HUAWEI TARGETS ICT PENETRATION IN NIGERIA
What are your long terms plans for Nigerian market in terms of support and technology transfer?
Firstly, I will like to say that globally, Huawei has been working on choice been that Chinese company with global brand that has won lots of accolade today. However, it is top 100 brands in the world and first Chinese company to be in that cadre today. Huawei is number 285 brand of the top 500 brands of global fortune. Brand Huawei is number one brand when it comes to ICT in the world. Today, Huawei is also number three brands when it comes to smartphones manufacturing.
Huawei came into Nigeria in 2000 and from then till now, that is about 15 years, which showed that it is committed to Nigeria. Huawei came to Nigeria at the start of the telecommunications revolution. It came after the likes of Nokia and it has had the opportunity to work with NITEL and today, Huawei has its footprint in everything technology in Nigeria.
When you talk of a long term plan for Nigeria, I will say it is about huge investment. Huawei is in Nigeria, not to do business but to transfer its global strength and expertise to it as one of the most important country in Africa. This is because we believe that if you are in Nigeria, you have a say in Africa.
I will say Huawei is the only I.C.T. firm that has invested so much in Nigeria in terms of training. Many companies train their staff in Dubai, but Huawei does not. In 2004, Huawei built a training centre in Abuja and equipped it, bringing expert from different countries to train Nigerians to be the best in the industry. Technology is not all about bringing expert from outside, is all about training the citizen to be the best engineers in the world.
And over the years, Huawei has invested so much in human capital development. For instance in 2004, Huawei launched the courses purchased for him in Nigeria at our training school; in 2005 we launched our course for GSM transition. In 2013, training of graduate—over 6,000 engineers was done in Huawei.
Huawei is doing so much, even private companies come to partner with us, and we have a lot of programme for young students in the university who has scholarship. We have youths from Niger Delta going to Malaysia, going to many other countries that are experts in ICT.
Today, you talk about a global village, it comes with the help of ICT, when you empower people, and you have many people coming with genuine innovations, which is what will address their own investment. We invest a lot in research and development, we are not a company that is looking for profit margin, but what we earn, we revert it into research and development, so that we can invest into the future and that is what made us stay in Nigeria.
You have also been involved in smartphone production, how is the ‘mate7’ doing in Nigeria?
Mate 7 is one of the segments of our smartphones range, which was launched in September 2014 and it was a flagship for Huawei brand. It is a premium phone and has actually helped to keep Huawei as a global number three brand in smartphone industry since 2014. That phone surpassed our own forecast in terms of sales globally and in Nigeria till now, it is premium phone, one that is over $500. It is one that is fighting among the best in the world, among the top three global brands.
How is Huawei brand different from competitions?
In 2004, Huawei led the platform of patent technology filling globally. We developed the software, file it and it is recognized globally. We have been doing that for years and we say for every Huawei phones, the software comes from us.
Over 90 per cent of Huawei software is manufactured by the firm. Our software is also used by other phones. Our business in ICT industry is innovation. All networks switch on our platform. Globally, over 200 networks are connected to Huawei network and equipment, which makes it quite easy for us to first address the use of connectivity with our phones because every setting we have it and every phone we manufacture must conform to these.
When your phone can easily identify a network, it saves your battery. It does not need to work extra just to get the network. And what makes Huawei phone unique is that it is made from the best material. When we talk about Mate 7 for instance, it is a phone with metal body which stands in a class of the top brand phones in the world. It stands in the class of Samsung X5. And what also makes it very different is the emotional status, which made it such that if you are someone that has never used a smart phone before, you can simply put it to standard, you can activate it yourself, you don’t have to have Huawei phone and be calling someone to help you. You will do it yourself, all you have to do is to have someone to start it for you, an old person over 70 years that is not used to smart phones can even activate it.
Globally, we have design centres in United States, Japan, China and Europe and these are places where if you want to talk about technology, it originated from there. Globally, we have our R & D centres in America, Japan, Europe, United Kingdom,
Some phone comes with finger print pattern, this reads your biometrics, when it is closed, all I have to do is to touch it, it can also allow five finger prints for different purpose. You can use it to launch software. It is highly secured because it has biometric features.
When it was launched in 2014, it was recognized as number one secured smart phone for that finger print. Most importantly, the speed of connectivity is marvelous, it is a cap six smart phone and cap six in term of downloads, it downloads three megabites at seconds so if you are on a four gig platform and want to download for one gig, it happens in less than a seconds.
Is Huawei offering windows and Android phones or any other operating system?
I will say that our phones are androids. Android is the most used wares for smartphones and Huawei as a brand, gives consumers what they want. Now, if consumer tells you I want android, you cannot force them not to use android. So we tapped into android and all our phones are into android, we use to have a couple of window phones but they have gone into extinction basically now, it is android, we don’t have windows.
Source: The Guardian