Huawei ploughs $4bn into fixed broadband research

Huawei announces major R&D investment in ‘ultra-broadband’ research over the next three years as interest in new networking standards grows

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Huawei is to pump over $4bn into fixed broadband R&D between now and 2017 in response to the advent of technologies such as high-efficiency video coding, 4K television and video, LTE and 5G networks.

Huawei made the announcement at the company's Ultra-Broadband Forum 2014 in London. The event brought together industry professionals to address topics around what Huawei terms "ultra-broadband".

“Huawei has always been focused on customer needs and adding value through core technologies and innovation,” explained the supplier’s president of products and solutions, Ryan Ding.

“Huawei recognises fixed broadband as a key direction for strategic investment and will continue to increase the scale of investment in related technologies, core products and solutions.

“Our investment will further develop technological advances, help customers increase their competitiveness and decrease overall operating costs.”

The China-based networking supplier claimed the next three years will be a turning point in the development of fixed broadband technology, and hopes its investment will drive greater collaboration with competitors in fixed broadband.

Huawei said it would expand pipeline capacity by developing chips, algorithms and silicon photonics. It will concentrate efforts on IP and all-optical networks, and SDN and NFV, which it said would create more open and intelligent networks.

Europe plan

Europe has so far played a major part in Huawei’s R&D plans. Strategy marketing officer William Xu said he hoped to create a "Silicon Road" between China and Europe, drawing an analogy with the historic Silk Road, the ancient trading network that spanned central Asia.

Huawei has already opened a number of research facilities in Europe and employs several thousand people across the continent.

At an event in Shenzen, China, earlier this month, Huawei told Computer Weekly it planned to develop rapidly as a global IT supplier in spite of its inability to penetrate the lucrative US market. The network supplier said European expansion and emerging markets would help it gain sufficient scale to present a competitive challenge to the likes of Cisco and IBM.

Huawei has already expanded beyond its core networking heritage into areas such as storage and datacentre hardware.

It also has ambitious plans to become a top tier smartphone supplier, sitting alongside the likes of Apple and Samsung.

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