Chinese telecom giant Huawei says the Fourth Generation (4G) network is currently the most reliable communications technology in Bangladesh and a lot of things – such as its adoption by the subscribers – can still be improved in this sector.
Though Bangladesh is planning to launch the Fifth Generation (5G) network by 2023, it is essential to first improve the existing 4G network and boost its adoption to achieve this goal, Vice President of Huawei Asia Pacific Jay Chen said at a roundtable on Wednesday.
Responding to a query about the US restrictions on the company and any possible impacts on the launch of 5G in Bangladesh, Chen added, "Huawei – as a vendor of technology – will try its best to lobby with the Bangladeshi regulator, so that it can participate in the 5G rollout here."
Chief Digital Officer and Executive Consultant of Huawei Asia Pacific Michael Macdonald added, "We are very positively engaged with the government and operators to jointly develop the telecom sector."
Huawei organised the roundtable after its 2020 Annual Report press conference. The telecom giant has been going through a rough patch since the administration of former US president Donald Trump launched a campaign in 2018 to restrict the company's businesses.
Huawei had around 4% share in Bangladesh's smartphone market in 2018, which dropped to almost zero following the US ban against the company, which had created concerns among smartphone users worldwide, said the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association.
Officials at the association further clarified that they no longer receive any information regarding the sales of Huawei devices in Bangladesh, as it is too low to keep track of.
Slower revenue growth recorded
The company, in a bid to turn their business around, previously announced the HarmonyOS – an internally developed operating system for mobile devices – set to be launched globally in April this year.
In its latest annual report, Huawei revealed that more than 120 mainstream apps, including JD.com, Baidu, Youku, and iFLYTEK have begun innovating based on the HarmonyOS in order to bring consumers a completely new and intelligent experience.
The company, however, did not disclose its financial and business data for different countries.
In the last calendar year, the global giant saw 3.2% profit growth, while its revenue increased by 3.8% – which is comparatively slower than previous year.
Huawei usually reported around 30% year-on-year revenue growth. But in 2019, its year-on-year revenue growth was 19%, which has dropped more in the last year as the US ban choked its businesses.
The company's global sales revenue in 2020 rounded off at 891.4 billion Chinese Yuan, and its net profit reached 64.6 billion Yuan.
Its smartphone and other personal device division – responsible for consumer devices – was accountable for 54.2% of the total revenue, while enterprise businesses such as cloud, wireless network, service and software division was responsible for 11.3% of it during that period.
The 5G and other network equipment division – responsible for the business with the carriers – bought 34% share of the revenue in 2020.
During that year, the technology giant sustained a big revenue loss in the American region – reaching at 24.5%. The second big revenue loss occurred in the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions.
The Asia Pacific region was the only location where it reported only 8.7% in losses. However, the tech company has registered growth in its home country China.
In the annual report press Conference, however, Huawei's Deputy Chairman Ken Hu said, "Over the past year we have held strong in the face of adversity.
"Despite a challenging business environment, we remained committed to a globalised and diversified supply chain – one that does not rely on any single country or region, but instead makes use of global resources to ensure supply continuity."
In a press release, Huawei Bangladesh Ltd said that in 2020, Huawei's business with the carriers continued to ensure the stable operations of more than 1,500 networks across over 170 countries and regions throughout Covid-19 lockdowns, which helped support telework, online learning, and online shopping for people around the world.