Intel applies for licenses to sell general purpose chips to Huawei

Intel has already applied for licenses to sell some components to Chinese vendor Huawei, Intel’s CEO Bob Swan said in an interview with CNBC.

The executive said that Intel had been selling some products to Huawei in the second quarter after determining what products were “within the rules of the law.”

In May, the Trump administration confirmed that the U.S. Department of Commerce added Huawei to its Entity List, a decision that effectively banned the company from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval. Under the order, Huawei will need a U.S. government license to buy components from U.S. suppliers.

At that time, firms including Google, Intel, Qualcomm and Microm had halted shipments due to the restrictions. Huawei relies heavily on computer chips imported from U.S. companies. Out of $70 billion that Huawei spent buying components in 2018, some $11 billion went to U.S. firms including Qualcomm, Intel and Micron Technology

Last month, President Donald Trump had agreed to grant “timely” licensing decisions to U.S. technology firms that want to sell components and services to Huawei, following a meeting between the U.S President and the CEOs of Google, Cisco, Intel, Western Digital Corporation, Micron, Qualcomm and Broadcom.

Following a recent bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Osaka, Japan, Trump said that U.S. companies can sell their equipment to  Huawei as long as the transactions won’t present a “great, national emergency problem.”

“The process now is that we file licenses to try to get approval and we’ve submitted quite a few licenses for our product and … the U.S. administration had announced last week that they’re going to try to process the licenses from the industry in an expedient fashion so we are encouraged by that,” Swan said.

The executive said that Intel has required licenses to ship its general purpose computing chips. “For the most part, if you look at the lion’s share of what we ship into China generally, but into Huawei who’s a large customer of ours, it’s general purpose compute. So general purpose product that we ship to all other cloud service providers,” Swan said. “So that general purpose compute, we don’t believe is what should be worrisome if the quest is to protect national security,” he added.

In related news, the U.S export ban on Huawei is also having an impact in Qualcomm’s business in China.

“The Huawei export ban, along with the pivot from 4G to 5G, which accelerated over the past couple of months, has contributed to industry conditions, particularly in China, that we expect will create great headwinds in our next two fiscal quarters,” Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf said during a conference call with investors.

Mollenkopf also said that as a direct consequence of the ban, Huawei is now more focused on its home market. “Huawei is driving customers away from us as they are becoming increasingly focused on the domestic market because of the U.S. export ban,” Mollenkopf said.

The executive also highlighted the progress made by Chinese telcos in the deployment of 5G services.”In China, 5G commercial service was officially approved in early June, and our current estimate is that by the end of this year, the three China operators will deploy roughly 100,000 5G base stations, which to put in context is the equivalent of the scale of the entire network of a large U.S. wireless operator,” he said.


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Dynamic spectrum sharing is key to Verizon’s 5G strategy

CEO says dynamic spectrum sharing coming in 2020

The current focus in the U.S. is on deploying 5G in millimeter wave frequencies, but the longer-term strategy is to use a mix of low-, mid- and high-band to balance coverage and capacity. In the past, this would require a multi-year spectrum re-farming process but, beginning next year, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg says software-based dynamic spectrum sharing will hit the market and shift that paradigm.

Speaking this week on a quarterly earnings call, Vestberg said dynamic spectrum sharing is “an important piece” of 5G. “Ultimately, 5G is going to be on all bands. And I have a high confidence that my team is going to be doing that well, continue to have the leadership in the market when it comes to network performance. There might also come up opportunities all the time where it could be added spectrum. But right now, to launch both capacity and coverage, we feel confident on the assets we have.”

Qualcomm’s Dean Brenner, vice president of spectrum strategy and technology policy, explained dynamic spectrum sharing in a recent interview with VentureBeat. He said, once handset and basestation support is in place, 5G and LTE will be able to operate in the same band at the same time. “Why is that a huge game changer? Well, we’ve now taken the process, that re-farming process that typically could take 10 years, and we’re enabling it overnight.”

On July 31, Verizon announced it has activated its millimeter wave-based “5G Ultra Wideband” mobile service in parts of Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington D.C. These four cities join Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Providence and St. Paul as nine of the target 30 5G markets the carrier is working to bring live by the end of the year.

While the operator hasn’t provided coverage maps like Sprint and T-Mobile US has, Vestberg said the 5G network footprint in some cities has “doubled…since we launched the markets, and that’s the pace we’re onto.”

On the fiber side, Vestberg said Verizon averaged 1,400 route miles deployed per month in the second quarter, up from about 1,000 route miles per month in the first quarter.

“Right now, the majority of the fiber is going to our own sites…But over time, of course, when we roll in later in part of this year, next year, we’re also going to be able to offer that to our enterprise customers and wholesale, etc. So that’s how we’re working right now, and we’re building it in 60 markets because it is just so essential for the whole Intelligent Edge Network. It’s so essential for the whole 5G play that we have to have this fiber.”



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American Tower sees long-term opportunities with T-Mo-Sprint merger

American Tower expects to see long-term benefits from the merger between T-Mobile U.S. and Sprint, the company’s CEO James Taiclet said during a conference call with investors.

“American Tower continue to expect that these developments will likely result in net positive impacts on our U.S. business over the long-term. While there may be some decommissioning of sites as the new T-Mobile optimizes its network and rolls out 5G, we would also expect significant demand from the combined company for our extensive U.S. portfolio during that process and well into the future,” the executive said.

Taiclet also said that American Tower also expects to see a positive business impact of Dish decision to acquire Sprint’s prepaid business.

“Dish is set to acquire Sprint’s prepaid business and has made a commitment to deploy facilities-based 5G broadband network capable of serving 70% of the U.S. population by June of 2023,” Taiclet said.  “As a result, we also expect to secure meaningful new business from Dish, as they transition their current narrowband IoT network design into a full-fledged 5G mobile architecture over the coming years.”

Taiclet also highlighted that the agreement recently announced between the Justice Department, T-Mobile and Dish, really positions the U.S. to accelerate its achievement of global leadership in 5G technology, while at the same time retaining a competitive industry structure that benefits consumers (…) I believe this will be an excellent environment for American Tower.”

Last week, The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division approved T-Mobile US’ merger with Sprint, saying that the merger conditions will support the entry of a new, viable facilities-based market player, which will be Dish Networks. The terms for the New T-Mobile include divesting Sprint’s prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint’s other prepaid operations, as well as some spectrum to Dish. T-Mobile and Sprint have to provide Dish with access to “at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations” and also has to make sure Dish has “robust access to the T-Mobile network for a period of seven years while Dish builds out its own 5G network,” according to the DoJ.

During the conference call, Taiclet also noted the deal is not expected to impact American Tower’s financial results in 2019.

Taiclet noted that U.S operators had been investing around $30 billion over the last several years and that the required investment for 5G would sustain the figure in the coming years. “We can’t really see a scenario where the US wireless industry would spend less than that transitioning to 5G.”

However, the executive predicted the merger “might actually bolster” capital spending, as competition between the top three operators and newcomer Dish Network heats up. “We feel good that capital spending is going to stay at the same level or better as we move from 4G to 5G.”

American Tower posted a profit of $434 million in the second quarter of the year, up 38% year-on-year. Quarterly revenues amounted to $1.9 billion, a 6.1% rise compare to the year-ago period.

During the second quarter of 2019, American Tower spent approximately $43 million to acquire 256 communications sites and other related assets, primarily in international markets. Also, last month, the company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire approximately 400 towers and other related property interests in the United States for approximately $500 million. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.


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