Huawei prepares for Canada’s 5G launch with 3 major announcements

Huawei has paved the way for the rollout of 5G mobile network services in Canada, as it confirmed three major announcements today.

The Chinese technology giant confirmed that it will be releasing a 5G compliant smartphone handset to the Canadian market, by late 2019. Huawei launched its Mate X 5G smartphone in Europe and Asia at MWC 2019 in Barcelona earlier this year. Huawei intends to launch a 5G ready smartphone in Q4 2019, but it remained tight lipped over details of the handset.  

“In Q4 2019, Huawei will release a new smartphone to the Canadian market. This smartphone will be 4G and 5G ready, making it the first 5G-ready phone released by Huawei in Canada. You can expect more such announcements from us in the coming months as we move into the 5G era,” said Kevin Li, president of Consumer Business Group, Huawei Canada.

In addition to the 5G smartphone launch, Huawei has also committed to provide Information and Communications Technology (ICT) training to over 1,000 Canadians, helping to train and develop the next generation of telecoms engineers in the country.

This initiative will fall under the Huawei Authorized Learning Partner (HALP) programme, which is central to its commitment to the Canadian telecoms sector.

“We are incredibly proud and humbled by the work we have accomplished in Canada over the last 10 years.  With a team of over 1,100 employees from coast to coast – 600 of whom are engineers – we have the best and the brightest Canadian minds and we will continue to invest in training for the Canadian marketplace. Canada is the home of Huawei 5G and we are working to ensure we remain at the forefront of 5G technology and development,” said Eric Li, president of Huawei Canada.

The Chinese tech giant reiterated its commitment to providing the highest levels of security in its telecoms networks, as it looks to move forward with the at scale roll out of 5G in Canada.

“Cyber security is very important to Huawei,” said Olivera Zatezalo, Chief Security Officer, Huawei Canada. “Every year, Huawei spends 5 per cent of its R&D budget on cyber security. This is a crucial company strategy and demonstrates Huawei’s commitment to expanding and refining a robust compliance system to ensure we abide by all applicable laws and regulations in Canada. Huawei has a clean 30-year record in cyber security globally, and we have built – and will continue to invest in – end-to-end global cyber security assurance systems. We have been in Canada since 2008 and have been working with Canadian government and carriers to introduce a comprehensive security review program.”

Finally, Huawei has donated $100,000 to the Ottawa Flood Relief Fund, in partnership with United Way Ottawa. Huawei employees in Ottawa also have the option of taking paid leave in order to volunteer for flood relief and clean-up efforts in the East of the Canadian province.

“As hundreds of people affected by spring floods in Eastern Ontario look ahead to the long-term recovery that is necessary to bring their communities back to normal, we are grateful to Huawei Canada for being the first company to reach out to United Way and offer support to Ottawa and other affected communities,” says Mark Taylor, VP of Resource Development at United Way Ottawa.

“This gift, and Huawei’s commitment to collaborating with us over the long term, will help residents navigate the difficulties of recovering from a natural disaster of this magnitude, so they feel supported every step of the way.”

Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei said that his company remained committed to providing best in class technology solutions in Canada, despite recent developments that have seen Huawei’s CFO and Zhengfei’s own daughter, Meng Wanzhou, placed under arrest in Canada.

"First, Meng has no criminal record and has never committed a crime. Second, she has not committed any crime in Canada. Both China and Canada are victims in this case. People from both countries have been hurt emotionally and the relations between the two countries have suffered. Meng has filed a lawsuit against Canadian authorities, and I believe this is her own decision. I fully support her on this," Ren Zhengfei said in a recent interview.

"I still believe that the US and Canadian legal systems are open and transparent and will ultimately come to a fair conclusion. So, we should not allow this incident to affect the relations between Huawei and Canada, or our confidence in Canada. We will not cut our investments in Canada. The more closed-off the US is, the more favourable the situation is for the development of Canada. Let me give you an example. If our scientists cannot get visas to go to the US, we hold our international conferences in Canada. Of course, these scientists are not just from China, but from all over the world," he added.

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