Huawei, a highly relevant IoT provider – in almost all parts of the world

In our view, Huawei and other Chinese ICT providers such as Alibaba will be gaining more and more traction in the European ICT market in the coming years, mostly due to two reasons: the company’s resilience against political risks as well as the economic interests European companies themselves have with regard to China. The first aspect is driven by the rising threat scenario of trade wars taking place in various regions of the world. For European companies (also in the ICT industry), it would thus be reasonable to rethink the potential risks from their current provider structure and work on diversifying it in terms of geographies, in order to develop greater resilience against unexpected political decisions from the current political protagonists. The second aspect relates to the fact that China is becoming a very attractive market for more and more European companies; intensifying the relation to companies in China might thus be worth considering, also in terms of a potential go-to-market in China.

With this in mind, I took part in the HUAWEI ECO-CONNECT 2018, which was held in Rome from Nov 8-9. As an analyst with a particular focus on Europe, I strive to learn more about vendors from Asia and especially China. My first observation was that not many other analysts were present at the event (my regards to Eugenio from IoT Analytics, Keith from EuroLAN and Nathalie from Gartner). I assume the reason for this is that the majority focuses strongly on the relevant provider landscape in the US market, where Huawei is and will not be – at least in the foreseeable future – a relevant ICT provider. For political reasons, the company is more or less excluded from the US market – in Europe, this is not the case. My second observation is related to Huawei’s strong R&D background (a major part of its staff work in the R&D space) and the fact that it is investing strongly in extending its ecosystem of partners (SW providers, C&SIs, industry specialists and sensor producers) in the European market. In addition, IoT is one of its sweet spots and the company has strong capabilities in the context of large-scale IoT deployments, from the edge via connectivity technology (incl. NB-IoT and 5G) to its cloud-based IoT platform, Ocean Connect. My third important take-away from the conference was that Huawei is already a very relevant IoT player in Europe, especially in the context of connected cars (PSA, Bosch) and smart cities (Gelsenkirchen, Cagliari); in other areas, e.g. manufacturing (KUKA, ABB), it is also making progress.

In this regard, I'd like to refer you to the following two PAC RADAR documents on IoT platforms, in which Huawei was one of the evaluated providers:

IoT Platforms for Device Development in Europe - PAC RADAR (internal use) – 2018
IoT Platforms for Smart Cities in Europe - PAC RADAR (internal use) - 2018

My final advice thus goes to the analyst community in Europe: Do not underestimate the role of Chinese ICT providers for the European market – not today and certainly not tomorrow. Huawei is already a relevant player in the European IoT market, and we expect its significance to increase further in future, driven above all by its strong technical capabilities in the NB-IoT and 5G space. So, see you at the HUAWEI ECO-CONNECT 2019!