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Huawei seeks to Expand Business in Korean Telecommunication Market
Putting Korean Competitors on Alert
Huawei seeks to Expand Business in Korean Telecommunication Market
  • By Michael Herh
  • June 12, 2018, 10:40
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​​​​​​​Huawei is stepping up its efforts to expand its business in Korea.
Huawei is stepping up its efforts to expand its business in Korea.

The advent of the next-generation 5G mobile telecommunication era is making Korean companies become increasingly vigilant against Huawei, a Chinese telecommunication company. Huawei is stepping up its efforts to expand its business in Korea. It is seeking to land orders for 5G telecom network equipment from Korean companies and preparing to launch a new smartphone.

According to industry sources on June 10, competition to land orders for 5G network equipment is intensifying among domestic and overseas equipment makers prior to a 5G frequency auction on June 15. If Korea’s three mobile carriers are allocated 5G frequencies, it is expected that they will immediately start ordering telecommunication equipment next month.

The most interesting point is whether or not Huawei will be able to steal some market share from Samsung Electronics, which accounts for nearly half of the Korean telecom network equipment market. Samsung Electronics, Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia among others are taking part in the competition. But in fact, industry experts say that Samsung Electronics and Huawei are expected to form a two-frontrunner race.

Huawei first supplied telecommunication equipment to LG U+ for the start of Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in 2013. As security controversy was raised at that time, LG U+ announced that the company would not use Huawei equipment for services in areas with US armed forces in Korea.

Currently, however, the competition for 5G telecommunication equipment is being played out in favor of Huawei, which is considered a technological leader in equipment for the 3.5GHz frequency band. This band is called a “golden frequency band” as it can be used to build a nationwide network. The price of Huawei’s equipment is also said to be 30% lower than those of its competitors. "In the future, we will have to spend tens of trillions of won in building a nationwide network. The price competitiveness of telecommunication equipment is a factor that cannot be ignored," said an official in the telecom industry.

Huawei is also preparing to revitalize its smartphone business which has slumped in the Korean market. "We are positively considering launching smartphones in Korea," a Huawei Korea official said. "We have not decided yet, but there is a possibility that we will start with low- and mid-priced smartphones in Korea,"

influence is expanding. Market researcher TrendForce has forecast that Huawei will beat Apple and take second place in the second quarter of the year in the world smartphone market. However, unlike its worldwide popularity, Huawei has not stood out in Korea due to its image as a maker of low-priced smartphones. In 2016, KT launched the P9 Light model under the name the Be Y Phone and at the end of the same year, LG U+ launched the P9 and the P9 Plus of Huawei. Late last year, KT launched the Huawei Be Y 2 Phone. But Huawei failed to achieve its desired results.

However, recently, Huawei released the first triple camera smartphone P20 Pro, and is expected to launch the world’s first 5G smartphone and foldable smartphone. So some experts say that Huawei made a big improvement to its corporate image.

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