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How 5G network builders are competing with Huawei in Asia

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Huawei ban: Winners, losers, and what’s at stake (a whole lot)
ZDNet’s Jason Cipriani and Jason Perlow talk with Karen Roby about how the security and trade brouhaha impacts everything from the future of regional carriers and the bottom lines of tech giants to 5G’s prospects and consumer’s pocketbooks. Read more: https://zd.net/2WzVRbq

Mobile infrastructure firms believe that over the next few years, LTE networks in Asia will be replaced with higher-capacity, lower-latency 5G networks. These 5G networks will be the new backend for applications ranging from mobile e-sports, autonomous vehicle communications, to virtually-controlled robotic surgeries.

But if companies want a piece of Asia’s developing markets, Samsung, ZTE, Nokia, Ericsson, and other equipment providers will need to compete with the low-cost offerings of Huawei.

In terms of commercial 5G deals globally, only Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson come close to the Shenzen-based firm. Huawei has publicly announced 40 deals compared to Nokia’s 38 and Ericsson’s 18. But Huawei spent about $15 billion on R&D in 2018, significantly more than the combined $9 billion spent by Nokia and Ericsson.

“This massive spending gives Huawei the capacity to make lower cost chips and routers,” Subramanian Venkatraman, an analyst at Arizona-based MTN Consulting, told ZDNet in an email conversation.

“This is one of the reasons European operators have been reluctant to completely ban Huawei’s kit.”

Nokia and Ericsson told ZDNet that their key to competing in Asia would be partnerships with device makers and operators, as well as their proven track records.

Also see: The winner in the war on Huawei is Samsung

Kai Sahala, head of Nokia’s Asia Pacific and Japan 5G Sales, told ZDNet that 5G spectrum availability in Asia is delaying development outside of the main Japanese, South Korean and Chinese markets, but that his firm is seeing opportunity in Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore.

“We are competing with all of the vendors, including Huawei, in many markets, and we have been successful,” he said.

“That tells that there’s something in our position, and our 5G offering especially.”

Sahala says the firm is taking several approaches to market for countries in the Asia region.

“I don’t think these things are negotiated solely on price, [but also] quality, reliability, openness of interfaces, things like security and the platforms that we can offer,” he said.

Although he admits there have been stumbling blocks, such as the initial spotty performance and delays for the 5G network rollout in South Korea.

“In the big picture, it’s really about the long-term performance,” he said. “Performance by independent studies [of our 4G networks] is really outstanding”.

Erik Kruse, an Internet of Things Ecosystem Partner Manager at Ericsson, told ZDNet his firm was competing on 5G with cost, performance, and reliability.

Some see the recent US restrictions on Huawei, which prevents US firms from collaborating or supplying components to Huawei, as a factor for competition.

Read: Now Arm tells staff to stop working with Huawei

Multiple sources have said the restrictions have forced Huawei to place some projects as “pending” while also “slowing down” others, such as those in its server business. One said Huawei had already ordered a large amount of components in the first quarter of 2019, giving it a temporary buffer from U.S. supply chain availability issues.

But Steve Cheng, Vice President and General Manager of Taiwan’s Quanta Computer, told ZDNet that it’s difficult to compete with Huawei’s low costs, and he believes US restrictions will give other players a better chance to develop the 5G market.

Sahala said Nokia has a “neutral” position on the restrictions, as they are decided by governments, but is continuing to keep an eye on the developing situation. Kruse and a spokesperson for Ericsson, meanwhile, declined to comment on the Huawei restrictions.

Ultimately, will Huawei come out as a front-runner?

Caroline Chan, Data Center Group vice president and 5G infrastructure division general manager at Intel, told ZDNet that the US firm would comply with the US government’s order on Huawei — a “tricky situation” — but said that there’s no clear front-runner for 5G in Asia as yet.

“Everybody is realising there is a huge potential to get there,” she said. “The question is investment priority and how aggressive and courageous you are.”

Related Coverage

SoftBank goes with Ericsson and Nokia for 5G network

Japanese telco goes with Swedish and Finnish equipment manufacturers.

First 5G laptop: Lenovo and Qualcomm showcase always-on PC due in early 2020

Is this ‘Project Limitless’ 5G PC the future of computing?

Tech trade war: After Huawei, which Chinese firms are next on US enemies list?

If the cold war with China intensifies, more companies with alleged ties to the Chinese government could be prohibited from doing business with American firms.

Japan telcos pull back sale of new Huawei smartphones

Citing consumer safety concerns and uncertainty over Google’s Android support, SoftBank and KDDI have delayed the sale of new handsets from the Chinese vendor, specifically, the Huawei P30 lite, which had been slated to hit the local market on May 24.

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2021 Hennessey Venom 800 Ford F-150 hits 60 mph in 3.6 seconds

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Many Ford fans are looking forward to the 2021 F-150 pickup. The truck is all-new, and the tuners at Hennessey have a special edition for truck buyers wanting sports car performance in their truck. The company says that the Hennessey Venom 800 Supercharged is the most powerful Ford truck it has ever produced.

The Venom 800 Supercharged is also one of the most exclusive Ford trucks the company has ever produced, with only 100 offered for the entire year. Thanks to a supercharger strapped on the 5.0-liter V-8 engine, the truck has 805 BHP and can reach 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The turnkey vehicle starts with the 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum Super Crew four-door pickup.

The 5.0-liter V-8 is backed with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and the truck has four-wheel drive. Upgrades to the truck include an updated fuel pump system, stainless steel exhaust, E 85 flex-fuel sensor, and engine calibration performed on at chassis dyno. The supercharger and tuning double the stock V8 horsepower rating of 400 BHP.

When Hennessey is done, the F-150 has 805 BHP at 6200 RPM and 727 pound-foot of torque at 4100 RPM on E85. Hennessey brags that that is almost 100 horsepower more than the 2021 Ram TRX. The truck is capable of running the quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds at 116 mph.

It also gets an updated BREMBO brake system with six-piston calipers and 15.1-inch rotors to slow the monster down. Wheels are 20-inch custom units with 35-inch all-terrain tires. The truck also gets an off-road suspension system with upgraded shocks and external reservoirs supporting a six-inch lift. The front bumper is upgraded along with the grill, and the truck gets new badges. Pricing for the vehicle is $149,500 plus delivery, including the donor pickup.

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Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne: New hyper EV promises more of everything

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Spanish coachbuilder and EV maker Hispano Suiza has announced the arrival of its newest Carmen-based hyper-luxury EV: Carmen Boulogne. From afar, the Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne shares particular design cues with Bugatti’s Chiron supercar.

However, there’s no mistaking those curvaceous rear fenders, a stiff salute to the brand’s pre-war racing cars. According to Hispano Suiza, the Boulogne name dates back to 1921 when the company built a racing version of its H6 Coupe, where it scored three consecutive victories in the George Boilot Cup from 1921 to 1923.

So yes, the newest Carmen Boulogne hyper EV has some racing heritage to its credit. But like the Bugatti Chiron, Hispano Suiza’s latest creation is a proper grand tourer with impressive performance and a welcome dose of luxury.

Similar to a standard Carmen, the Boulogne has two permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors on each rear wheel. However, those four motors are tuned to squeeze out 1,100 horsepower, 95 more horses than a regular Carmen hyper EV. Meanwhile, the torque rating is at a mind-blowing 1,180 pound-feet, accessible from zero to 6,500 rpm.

And whereas Carmen has a top speed of 155 mph (250 kph), Boulogne has longer legs and can reach a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 kph). The sleek and lightweight carbon-fiber body enables Carmen Boulogne to weigh 132 pounds (60 kgs) less than a base Carmen, allowing it to rush from zero to 60 mph in 2.6-seconds.

Having four electric motors in the rear (and a thousand foot-pounds of torque) might sound like a recipe for disaster, but it’s not. Carmen Boulogne has sophisticated torque-vectoring to prevent you from wrapping it to a tree.

Powering those four motors is an 80 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, good for around 248 miles of effective range. Carmen Boulogne can fast-charge at up to 80 kW DC to replenish the batteries in 30 minutes when the juice runs out.

Hispano Suiza is only building 14 units of the standard Carmen, while only five Boulogne models are slated for production, making it more exclusive than a Pininfarina Battista or Lotus Evija.

If you like Carmen Boulogne, prepare your checkbook as base prices start from $2-million (€1.65 million) at current exchange rates. Each of the five cars will take twelve months to build, and the first delivery will happen in 2022.

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne Gallery

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2021 Audi R8 RWD Panther Edition has red wheels and a stealthy vibe

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Audi of America has something in store for early reservists of the 2021 R8 RWD sports car. Unique to the North American market and limited to only 30 units, the R8 Panther edition will be the first rear-wheel-drive R8 models to arrive at dealerships this December.

We’ll get to those red wheels in a minute since the 2021 R8 RWD Panther Edition is brimming with likable details, like that Panther Black paint, for example. It has a deep, glossy black finish from afar, but the paint hue transitions from black to deep purple upon closer inspection.

No, we’re not fans of chameleon paint jobs, either, but Audi’s Panther Black paint is a sight to behold. We first saw this bedazzling finish at the 2019 L.A. Auto Show in an Audi RS 5 Panther Edition, but we never thought it’d look so good in the 2021 Audi R8.

Complementing its new Panther Black paint are a bevy of carbon-fiber exterior trim, including the mirror caps, side intakes, and the rear engine cover. Blacked-out Audi badges are standard, too, while 20-inch double-spoke matte black wheels complete the sinister vibe.

And as you can see, those gorgeous wheels have bright red accents. Love it or hate it, those red wheels are here to stay, but standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires will somehow ease the pain.

Meanwhile, the interior is black-and-red like the exterior. Crimson Red leather seats are standard, while the rest of the cabin is covered in black leather with red stitching. On the other hand, the steering wheel, gear shifter, and headliner are swathed in fine Alcantara.

The 2021 Audi R8 RWD Panther Edition remains motivated by a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter FSI V10 engine, good for 532 horsepower and 398 pound-feet torque. With this engine, the RS RWD can sprint to 60 mph in 3.6-seconds, while the top speed is at 201 mph.

Additionally, all R8 Panther Edition models get standard sports exhausts along with LED headlights and taillights, dynamic turn signals, illuminated door sills, and a 550-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system with 13 speakers.

Audi said its 2021 R8 Panther Edition will arrive at U.S. dealerships this month. Base prices start at around $183,000 before taxes and destination.

2021 Audi R8 RWD Panther Edition Gallery

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