Despite the sanctions from the United States considered “unfair and unreasonable”, Huawei has focused on obtaining good results in its various business areas, such as the sale of accessories, headphones, speakers or tablets where 2020 grew 65%, compensating part of the losses in the sale of smartphones.
(Huawei sues the US while waiting to regain the lost market.)
It also ensured the stable operation of more than 1,500 networks in more than 170 countries, which helped telecommuting, online education, and internet shopping, collaborated with operators around the world, and advanced more than 3,000 5G innovation projects in more than 20 sectors, such as coal mining, steel production, ports and manufacturing.
The company intensified its efforts to develop innovative solutions for its digital ecosystem such as its cloud-based and artificial intelligence-assisted diagnostics, collaborated in the development of online learning platforms for more than 50 million primary and secondary students. They have taken the opportunity to optimize their operations and identify more options in the reactivation and post-pandemic.
(Accelerating its transformation: the challenge for companies).
César Funes, vice president of public relations for Huawei Latin America, spoke about the region and the first year of the pandemic.
What happened last year in the region?
What we experienced in Huawei was not different from what happened in general because Latin America was one of the most impacted regions and with sharp falls in gross domestic product derived from the pandemic, but China was not, the general context of the results of the companies has strong growth at home, but declines of varying magnitude in other areas.
This mixed context was the one that showed that the resilient growth that the company had was not the same in the regions. In the business lines we saw growth that was moderate in most cases, for example in the infrastructure of operators, companies and devices.
In Latin America there was a greater impact due to the entire context of measures and sanctions and also due to the pandemic.
What will come and what is the plan with 5G?
Progressively, the world is seeing progress and progressive adoption and Latin America is already involved in this race; We are clear that the region has not been identified because it is the first in technological development but we have seen that with the pandemic this type of progress in digital transformation has been felt more and for this reason we hope that just as in recent months and years there have been steps taken in broadband connectivity continue to be invested and more resources are allocated to closing gaps.
So we can take a more leading role in some industries that have a greater demand, including Latin America.
Since 2019 we have seen how countries are getting ready and planning in 5G, but there are two fundamental elements to maintain that interest: the investment incentives in infrastructure, fiber optics and available sites and the spectrum, so the countries have already started with the tenders and one of the most successful has been Chile, but we also hope to make announcements in Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Argentina. We have supported the pilots and tests that are aligned with the development of the band and we have also seen some delays in the tenders due to the pandemic but it has helped us to grow in the 4G expansion that was previously at 70% and we already expect to have a higher than 80% in the region.
We have listened to various operators and we are working in Peru and Argentina, this year we will have announcements for smart cities and clusters and in 2022 we will have more massive announcements.
How did you see the effect on ‘smartphones’ and the reception on other types of devices?
The smartphone will continue to be the basis of our strategy, 1 + 8 + N, last year we made launches and they are generally linked to the headquarters because they are linked to the most sophisticated capabilities such as 5G itself, we are already preparing the launch of the P50, too We have promoted other series such as M or G and we keep the devices accessible for the region in terms of functionalities and prices.
The 1 + 8 + N strategy has given us the possibility to see the other devices that will be necessary in the digital transformation of activities, end users and verticals as well, it is not only the smartphone, it is the werables, tablets, computers, screens, glasses, car modules, audio devices and speakers and the ability to connect to all these devices with intelligence.
What else will they work on?
We will continue to develop equipment also to connect users to the measurement of public services, also in the development of those that help us make cities smarter.
We will also be in the development of the teams of the cars of the future, the autonomous ones, not only the current car, we already have a state-of-the-art factory in Brazil, which is fully automated with 5G and where robots are using our technology, without being those who make vehicles or robots. In the same way, we are in ports to move merchandise and it has helped us to become more efficient and helps us reduce risks to people.
In mining we are working on automation and digital transformation, in China there are more than 10,000 examples in which we decided to invest and we know that it can be applied in the short term in the region, we see that our contribution in the transformation is and will be relevant.