholm in a statement following the Q3 results. "While more remains to be done, we are starting to see some encouraging improvements in our performance despite a continued challenging market."

He said the "general market conditions continue to be tough."

Published in Telecom Vendors

Qualcomm touts $1bn cost reduction strategy to fend off Broadcom

Written on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 09:41

In a letter to stockholders ahead of its 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on March 6, Qualcomm highlighted details of a $1 billion strategy which aims to generate “significant value” for investors in the near term, in the wake of Broadcom making moves to acquire Qualcomm, which the company has labeled “opportunistic” and “aggressive”.

“Today we are executing a strategy that we are confident will continue to generate significant value for our stockholders in the near term with additional upside,” said the Qualcomm letter to stockholders. The company said it is committed to a $1 billion cost reduction program, and is also committed to creating value from its acquisition of NXP.

Qualcomm also said it expects to create value from resolving current licensing disputes, namely with Apple. “As is widely known, we are currently in litigation with Apple,” the letter reads. “What many stockholders do not realize is that we have binding long-term license agreements with Apple’s contract manufacturers. But Apple has required its contract manufacturers to cease paying us despite these existing binding contracts.”

Apple now continues to utilize Qualcomm’s intellectual property for its own profit without paying, the letter adds.  “In this litigation, Apple is seeking to avoid paying fair value for Qualcomm’s intellectual property, rejecting terms that are well established in the industry.  Apple has often used such litigation to try to renegotiate with its suppliers, and Qualcomm has taken legal action to enforce our contracts.”

Qualcomm also highlighted its leadership position in 5G, which is in the early stages of transforming multiple industries, including mobile, IoT, automotive and many others. This is why Broadcom’s acquisition bid was rejected, Qualcomm said, labeling it an “opportunistic” with a “highly uncertain – perhaps impossible – regulatory path to completion.”

The potential transaction would require clearance from at least a dozen antitrust regulators throughout the world, including the U.S., EU, China, Korea, Japan and others, as well as from national security agencies. Regulatory review would likely take at least 18 months to complete, and would likely require meaningful divestitures, ongoing restrictions on the combined entity’s conduct, potentially contradictory and irreconcilable demands from regulators, and the transaction could be blocked outright.

Qualcomm issued a statement on December 4 confirming the receipt of Broadcom’s nomination of a slate of candidates to replace Qualcomm’s existing Board of Directors at the company’s 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Qualcomm perceived the move as a “blatant attempt to seize control of the Qualcomm Board.” 

Broadcom’s proposal was rejected by Qualcomm because it “dramatically undervalues Qualcomm and does not reflect our clear path to near term value,” the letter said. The move would also carry significant regulatory uncertainty, Qualcomm added, as well as giving “no value to the transformative opportunity in 5G.”

Qualcomm urges stakeholders in the letter to block Broadcom’s attempt to “capture, for itself, the value that rightly belongs” to investors. The company touted its position as 12-24 months ahead of its merchant competitors in the 5G space, as a result of “innovation and technological advancements.” A takeover by Broadcom, Qualcomm said, would bring “no value to the transformative 5G value creation opportunity that should play out as 5G is launched globally in 2019.”

Qualcomm’s strong position in 5G, coupled with its strength in connectivity, low power compute and security, has “positioned us for healthy long-term growth in areas such as mobile RF front end, IoT, automotive, computing and networking,” the letter adds. The opportunities, Qualcomm claims, represent a “serviceable addressable market” of $150 billion by 2020.

“We expect growth in these new areas to drive robust value creation for stockholders beyond 2019,” the letter reads. “We are demonstrating success in these areas with more than $3 billion in revenues in 2017, up 75% over the last two years.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Huawei aims to become ‘global iconic tech brand’

Written on Sunday, 24 September 2017 07:02

Huawei has outlined its ambition to become a “global iconic tech brand”. Ms. Glory Cheung, Huawei Consumer Business Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, made the statement at the Chinese company’s ‘Future of Innovation’ event held in Dubai on Sept. 20. Ms. Cheung was joined by two other Huawei Business Consumer Group executives, who emphasized the company’s ambition to become the number one smartphone brand.

Ms. Cheung spoke highly of Dubai and the wider Middle East region, praising the growth of innovation in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. She said Huawei is pleased to support the region’s agenda of fostering innovation. Ms. Cheung added, “We look forward to being a part of the region’s innovation agenda and continue to be its champion by bringing cutting-edge technologies to the Middle East’s rapidly evolving digital arena.”

Huawei has grown significantly as a smartphone brand the past few years. Huawei surpassed Apple in global smartphone sales consistently for June and July this year, according to research from Counterpoint’s Market Pulse for July 2017. Huawei’s global growth, according to Counterpoint Research Director, Peter Richardson, can be attributed to its consistent investment in R&D and manufacturing, coupled with aggressive marketing and sales channel expansion. 

“Globally, Huawei is a top investor in R&D (research and development) and we focus on bringing together the world's best intellectual resources to strengthen our innovation capability,” said Ms. Cheung discussing Huawei’s growth. “This is to ensure we are constantly delivering intelligent innovations to enhance and exceed mobile experiences of our customers.”

However, a weak presence in the South Asian, Indian and North American markets has limited Huawei’s potential growth in the near-to mid-term to take a sustainable second place position behind Samsung, Mr. Richardson claims. The company is “over-dependent on its home market China where it enjoys the leadership position and operator-centric markets in Europe, Latin American and Middle East,” he said.

Nevertheless, Ms. Cheung emphasized Huawei’s commitment to fueling innovation and collaborating with leading partners around the world to transform customers’ experience, as well as Huawei’s growing market share year-on-year. With the release of Apple’s new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, Huawei could slip back into third place, which the company is clearly aware of, hence its focus on driving brand recognition.  

Mr. Clement Wong, Head of Global Product Marketing, Huawei CBG, highlighted the company’s vision of the next frontier in mobile and introduced Huawei’s newest 970 Kirin – an artificial intelligence (AI) powered chipset. By combining the power of the cloud with the speed and responsiveness of native AI processing, Huawei confirmed that it will unveil the Huawei Mate 10 series with Kirin 970 at an event in Munich on October 16.

“Huawei is committed to developing smart devices into intelligent devices by building end-to-end capabilities that support coordinated development of chips, devices, and the cloud,” said Mr. Wong. “The ultimate goal is to provide a significantly better user experience. The Kirin 970 is the first in a series of new advances that will bring powerful AI features to our devices and take them beyond the competition.”

While Huawei climbed to be the world’s second largest brand overall this month, Counterpoint Research analysts pointed out that none of its models broke into the top ten rankings. Senior Analyst, Pavel Naiya said Huawei’s diverse portfolio allows the company to fight on multiple fronts, but it “does little to build overall brand recognition; something Huawei badly needs if it continues to gain share.”

Huawei will be banking on the release of its forthcoming AI-powered smartphone to boost its brand recognition in the premium smartphone segment.

The event also provided an understanding of Huawei’s vision and plans for the Middle East. Mr. Gene Jiao, President of Huawei CBG, Middle East and Africa, said the Middle East is “one of the most crucial markets for Huawei and over the last couple of years, we have grown from strength to strength, focusing on improving the quality of our products, services and market performance.”

According to the 2017 H1 GFK report, Huawei is now ranked number two in the Middle East and Africa region in terms of sales volume with 13.8 percent market share, after Samsung. Mr. Jiao said Huawei will continue to invest in partnerships with key government entities across the region to support innovative growth.  

Published in Reports

Chinese telecommunications conglomerate Huawei has launched a demo ‘smart city’ in Weifang, China. It’s part of an overall objective by the company to showcase and highlight its narrowband Internet of Things ‘smart city’ applications and Ocean-Connect IoT platform.

The Chinese smartphone maker made the announcement in relation to its new demo ‘smart city’ at the Huawei Connect conference which was held in Shanghai. It conveyed to those in attendance that Weifang will utilize Huawei’s city-level IoT platform to access, manage and collect data from sensory equipment that will be spread across the entire city in real-time.

Huawei has also publicly stated that it has enabled smart lighting applications across Weifang for a series of different objectives which range from monitoring the status of the street lights, its brightness and the applications can also detect faults. It has been claimed that the system has been specifically designed to save around 80% of traditional electricity usage and 90% of previous maintenance costs.

In addition to this, it has also been disclosed that Huawei has integrated eight services with its NB-IoT network which includes a remote-control system, Wi-Fi hotspots, video surveillance, environment monitoring and statistics. Huawei has outlined that its primary objective is to develop a ‘nervous system’ of smart cities with the Chinese multinational corporation already deploying its smart city solutions in over 100 cities across the globe.

Zheng Zhibin, Huawei Enterprise Business Group GM of Global Smart City Solution Department declared that Huawei’s vision is to improve connectivity services in urban areas all over the world – which is imperative in order to continue to drive the growth of the ‘digital economy’.

He said, “ICT advancement is accelerating the growth of the digital economy, which is a driving force of global economic development and transforming cities across many areas including governance, transport, living, social interactions, and employment, promoting the sustainable development of cities. The underlying connectivity in these smart cities will be critical to unlock the potential of the digital economy. Huawei is focused on improving connectivity capabilities within cities, and is creating the nervous system of better-connected cities through an IoT platform, achieving better awareness [and] connectivity among smart devices."

At Huawei Connect in Shanghai it was also formally announced that the telecommunications colossus and the Government of Weifang City had formed an Internet of Things Innovation R&D Centre and an IoT Industry Alliance.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Social networking colossus Facebook has announced that it is attempting to make a ‘technical ‘breakthrough in relation to developing and manufacturing futuristic ‘smart glasses’ specifically designed to allow you see to see virtual objects in the real world.

It has emerged that Facebook published a patent application for a ‘waveguide display with two-dimensional scanner’ which was compiled by three members of its advanced research division of Facebook’s VR subsidiary Oculus.

It has been reported that the display may augment views of a physical, real-world environment with computer generated elements. In addition to this, the patent filing also suggested that the display being developed may be included in an eye-wear comprising a frame and a display assembly yhat presents media to a user’s eyes.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously expressed his belief that virtual and augmented reality - represents the next major computing platform which is capable of replacing smartphones and traditional PCs. Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion and has announced its intentions to continue to invest billions on developing more revolutionary technology.

The ‘smart glasses’ currently being developed by Oculus will use a waveguide display in order to project light onto the wearer’s eyes instead of a more traditional display. However, it has also been claimed that the ‘smart glasses’ would be able to display images, video and be compatible with connected speakers or headphones to play audio when worn.

Facebook has thus far declined to comment on the patent application, but analysts have suggested that the social networking firm have adopted a similar approach to Microsoft, when they launched its HoloLens AR headset. Oculus’s ‘smart glasses’ have also drawn comparisons with glasses being developed by Google start-up Magic Leap.

Interestingly, one of the lead authors of Facebook’s patent application is optical scientist Pasi Saarikko who joined Facebook two years ago, after he spearheaded the optical design of HoloLens at Microsoft. However, despite the announcement being made in relation to work commencing on Facebook’s ‘smart glasses’, analysts have claimed don’t expect to see the device anytime soon.

Chief scientist of Oculus, Michael Abrash said AR glasses won’t start replacing smartphones until 2022. He said, “20 or 30 years from now, I predict that instead of carrying stylish smartphones everywhere, we’ll wear stylish glasses. Those glasses will offer VR, AR and everything in between, and we’ll use them all day.”

Published in Gadget

 Ericsson has endured a difficult number of years in the telecommunications market, but newly-appointed CTO Erik Ekudden has expressed his optimism moving forward – vowing that the Swedish vendor will focus on key trends they’ve identified such as ‘automation’. The CTO disclosed that the key trends were identified following intense discussions with Ericsson’s customers and its leadership team since his appointment on July 1st.

Ekudden believes that Ericsson is well-placed to deliver on some of the technology trends which have been established. However, he did concede that it must develop new skills and capabilities in conjunction with other key industry players in order to be in a position to capitalize on the remainder.

One of the key trends identified is providing an adaptable technology base by combining software and hardware. According to the executive Ericsson’s experience and nous ensures that it can improve the efficiency of networks and ultimately ‘lower costs’.

Other keys trends identified by Ericsson which were disclosed by Ekudden include the need to establish an advanced machine intelligence system - he claimed that the ecosystem for machine learning and AI platforms were maturing and that the Swedish telecommunications colossus was enhancing its operations in relation to the development of such network platforms.

However, it was in the area of ‘automation’ and IoT  which represents a great opportunity for Ericsson to assist its customer base in their ‘automation journey’ by offering better infrastructure and ultimately delivering an interaction between operations and networks which is much more intuitive and smooth.

Ekudden said, “Automation is a big theme among our customers. Ericsson is taking a leading role here, and we’ve got great experience in managed services and broader optimization capabilities. In addition to this, end-to-end security in IoT systems is crucial, and our goal is to establish what we call “hardware routes of trust” in every IoT device.”

However, the newly-appointed CTO stressed the importance of security and said it was imperative that it is considered when developing every new IoT device. He added, “It’s an architectural question, and it’s also about designing every node at a certain security level. This is something we take as a very important part of the products that we build on the network side.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Turkish telecommunications operator Turkcell has announced that it will rollout Narrow-Band-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) in order to support ‘smart city’ applications and innovations which will be introduced in different sectors all across the country.

The new technology will be used to transform industries such energy, healthcare and education. The ‘smart city’ applications powered by NB-IoT will enable machines to communicate with each other via Turkcell’s LTE-A - infrastructure.

Analysts have suggested that this is the first clear strategy towards 5G in Turkey, and Turkcell’s Executive Vice President, Gediz Sezgin claimed that the economic benefits which will be created by the development of innovative ‘smart city’ applications would be ‘staggering’.

He said, “We became the first operator in Turkey to support NB-IoT required for new-gen innovative applications. So we open the door to 5G. NB-IoT will extend smart city applications and many innovative solutions will be developed. It has been projected that the economy created by this technology as of 2025 will exceed $3 trillion. Offering a technology which will create such a volume requires a very strong LTE-A infrastructure. We will continue to research and invest to introduce the most contemporary technologies.”

The operator has identified solutions in smart parking, smart waste management and remote monitoring as applications that can now be used with the rollout of the NB-IoT network. It has also claimed that new applications will now become available for ‘smart agriculture’ which Sezgin says will transform the livestock industry.

Turkcell’s EVP claimed that the network would allow the application to facilitate automatic irrigation of cultivated areas based on measurement of humidity in order to improve the crop yield - whilst also tracking applications for livestock, the ability to conduct these tasks through automation will ensure the process is more efficient, effective and ultimately easier.

Sezgin says, “This new technology helps organisations by ‘changing their way of doing business.’ While living spaces become more and more connected every day, Turkcell’s mobile infrastructure is now ready for a world where billions of devices connect.

Published in Telecom Operators

Italian operator Telecom Italia has announced that the Republic of San Marino will become the first country in Europe to have a 5G mobile network. Telecom Italia made the prediction following the disclosure of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with government officials from San Marino.

In a statement issued to the press, Telecom Italia indicated that it plans to update mobile sites of its network with 4.5G in order to enable it to conduct trials on some features of 5G technology, such as evolved mast towers and carrier integration. The interim 3GPP standards for the revolutionary next-generation technology will be released in March 2018.

The Italian operator which is headquartered in Rome also disclosed its intentions to double the amount of existing mobile sites in San Marino, it also plans to install several dozen small cells in the innovative project which would make the microstate the first in Europe to have a 5G mobile network.

In a joint-statement in relation to the MOU between Telecom Italia and government representatives of San Marino, it said, “The particular geographical shape of this territory - and the distribution of its industries favor the use and development of innovative technologies. Thanks to this work, it will be possible to start the first testing of 5G technology on a national scale within the next year.”

San Marino is one of smallest countries in the world with a population of around 30,000 people. Some of the objectives of the project include a new mobile infrastructure with considerable transmission capacity that would be ten times that of 4G. The infrastructure would also be able to connect to large objects ahead of the 2020 deadline set by the EU.

According to Telecom Italia Mobile’s head of technology the scale of the project would see San Marino being established as the first 5G state in the world, which would place it ahead of technological superpowers such as South Korea and Japan. The race to deploy 5G continues to intensify between government bodies and operators.

Reports emerging from Italy suggest that the leading Italian operator has already begun installing 100 small cells in Turin as part of 5G network trials being led by the Italian government. However, it’s being suggested that it has more freedom to experiment in San Marino because there are fewer restrictions on the use of airwaves.

Earlier this month, a consortium of European operators including Telecom Italia expressed its desire to launch 5G services quickly. Industry analysts have predicted that the work currently underway in San Marino will be crucial to 5G in Europe.

Published in Telecom Operators

US President Donald Trump recently met with tech leaders at the American Leadership in Emerging Technology event which was attended by executives from the country’s leading operators such as AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. Trump said he will give US companies the competitive advantage they need to lead the way in new technological development.

The White House event, which is part of FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s Tech Week in the US, centered on discussions about emerging technologies such as drones and 5G. In a speech addressing the executives at the event, Trump said, “We’re on the verge of new technological revolutions that could improve, virtually, every aspect of our lives.”

Trump promised he would support US companies by helping to “unleash the next generation of technological breakthroughs that will transform our lives and transform our country, and make us number one in this field.”

The President added: “This is a very, very competitive field. You see what’s going on in China and so many other countries and we want to remain number one. We want to go to number one in certain areas where we’re not number one and we’re going to give you the competitive advantage that you need.”

The event also included the US president meeting with other technology leaders such as representatives of Amazon, Google and Microsoft to discuss the government’s technology systems earlier in the week.

In a blog post published prior to Trump’s meeting, Ajit Pai expressed the importance of removing “barriers to innovation” – a topic frequently brought up by the chairman. He said: “In order for us to expand prosperity and extend economic opportunity to more Americans, we must remain on the cutting edge.”

Pai added: “This means that government at all levels must focus on removing barriers to innovation and ensuring that technological advances aren’t strangled by bureaucratic red tape.”

Published in Government
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