Free Newsletter

Huawei throws down R&D gauntlet to Ericsson

Chinese firm says it will outspend its rival in research this year and seek new collaborations with carriers and universities

By CAROLINE GABRIEL

Published: 3 July, 2013

READ MORE: Europe | Huawei Technologies | R&D

The days are long gone when the Chinese equipment makers competed on price rather than technological advances. Huawei and ZTE have become leaders in 4G-related innovation and in wireless patent filings, and the larger of the two now promises to outspend Ericsson in R&D spending in order to steal market share in future.

Huawei invested CNY30bn ($4.9bn) in overall R&D in 2012 and is boosting that budget in 2013 for both mobile and fixed equipment, as well as audiovisual platforms. Li Yingtao, the company's head of R&D, said in an interview in Geneva that it would also look to cooperate more closely with operators on joint technology developments - an approach which it commonly adopts in China, but less so elsewhere.


"The bottom line when you talk to customers about building a network is that they will ask: 'can you do it or not?'" Li said (through a translator). "That ability depends mostly on innovation capacity. That's why we will continue to increase our investments." He also says R&D must be firmly grounded in real problems, adding: "Today carriers don't need a technological disruption, they need answers to their network problems. There's still a long way to go to meet just standard needs."

According to Bloomberg, net R&D investment by European technology vendors grew at its slowest rate for three years in 2012. Ericsson employs over 21,000 people in research, and its R&D spend last year was SKr32.8bn ($4.9bn), or 14.4% of sales. However, for the first time, this sum was almost matched by its Chinese rival's investment, which amounted to 13.7% of sales, and the Swedish market leader has said its R&D outlay in 2013 will decrease "somewhat".

"Ericsson has been the technology leader in the industry for 137 years and remains committed to investing into this leadership," a spokesperson retorted to Bloomberg. Alcatel-Lucent has a €2bn ($2.6bn) R&D budget this year and CEO Michel Combes has said he will refocus that spending to focus only on high growth markets.

Li said Huawei was looking for academic and industrial research partners. The firm, with Samsung, is leading the UK's '5G' project at the University of Surrey and says it is in talks with Imperial College London about sharing a lab to study large-scale data crunching.

Related Stories

Share

  • email story Email
  • print story Print
  • digit digit
  • facebook facebook
  • Twitter Twitter
  • Linked-in Linked-In
  • Comments (0)

COMMENTS

Add Comment
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!
MARKET PLACE

    BYOD: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    An in-depth insight into the rise of BYOD policies within the enterprise and analysis of the impact the trend will have on IT departments,...

    Voice Command, Control and Search on Mobile Phones: Market Analysis & Forecasts

    This report provides a comprehensive insight into the growing importance of voice command, control and search on handsets, analysing...

    Data Centre Network Equipment: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the data centre network equipment market. Besides assessing the key market trends, sub-markets...

    HetNet Market Summary & Forecasts: Macro Cells, Small Cells & Wi-Fi Offload

    Carriers are struggling to cope with the explosion of data traffic on their networks, and the additional deployment of LTE and legacy...

    Over-the-Top Communications: Threats & Opportunities for Mobile Operators

    This report examines the implications of widespread adoption of mobile over-the-top IP communications for mobile operators, handset...

    Portable Gaming Consoles: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the PGC market. In addition to assessing the key market drivers, market barriers, vendor...
WHITE PAPERS

    Satellite Phones: Will Dual Mode Help the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?

    Satellite phones have followed an arduous path since their much-hyped launch more than a decade ago. The hype was followed by an e...

    Mobile Widget Platform Market Analysis: Understanding the Business Case and ROI

    This white paper presents an analysis of the mobile widget platform market, as well as metrics supporting a mobile carrier?s busin...

POST COMMENT

You must be a registered user to post a comment. or
Username *
Email *
Comment *