ZTE poised to grow market share, thanks to Pre-5G
By Goh Thean Eu November 24, 2016
- Believes it has a 3-4 year window to catch up to larger rivals
- Malaysia strategy will largely be focused on cloud solutions, smart city, Pre-5G, and others.
From left: Jeff Zhou, Managing Director of ZTE Southeast Asia and Li Guozhen, CMO of Southeast Asia and Indonesia
CHINA-based telecommunications equipment and solutions provider ZTE Corp believes it has what it takes to catch up to larger telecommunications vendors over the next four years, thanks to its new wireless technology.
The company, headquartered in Shenzhen, had recently unveiled its Pre-5G solutions. So far, several mobile operators are using the solution including Japan's Softbank and China Mobile. It is also working with some 20 mobile operators on Pre-5G trials.
With the Pre-5G solutions, mobile operators are able to increase their Internet speeds (bandwidth) by four to six times.
While the company is not the only telecommunications vendor looking at solutions that are more superior than 4G LTE, ZTE South East Asia managing director Jeff Zhou believes that its solutions are better than its rivals' for a few reasons.
"Firstly, we are the first to have commercial launch of the solution. Secondly, mobile operators that are using our Pre-5G solutions can provide their customers faster Internet speed with their existing 4G LTE infrastructure," he said.
"Therefore, with our Pre-5G solutions, we believe that we have a three to four year window to do some catching up."
Improve together, not kill one another
Over the past decade, China-based telecommunications equipment and solutions providers like ZTE and Huawei have been growing their business significantly, at the expense of European vendors like Ericsson and Alcatel.
While the telecommunications equipment and solution space is a very competitive industry, due to limited pool of potential customers (telecommunications services providers) and a rather crowded supply base, Zhou hopes that the Chinese players can "compete healthily".
"We see the benefits of competition. Without competition, the two companies (ZTE and Huawei) cannot develop and grow so fast. Because of competition, we have to make our technology stronger.
"In the future, maybe the two companies will still have to compete in the same market, but our focus will be on our to improve ourselves and how to improve our technology, and not about how to kill one another," said Zhou.
"We believe in developing the business first, not about fighting each other."
Today, both ZTE and Huawei are offering equipment and solutions to Malaysian telecommunications players. ZTE currently provides a significant portion of Digi's network, 80% of U Mobile network and about half of Webe (subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia) network, said Zhou.
The era of VOICE?
Today, mobile operators are facing a very different market landscape versus five to 10 years ago, and the industry is expected to continue to evolve over the next decade.
Zhou said that ZTE has identified five trends that will influence and determine the future of the telecommunications industry. From these key trends, it developed the "VOICE" strategy -- whereby it is acronym for Virtuality, Openness, Intelligence, Cloudification and Internet of Everything.
"Virtuality is basically integration of the physical world and the virtual world with enhanced experience through Big Video, virtual reality and augmented reality. Openness is referring to the transition from the traditional competition-based business model to close collaboration on an open basis, Intelligence is about the intellectualisation of all things and growing intelligence on multiple levels," said Zhou.
He also expects more organisations, including the public sector, to look at cloud technology and data centres to improve their efficiency.
Strategy for Malaysia
For Malaysia, Zhou believes ZTE can play a role in a few areas. "We hope we can play a role in the country's smart city initiatives. We have a suite of solutions for that," he said.
"From the government side, I hope Malaysian government can think of how to give public better service and to make a traditionally long process shorter."