5G will bring industry opportunities worth $1.2 trillion in Southeast Asia in the next five years, Huawei’s regional president James Wu said at the Mobile World Congress 2019 on Sunday.
In a media interview at MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona, James Wu, president of Huawei Southeast Asia said, “Southeast Asia will stand out with the fastest GDP growth around 5-6% in the next five years, and digital economy will be the major driver behind such growth accounting for 20 percent. We are committed to developing the digital economy of Southeast Asian countries, and collaborating with partners in order to build a digital ecosystem.
Wu predicted that massive commercial use of 5G in 11 countries and regional markets, such as India, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong will start as early as 2020. In the next five years, the number of 5G subscribers in the region will top 80 million. Wireless, digital and intelligent equipment will improve social productivity by 4-8% on average.
According to the regional president, the ICT giant has received invitation from multiple countries and customers across Southeast Asia to 5G trials.
“I believe 2019 will be a significant year for 5G in Southeast Asia. Huawei, as the world’s leading vendor of 5G, will help all operators in the region realize their 5G dreams. We will continuously invest in 5G, broadband, cloud, artificial intelligence and smart devices, to help our customers maximize the benefits of this emerging technology.”
Since last year, the Chinese tech giant has been facing challenges by the US-lead campaign that urges its allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G development, claiming the company’s technology would compromise national and user security. Huawei denies the claims that its technology could be used for espionage, and until now no evidence has been raised to support the allegations. And recently, the UK has concluded that the risks posed by Huawei 5G equipment could be mitigated.
“All countries should not turn 5G into a political or ideological issue,” Wu said. “We prove ourselves with 20 years of cyber security record in Southeast Asia to all government and people, that Huawei can be trusted. I’m sure that they have a clear judgement. As an exemplar of emerging markets, Southeast Asia needs to cooperate with ICT vendors who truly contribute locally.”
Huawei has been investing in 5G for more than 10 years, and is recognized with 12 to 18 months of leading advantage in the market. Industrial experts argued that banning Huawei from 5G development could delay the entire network growth.
“I believe, the wisest and most pragmatic choice is to create an environment where all vendors can fairly compete with each other. Huawei welcomes competition, because it leads to the most efficient investment into 5G infrastructure, and benefits to the general public of all countries. My suggestion is, go digital, not political. And this is a choice that serves the interested of all stakeholders,” Wu said.