December 3, 2020

To a Digital Decade and Beyond

This year marks Huawei’s 20th anniversary in Europe. It’s been a great journey, at times challenging, but ultimately rewarding.

We’re very proud
of what we’ve achieved so far. In close collaboration with all of our partners
in Europe, we’ve connected countless communities across the continent and we
continue to support the ongoing development of Europe’s digital ecosystem.

When we first set up shop in Madrid back in 2000, 2G network penetration in Europe was around 36% and 3G was still four years away.

Rolling out new telecommunications
infrastructure has always been prohibitively expensive in Europe. Because of space
and size constraints, building and maintaining new base stations in European cities often costs significantly more than the network equipment itself.

This is still
true today. But working together, we were able to create smaller, distributed base
stations that save our customers time, space, and rental costs. They’re
modular, so they’re much easier – and cheaper – to install.

We rolled them
out in Europe in 2005. Our first customers were able to re-use more than 90% of
their existing 2G base stations for 3G, which reduced their total cost of
ownership by one-third.

It might not sound like a big deal to someone outside the industry – some random telecoms company saved some money, so what? But it was a game-changer for Europe. Faster, cheaper 3G deployment meant more people getting connected, better network access, lower costs and faster speeds.

That was in 2005.
15 years later, and now more than 79% of all people in Europe have access to 4G,
and 5G is already being deployed in more than 20 European countries.

Our incredible
journey wouldn’t have been possible without the concerted efforts of our
customers and partners.

If we’ve learned
anything over the years, it’s that collaboration
is everything.
As the world goes digital and tech ecosystems become
increasingly intertwined, complex, and interdependent, the need to work
together has never been more pressing.

This is
especially true right now, when digital technology is helping people and
businesses stay connected throughout the pandemic and will help pave the way
for economic recovery moving forward.

Ramping up for Europe’s Digital Decade

In her state of the union speech in September, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, set an ambitious goal for the EU, “We must make this Europe’s Digital Decade.”

Europe
is in a strong position to do so. With a solid industrial base, in-depth industry expertise, a wealth of leading scientists and proprietary operational
technology, Europe is poised to lead the digital transformation of many key
industries.

And
we’re doing what we can to support that.

Read more: Europe 2021-2027: Innovation, Investment & Collaboration

Our 5G Joint Innovation Center and Experience Center works together with European carriers to incubate 5G-powered applications for all industries.

With our OpenLabs in Munich and Paris, we’re pairing up with local partners in developing new, state-of-the-art digital industry solutions. These labs provide a platform for organizations to more effectively address business challenges and boost their competitiveness in global markets.

Huawei OpenLab Paris: 1,000+ sqm focusing on Smart Retail and the Internet of Vehicles

We’re
working with more than 1,000 enterprises across the continent on projects that
are bringing real benefits to European companies – and whole industries.

In
addition, we’re working with universities and research institutes to accelerate
digitalization and help drive progress towards Horizon Europe 2020.

Building
shared standards is key, as standards lay the groundwork for shared values,
goals, opportunities, and a shared foundation for building and maintaining
trust. This is good for people, and it’s also good for business.

We’re
also contributing to broader telecoms initiatives like standardization, an area
where Europe is leading the pack in an increasingly digital world. As an active
member of both European and international standards organizations, we’re contributing
technology, expertise, and feedback to support the development of shared global
standards for all enterprises and organizations.

Our Ongoing Commitment to Europe

The
necessity of global cooperation is growing. During a recent speech at our
Eco-Connect summit in Europe, Luis Jorge Romero,
Director General of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI),
put it perfectly: All industry players should move forward through cooperation
and “think global, act local.”

This is exactly what Huawei is doing in Europe.

We respect European values. We want to do our part to foster a thriving, connected Europe. We
respect and embrace European values, including strict compliance with GDPR and
all laws and regulations.

Privacy
concerns are important to us. Our focus is on breakthroughs in infrastructure
and key technology. We don’t monetize data, and we won’t do so in the future. Data
management and operations are controlled by our customers and local partners,
because European data belongs in European hands.

We will increase investment and procurement in
Europe.
Europe has a huge, very successful
industrial base that we can build on together. We’re not here to take over
companies or dominate the market; our goal is to increase collaboration with
local partners to build a sustainable ecosystem – one that thrives on shared
success.

As part of this commitment, we will manufacture leading ICT equipment in Europe to support the competitiveness and resilience of its ICT industry.

Read more: AI in the EU: Balancing Benefit and Control

We will increase investment in R&D. In particular, we will work with local partners to help our European
customers enhance their global competitiveness.

We will support the growth of Europe’s digital
ecosystem.
That means pushing the limits of digital
innovation and investing in ICT training to help European people and businesses
build their digital skills. This will further enhance global competitiveness
and pave the way for greater digital inclusion.

Experts from the Paris Esthetics Research Center discuss Huawei phone design

We
can’t do it alone. All of these commitments build on partnership and close collaboration.
Only together can will build a more connected, digital, and prosperous Europe
of the 21st century – a thriving ecosystem with abundant opportunity
for all.

Huawei
is facing some challenges at the moment and we’re in a difficult position. But business
is good. Revenue is up.

We
will not stop investing in
innovation. We will not stop
collaborating or supporting our partners. And
we will never stop serving our customers.

We
have the resources, determination, and expertise to get through this. We have a strong local team of 14,000 people who will
keep working hard to preserve the trust and respect of our European partners
and customers.

I
want to take this opportunity to say thank
you to Europe
. Thank you for believing in us, and thank you for your
ongoing trust and support.

Today
we celebrate the past 20 years in Europe. But more importantly, I look forward
to an even brighter 20 years and more to come – digital decades driven forward
by joint innovation, mutual success, shared values and – above all – ongoing
respect and support.

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