Huawei Canada CTO welcomes Bell statements, will continue 5G research regardless of ban decision


Huawei Canada’s chief technology officer says research in 5G technology will continue whether or not Canada bans the telecommunications equipment company from participating in the next generation of network infrastructure.

During an interview with MobileSyrup on May 7th, Robert Backhouse said that Huawei intends to be a leader in 5G “regardless of what countries decide.”

“Research will still happen. The hub in Ottawa will continue with research regardless of what happens,” he said. “The research we do is ultimately distributed throughout the world, and it is a global effort.”

The Shenzhen-based company is currently being reviewed by the government of Canada on whether it is safe to provide technology for 5G networks. Public Safety Minister has said a decision from the review overall is expected to come before the federal election in the fall.

More recently, Bell’s CEO George Cope said he thinks Huawei will be allowed to provide equipment so long as it is not utilized in the core of the network; the core is where the most vulnerable information resides.

“In the end, on Huawei, my instincts would be that it will be [banned in] the core, which is what most of the other countries are talking about,” Cope said. “We’ve always supported that view because that’s been our view since we started to use Huawei.”

Blackhouse said it was “a good feeling” knowing Bell would consider still using Huawei after Ottawa makes a decision.

“But this is actually the message we hear from our partners all along ever since we started 10 years ago. We’ve been humble and we’ve been going on our business and helping our partners achieve the best they can.”

Huawei Canada invited members of the media the same day to showcase what Huawei has been doing in terms of research towards 5G technology. That includes how the company is working with smart city technology, the agriculture sector, the Internet of Things and smartphones.

The same day, Huawei Canada’s president Eric Li announced that by 2020 Huawei will provide information and communication technology training to over 1,000 Canadians that will be done under the Huawei Authorized Learning Partner program.

Li also announced Huawei Canada will be donating $100,000 to United Way to help with relief with the floods in Ottawa.

Huawei Canada committed to research in making equipment interoperable

It’s important to note though that Huawei’s equipment is not interoperable. That means that other vendor’s equipment won’t be able to function if it is used on Huawei’s existing infrastructure.

Blackhouse did elaborate on this and noted that for years many companies’ equipment was also not interoperable and with research and development equipment has become interoperable.

For Huawei, he said that the research to make its equipment interoperable is still ongoing and that the company intends on complying with regulations.

No decision on Huawei has been made yet, but Blackhouse, as has other senior executives and two different chairmen of Huawei, have said that it will comply with whatever decision the government makes.

Blackhouse noted that any involvement in Canada is to show Canada that it remains committed to the country.