As 5G networks are starting to roll out and commercialize around the world, the telecommunications companies are emptying themselves to get a head start. Huawei equipment is now behind two-thirds of the commercially launched 5G networks outside China, the president of Huawei's transport company Ryan Ding said on Tuesday at an industrial conference.
Huawei, the world's largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, has nabbed 50 commercial 5G contracts outside the home base from countries including South Korea, Switzerland, the UK, Finland and more. All in all, the Shenzhen-based company has sent more than 1[ads1]50,000 base stations, according to Ding.
It is worth noting that network operators can work with more than one vendor to distribute different parts of their 5G base stations. Huawei offers what it calls an end-to-end networking solution or a complete system of hardware, but if a carrier plans to purchase from multiple vendors is contingent on their needs and local regulations, a Huawei spokesperson told TechCrunch.
In China, for example, both Ericsson and Nokia have secured 5G contracts from state-owned China Mobile (although Nokia's Chinese entity, a joint venture with Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, is directly controlled by China's state-owned property monitoring and administration Commission).
Huawei's handsome number of deals came despite the US's ongoing efforts to lobby their allies for using the equipment. In May, the Trump administration sent Huawei on a black black list of concerns about the company's espionage features, a move that has effectively banned US companies from doing business with the Shenzhen-based giant.
So far, Huawei's share in the US telecommunications market has been negligible, but many rural carriers have long relied on their high-value, cost-saving hardware. It may soon end as the US is pushing small-town operators to stop buying from Huawei, Reuters reported this week.
To appease potential customers, Huawei has been around the world offering no-backdoor covenants to local UK governments and most recently India.
Huawei is in a neck and neck struggle with rivals Nokia and Ericsson. In early June, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said in an interview with Bloomberg that the company had won "two-thirds of the time" bidding contracts against Ericcson and competing "quite favorably with Huawei." Nokia landed at the time 42 5G contracts, while Huawei numbered 40 and Ericsson scored 19.
Huawei's challenges go far beyond the realm of transport. The fast-growing smartphone device also gets the heat when the US ban threatens to cut it from the alphabet, if Android operating system is used in the Huawei phone, as well as a number of large chip providers.  Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei noted that trade restrictions can compromise the company's production in the short term. Total revenue is expected to dip $ 30 billion over estimates over the next two years, and overseas smartphone shipping is facing a 40% drop. However, Ren is bullish that the company's sales will jump back after a temporary adjustment period while working toward independence by developing its own operating system, chips and other core technologies.