A WORLD CONNECTED

Portugal 2019 | TELECOMS, IT & MEDIA | INTERVIEW

As one of the firm's earliest European markets, Huawei's growth has been symbiotic with Portugal's digital transformation.

Chris Lu
BIOGRAPHY
Chris Lu has been an executive manager at Huawei for 12 years. With a university background in management and economics and professional experience in global markets, he has deep insight into the ICT industry. He came to Europe in 2010 and worked at Huawei Germany and Huawei Netherlands before becoming the CEO of Huawei Portugal.

What are Huawei's main operations and business lines in Portugal?

Portugal was one of the first countries for Huawei when it entered Europe. In 2005, we built Huawei's first 3G mobile network in Europe, in Madeira. Afterward, we continued to support the telecom operators to build 4G & 4.5G and Fiber-To-The-Home networks, as well as submarine cables providing best-in-class telecommunications service to Portuguese consumers and enterprises. In the future, we will work on a connected intelligent world with three features: All Things Sensing (sensing the physical world, mapping it to digital signals); All Things Connected (all data will go online); All Things Intelligent (big data and AI will power our new applications, making all things intelligent). These advances will not be possible without leading ICT technologies, as ICT infrastructure will be the foundation of our future intelligent world. This is where Huawei seeks to add value.

Huawei will launch the MateBook series in Portugal. What are your expectations from the launch?

Traditionally, the laptop business is a ready sales business because there is already enough competition; however, when we entered this segment, we brought in many new ideas and innovations because Huawei is an expert in connectivity and the cloud. We have given the laptop business a new concept. The MateBook X is a powerful laptop that also has an elegant appearance and excellent features. It is extremely slim and has a long battery life, making it extremely convenient for business people.

Can you provide further details on Huawei's project with Altice to deploy 5G networks in Portugal?

5G is a hot topic. Over the past few decades, we mainly sought to improve connectivity between people to people in the 2G, 3G, and 4G eras. With 5G, we are now extending that connectivity to machine to machine. This will bring significant changes in the way we live and work. 5G will bring ultra-high speed of up to 20Gbps, and its ultra-low latency will enable concepts such as autonomous driving. It will also allow us to connect millions of devices; however, it is important for the entire ecosystem to work together in creating a 5G environment. This includes telecom operators, solution providers like Huawei, and governmental entities like the Portuguese regulatory authority, ANACOM, as well as all different vertical and industries partners. Many enterprises will be able to combine their industry knowledge and data with ICT to reshape the way they produce and deliver their services. We are already working with our partners in Portugal and have launched the world's first narrow-band IoT smart meter in the utilities segment. We are also working on smart water meters, smart parking, smart agriculture, smart waste management, and more. All these first require an extremely fast 5G-infrastructure network, as well as excellent collaboration in the whole ecosystem.

Are you partnering with Portuguese companies to develop your smart solutions?

Yes; for example, the world's first narrow-band IoT smart meter is a design collaboration between Huawei and Janz, a Portuguese meter company that has many years of experience in the power meter field. Using Huawei's IoT smart chip, meters can be connected to service providers like EDP. They can constantly transmit power usage data and detect any power failures; therefore, the service provider can manage the energy supply in the most efficient way. All this came from the innovation we did with our local partners. We have connectivity and cloud experts and, moving forward, need to work with partners that have expertise in other industries, such as utilities, manufacturing, transportation, tourism, and others. It requires a great deal of collaboration in the whole ecosystem to make these ideas work. For example, at the moment cities around the world are becoming smart and embracing a digital society to drive economic competitiveness and sustainability for the future. The digital platform will be the engine powering the smart city development by enabling the integration of big data, cloud, edge computing, AI, and IoT technologies, which are the foundation of a smart city. The development of a smart city, namely the integration of all these digital technologies that improves city governance and intelligence, could be a highly complex project. However, Huawei's digital platform is highly efficient and open to facilitate collaboration with its Portuguese partner's ecosystem, as it will be they who customize the 'smart brain' based on each city's different development requirements.