Displaying items by tag: CEO

F(x)tec brings the keyboard back to smartphones

Written on Thursday, 31 October 2019 12:29

F(x)tec is a London based smartphone manufacturer which initiated in 2018. Its mission is to bring back technologies and features that we love into modern smartphones. F(x)tec released the Pro 1, designed to allow the user to choose between a virtual keyboard or a physical keyboard, among many other features. Telecom Review had the chance of meeting Adrian Li Mow Ching, CEO and co-founder of F(x)tec, at GITEX technology week in Dubai.

What challenges do start-up companies face at the moment in such a saturated market?

It’s very important that start-ups find their niche. In a saturated market like smartphones, this is paramount. You need to have a very clear picture of what you are good at, what you want to achieve and who you want to target. There are many brands who make the mistake of packing every feature they can into a phone and try to sell it for the cheapest possible price. The problem is that you will never succeed against big global manufacturers like Apple or Samsung. For us, we have a niche that we are really passionate about. We know our target market, we understand our customers and we know what they like. With this understanding, we can create the best product.

Tell us about Pro 1, what is different about your product?

We formed last year and we brought our first product to the market. It’s called the Pro1. It provides the total android experience for our customer base. It is purposely designed for everyday use where true multi-tasking comes to life. The Pro 1 packs a slim design that conceals a full slide out keyboard. This allows users to choose between a virtual keyboard or a physical keyboard, providing the best of both worlds. The main purpose of this has been is to enhance productivity for the end user, whilst remaining functional. The landscape QWERTY keyboard combined with the large 5.99 inch dual-curve AMOLED display allows for optimum efficiency, so users can complete everyday tasks such as answering emails and browsing the internet without compromising screen size. The split screen experience also helps users multitask by allowing two apps to be displayed on screen at the same time. With an optimum viewing angle when opened, the device is perfect for watching YouTube videos or films on the go. The device is perfect for everyday use, working on the go and travelling. Our main mission is to bring technologies and features that we love back into modern smartphones.

Aside from the keyboard, what are other preloved features that you think might be of interest to your customers?

As well as the keyboard, the Pro 1 has a 3.55mm headphone jack which is universally simplistic and we also love the nature of using plug in headphones. There is also a physical camera shutter button along the right side of the device for taking photos. Both of which are simple yet effective to operate. We believe that incorporating such preloved features into the device allows us to put our own spin on the modern smartphone, a nostalgic nod to the past. 

Published in Devices

Global ride-hailing firm Uber has projected a more measured valuation ahead of its IPO debut on the New York Stock Exchange later this week.

Published in Finance

Swiss telecommunications operator Swisscom has launched the continent’s first large scale 5G networks in partnership with Swedish vendor Ericsson.

In a statement released by the Swedish telecommunications behemoth it confirmed that the 5G network was launched in 54 cities across Switzerland after the operator secured a license to operate a 5G network in the country.

Ericsson has seen its financial coffers significantly boosted by its success in the North American market following the publication of its Q1 results.

Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm expressed his delight at the launch of the 5G networks in Switzerland and predicted that the company would up the ante in relation to 5G in the large parts of Asia by the end of this year.

Ekholm said, “To date we have publicly announced commercial 5G deals with 18 named operator customers, which, at the moment, is more than any other vendor. The company would continue to incur costs for field trials and we’re expecting large-scale deployments of 5G to begin in parts of Asia by the end of 2019. Combined, this will gradually impact short-term margins but strengthen our position in the long term.”

Shares of Ericsson rocketed on the Stockholm stock exchange with the company reporting an increase of 3% which represented a four-year high for the vendor.  

Ericsson, one of Chinese telecom giant Huawei's main rivals in the 5G market, said earlier this year it hadn't felt any effects from US pressure on countries to ban Huawei's equipment amid fears that it could compromise the security of the mobile phone networks.

Published in Telecom Vendors

US electronics behemoth Intel has made the decision to withdraw from the 5G smartphone modem business following the unlikely resolution agreement that was brokered between Qualcomm and Apple.

Apple and Qualcomm managed to settle the dispute between both parties over royalty payments and reached a deal ahead of fresh court case that was set to get underway in San Diego next week.

The modems that connect smartphones to telecommunications networks were at the heart of the battle between Apple and Qualcomm. Following the announcement the dispute had been resolved Intel wasted no time in exiting the 5G smartphone modem business.

Intel had clearly recognized and identified that there was an opportunity for them to capitalize on the dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, and then Apple had turned to Intel before reaching the agreement with Qualcomm.

The lawsuit was expected to be a protracted legal battle, but after the unlikely resolution it’s expected that Apple and Qualcomm will now become partners again before there fall out in 2017.

Intel issued a statement in which it indicated that it would complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, Internet of Things devices and other data-centric devices while pursuing investment opportunities in its 5G network infrastructure business.

CEO Bob Swan insisted that 5G will remain a key focus for the US electronics conglomerate and said its diverse portfolio of products will help them to become a major player in the 5G space.

Swan said, “5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world."

The company also added that it would meet commitments to customers for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, though it has no plans to launch 5G smartphone modem products, including those previously set to premiere in 2020 

Currently under deployment, ultra-fast 5G wireless networks require terminals that are equipped with 5G models and specific network infrastructure.

Published in Devices

Ericsson President and CEO Börje Ekholm says Ericsson will switch on 5G globally in 2019, backed by a strong, secure and available portfolio.

Addressing media and analysts as he launched Ericsson’s MWC Barcelona 2019 in Barcelona, Ekholm also stressed the role of 5G as a critical national infrastructure, and emphasized the advantages for early adopters.

“We are truly switching on 5G around the world in 2019,” he said.

Ekholm said that Ericsson has announced commercial 5G deals with 10 named service provider customers, as well as 42 memorandums of understanding. The company is already rolling out 5G networks across the globe: in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia.  And he promised more announcements to come.

“Consumers and enterprises are waiting for 5G,” Ekholm said. “According to Ericsson ConsumerLab research, one-third of smartphone users globally will change either immediately or within six months to a service provider that switches on 5G. Today, the US and Asia are leading in 5G development.”

Ékholm said the first commercial scale 5G beneficiaries will be mobile broadband consumers with massive and highly cost-efficient capacity expansions facilitating new applications in augmented reality and virtual reality in areas such as gaming and sports broadcasts.

But he also stressed how 5G would move the industry beyond consumer products and into the industrial internet, citing ongoing collaborations in both mobile robotics and all-electric, autonomous vehicles as examples.

Ekholm also highlighted how Ericsson Radio System hardware has been 5G-ready since 2015 and can be used also for 5G New Radio (NR) with a remote software installation.

This means that Ericsson has already shipped more than 3 million 5G-ready radios to its customers worldwide. Ericsson’s unique spectrum sharing capabilities and common core and dynamic orchestration solutions would put Ericsson customers in the lead with 5G, he said.

 “Our unique Ericsson Spectrum Sharing is the most economically feasible way to introduce 5G in existing bands achieving immediate nationwide coverage,” he said. “We can dynamically mix 4G and 5G traffic on the same spectrum. Some said this kind of spectrum sharing was impossible. Wrong! Our engineers are truly world class. With spectrum sharing, our customers have a real 5G frontrunner advantage.”

Ekholm announced that Ericsson intends to acquire Kathrein’s antenna and filters business for mobile networks. This will expand the company’s capabilities and competences in the advanced active and passive antenna domain. Ericsson will be adding around 4,000 highly-skilled professionals in R&D, production and sales based in more than 20 locations, including Germany, Romania, Mexico and China.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei was in defiant mood during an exclusive interview with the BBC in which he declared that the world cannot do without Huawei and its cutting-edge technology and innovations.

Huawei has been subjected to intense scrutiny and scathing criticism as the US continues its efforts to blacklist the Chinese vendor from participating in the rollout of 5G networks on a global scale.

The Huawei CEO claims Huawei has become the victim of a politically motivated campaign by the US as part of its ongoing trade war with China. He blasted the US for attempting to blacklist the company but vowed that the US will not stop Huawei and insisted that the world needs its ‘advanced technology’ 

Zhengfei told the BBC, “There's no way the US can crush us. The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced."

He also denounced the arrest of his daughter and Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada in December, but said he was confident that the courts will find exonerate her after she was accused of violating trade sanctions with Iran.

There is now a growing resistance towards the US campaign against Huawei with many operators in Europe voicing their concerns that a blanket ban on the Chinese vendor would not only be costly, but would also significantly delay the deployment of 5G networks on the continent.

In addition to this, the UK government has said it can mitigate the risk from using Huawei equipment in the buildout of its 5G networks, which suggests they will not ban Huawei like Australia and New Zealand. However, New Zealand look set to backtrack on that decision following the resistance in Europe.

Zhengfei fired a parting shot at the US during his BBC interview by saying the US doesn’t represent the world.

He said, “If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine. America doesn't represent the world. Even if they persuade some more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always downsize and become smaller."

Published in Telecom Vendors

Uber’s growth slows as it prepares for IPO

Written on Sunday, 17 February 2019 13:37

US ride-hailing colossus Uber disclosed its financial earnings for the final quarter of 2018 which showed its revenue growth has slowed ahead of its much anticipated stock market debut.

The financial figures released by Uber indicated that for the final three months of the year its loss amounted to $865 million, compared with $1.1 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The San Francisco-based firm reported revenue of $3 billion, which represented a 25 percent increase from a year earlier. Uber remains a private company, but routinely discloses some earnings information.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has managed to guide Uber through choppy waters since assuming the CEO role from Travis Kalanick.

He is also being tasked with the responsibility of steering the high-value startup to a stock market debut this year, and has promised greater transparency as he seeks to restore confidence in the global ridesharing leader that has been hit by a wave of misconduct scandals and has become embroiled in a series of legal battles regarding its services, particularly in Europe.

Revenue for the full year rose 43 percent to $11.3 billion, with Uber's annual loss shrinking 15 percent to $1.8 billion, according to an official statement from the startup.

Uber operates its’ rideshare business in dozens of countries and has expanded to new areas including food delivery, electric scooters and bikes. The company is recognized as the largest of the venture-backed startups with a presumed valuation of some $70 billion.

Uber CFO Nelson Chai expressed his satisfaction with Uber’s financial results and said, “Last year was our strongest yet, and Q4 set another record for engagement on our platform. Our ridesharing business maintained category leadership in all regions we serve, Uber Freight gained exciting traction in the US, JUMP e-bikes and e-scooters are on the road in over a dozen cities."

Based on gross bookings, Uber Eats has apparently become the largest online food delivery business outside of China.

Published in Apps

Google set to spend $13bn in US data centre expansion

Written on Sunday, 17 February 2019 12:32

US technology behemoth Google has announced that it will spend $13bn in expanding its US data centre network.

Published in Finance

T-Mobile US CEO has confirmed the worst fears of Chinese telecommunication behemoths Huawei and ZTE by officially announcing that it will not use any equipment supplied by either vendor.

Published in Telecom Operators

US operator suffers drop in its revenue as it prepares for 5G

Written on Tuesday, 05 February 2019 08:13

US telecommunications operator Sprint has posted a disappointing performance in its financial returns for Q4 in 2018.

Published in Telecom Operators
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