Narration: On Feb. 25-28, Barcelona will hold the 2019 Mobile World Congress. Telecommunication gurus around the world will gather to announce their operation plans. Many believe this is one of the main indicators of what is going to happen in that industry. The theme for this year is 5G. Declan Ganley, Chairman and CEO of Rivada Networks, a U.S.-based communications technology company, told “Zooming In” this meeting is extremely important.
Declan Ganley: 5G is very, very significant. It’s a massive revolution in the wireless industry. It’s perhaps the biggest single pivot point in wireless since the advent of the mobile phone as we know it. The speeds are going to be greatly increased, the capacity for data, the amount of information that we’ll be moving, massively increase, a multifold increase in that. And the uses and the impact on the economy of 5G is going to be massive. I’ve seen economists’ estimates pointing that 5G, if it’s used in what they call an open access wireless model, will add at least 0.75 percent to U.S. GDP, for example, and the GDPs of any country that adopts it. Also, everything that we do, anywhere where information or data is exchanged from small devices, not just mobile phones and data, but air-conditioning, calling systems, transportation, security, health care, pharmaceutical delivery, entertainment, and agriculture, many, many fields are going to be using 5G technology where we haven’t—in ways and manners that we haven’t seen before. It’s going to touch every aspect of our lives.
Narration: The 2019 Mobile World Congress is expected to produce the world’s 5G rollout blueprint as telecommunicators announce which company’s 5G equipment they will use.
Declan Ganley: What is pivotally important is what architecture, what technology one deploys for one’s 5G deployments. And very frankly, given that the question here is China, is whether or not that architecture for 5G is going to be architecture developed in China and delivered by Chinese companies or architecture delivered somewhere else in the world and delivered by non-Chinese companies.
Narration: Chinese company Huawei is the largest telecoms equipment company in the world and China’s primary 5G equipment provider. They will also attend the congress. At a Hudson Institute event last November, Ganley said Huawei was planning a large wave of announcements. In other words, a victory party declaring its dominance in the cyber domain.
Declan Ganley: The countries here filled in red, I think there are 61 of them, that map represents countries that have already signed 5G contracts to deploy their 5G networks using Chinese equipment and primarily Huawei equipment. The countries that are pink are countries that are currently testing that equipment in government approved testing operations that are leaning in that direction right now. This is based upon publicly available information.
Narration: Why have so many telecommunications companies chosen Huawei as their 5G equipment provider? The single most important reason is the Chinese company provides equipment at a much cheaper price thanks to heavy Chinese government subsidies. But that’s not all.
Declan Ganley: In the UK, in some European markets, not only are the likes of Huawei funding providing discounted equipment and discounted funding, even the rollout cost. That’s where the concrete is being poured, the towers are being built, we have reliable information they come in 40 percent cheaper than the next nearest competitor. The only way you could do that is if you’re even subsidizing the rollout cost, because a British contractor is not going to charge less to Huawei than to Ericsson or to Nokia, so that’s being subsidized. I believe a deliberate policy of subsidization is to knock Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung out of the market. It is to make people cut corners on the things like security, and it is to assert control in this essential security domain, the cyber domain and get into the edge of that network.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NTD.com