Huawei is the Odd One Out
Last May, embattled Chinese tech giant Huawei unveiled its 5G lab in South Korea. However, the opening ceremony was low-key as Huawei continued to be locked in a tussle with the US government over its telecom equipment. South Korea is a key security ally of the United States. The tech giant pledged that it will invest $5 million in the 5G lab, which is located in the Junggu district in Seoul. The tech giant did not invite any media to the launch. However, in a statement, Huawei clarified that it would like to build a 5G ecosystem with the help of South Korean ICT companies, including small to medium enterprises.
As of this writing, only LG Uplus Corp. is using Huawei’s telecom equipment to build 5G base stations. Much larger rivals, SK Telecom Co. and KT Corp. have decided to work with other vendors who are not locked horns with the US government, namely, Samsung Electronics, and Nokia. However, it appears that Huawei is having a tough time making a permanent mark on South Korea as LG Uplus Corp. also conscripted Ericsson and Nokia to help expand its 5G network coverage. Huawei equipment will only be used for Seoul and Gangwon Province only.
A press release also announced that Japanese telecommunications operator KDDI selected Samsung Electronics as a partner. Samsung will be providing 5G network solutions for KDDI’s 5G commercial service launch. KDDI slated the rollout in March 2020. This was not the first time that KDDI had partnered with Samsung. In 2015, the two companies proved that it was possible to provide reliable 5G commercial services to cities using end-to-end 5G solutions.