Huawei hits the highway as Volkswagen prepares to install 4G in 30 million vehicles • The Register



Huawei has announced that its wireless technology will be installed in 30 million Volkswagen vehicles, thanks to an agreement with an anonymous supplier.

The deal is Huawei’s largest automotive licensing deal to date. According to Huawei’s canned statement released Wednesday, the deal includes a license of Huawei’s 4G standard essential patents, covering Volkswagen vehicles equipped with wireless technology.

Huawei chief legal officer Song Liuping pointed out that the Chinese tech company owns most of the patents used in wireless technology – a situation that could be a saving grace for a company severely constrained by US sanctions.

“As an innovative company, we have a leading patent portfolio for wireless technologies, which creates great value for the automotive industry. We are delighted that the major players in the automotive industry recognize this value. We believe this license will benefit consumers all over the world with our advanced technology, ”Song said.

Volkswagen confirmed the deal, but avoided names and details. The German automaker’s statement reads as follows:

Although neither Volkswagen nor Huawei have named the anonymous supplier, South China Morning Post pointed out the Luxembourg company Rolling Wireless, one of the main providers of access devices to 4G and 5G automotive networks.

Wireless technology has become a vital technology for modern high-tech automobiles as it adds features like smart door locks, infotainment systems, driver assistance and positioning.

Volkswagen announced in February that it would create a “new automotive cloud” on Microsoft Azure. It will focus on driver services including media, home and office connection, and predictive maintenance.

Huawei’s decision to support 4G – alongside Volkswagen’s choice to implement it – reiterates the view that automobiles lag behind other technologies in design cycles and technology. This demonstrates that the auto industry is able to connect consumers, without technologies like advanced computing and general vehicle equipment that require faster 5G still being mainstream.

Technologies requiring 5G for automobiles are on the horizon, but it’s a distant horizon. For example, Hyundai and Singapore’s dominant telecommunications company Singtel announced plans to build 5G-connected smart factories last March, but its reality remains in the future.

Huawei’s 2020 financial statements revealed it was relying on domestic purchasing power in the face of US sanctions and a global pandemic. A 3.8% increase in overall sales for the year was due to growth in China alone, while declines were confirmed in all other regions.

The Chinese tech maker’s smartphone market share fell to 4% in the first quarter of 2021, from 18% in the first quarter of 2020. ®


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