Huawei and Telecom have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a Joint Innovation Programme which promotes direct collaboration between New Zealand’s largest telco and Huawei’s global R&D network.
The programme will operate under a shared management structure, headed by two Executive Sponsors, David Havercroft, Telecom Chief Operating Officer, and David Wang, President of Huawei Wireless. Senior staff from Huawei and Telecom will form a steering committee and meet regularly to appoint project teams as required.
Mr Wang was in Auckland to sign the MoU and said the project would enable Huawei to tailor technologies for New Zealand and allow Telecom to benefit from the Huawei research and development investment. “Huawei has 70,000 staff dedicated to R&D and in 2012 alone we invested US$4.8 billion in this area. We have always believed our technology must be shaped by the demands and challenges of our customers and this collaboration will allow us to work closely with Telecom staff to better understand their business and their customers.”
He said products shaped by the New Zealand market would also have the potential for deployment around the world. “New Zealand has a very agile commercial environment which is quick to adopt new technologies and promote fresh thinking. This is what has made it such a hot bed for innovation, and that’s something we want to tap into.”
Mr Havercroft said Telecom was dedicated to delivering the very best products and services to its customers, and the ability to shape what was available from a technology partner would be a huge advantage. “We see this as a perfect win-win opportunity. As New Zealand’s largest telecommunications company, we have a deep understanding of what Kiwi customers want. And as one of the biggest technology companies in the world, with a massive R&D capability, Huawei offers the ability for New Zealand to tap into market leading ideas.
“Through a regular exchange of ideas and a rigorous R&D process, we believe this collaboration will result in new customer products and business solutions for New Zealanders, particularly in the growing area of mobility. In today’s world consumers and businesses increasingly expect rich, relevant, real-time experiences and instant access to information,” Mr Havercroft said, “so collaborating with market leaders like Huawei makes complete sense.”
Telecom will launch its new 4G LTE network, in collaboration with Huawei, Cisco and Ericsson, on November 12 in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. “Huawei was selected as a key supplier on our 4G network for two key reasons. The first is that they have extensive global experience, having built 73 LTE networks in 42 countries. The second is that they are truly pushing the boundaries of LTE technology through their R&D,” said Mr Havercroft.