Beijing, Berlin, Düsseldorf Mostly once a year, China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping gives a speech to high-ranking ministry and provincial leaders at the Central University of the Communist Party, which sets the course for the year. But this time it had a special meaning. Because the five-year plan is currently being finalized, which should set the course for the economy in the People’s Republic from March to 2025.
Foreign company representatives may not have liked what Xi said behind closed doors earlier this week. “The most essential feature of building a new development pattern is to achieve a high level of self-sufficiency and self-improvement,” says Xi. ”
Huawei’s 5G and LTE devices have passed tests of the global cellular standard 3GPP. Huawei is thus the first provider to have successfully passed all of the GSMA assessment criteria. […]
The 5G and LTE components from the global technology provider Huawei Technologies have passed the SCAS (Security Assurance Specifications) tests of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). 3GPP is a worldwide cooperation of standardization committees for standardization in mobile communications, specifically for UMTS, GSM, LTE and 5G. After a successful NESAS audit and 3GPP-SCAS test by GSMA, Huawei is the first 5G and LTE provider to officially pass the GSMA’s NESAS assessment. The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide and unites more than 750 operators with nearly 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.
The security tests were carried out by DEKRA, the first accredited NESAS security test laboratory in Europe. The tests include general security of network products, security of air interfaces, and basic vulnerability tests such as data and information protection, encryption and integrity protection of air interfaces, robustness and fuzz tests.
“In the 5G era, NESAS offers a standardized and effective cybersecurity assessment that the communications industry can use to ensure fairness. The assessment is also a valuable reference point for stakeholders. We advocate and support NESAS and invite the entire industry to work together to drive the development of an even more secure wireless market, ”says Devin Duan, Head of 5G E2E Cybersecurity Marketing at Huawei.
NESAS as an indicator of cybersecurity
NESAS provides an industry-wide security framework to enable improvements in security levels across the wireless industry. It is a voluntary program that enables network equipment vendors to subject their product development and lifecycle processes to a comprehensive security audit.
GSMA NESAS is intended to ensure that the corresponding devices meet the security and reliability requirements of the system for 5G networks. The integrated assessment process avoids fragmented assessments and the resulting costs, while improving the transparency of security protection levels in the industry through visual and measurable results. NESAS covers 20 assessment categories, defines security requirements and an assessment framework for 5G product development and product life cycles.
Montabaur His competitors call Ralph Dommermuth a free rider. But nobody in the industry is as feared as the entrepreneur from Montabaur in Rhineland-Palatinate. His companies have millions of customers in Germany. Now he wants to rebuild his company and thus also change mobile communications.
The 57-year-old sits in a bare conference room at his corporate headquarters and talks about nothing less than his greatest strategic advance. With United Internet AG, of which he is the CEO and largest shareholder, he wants to go from being a middleman to a network operator – and is challenging the three largest telecommunications groups in Europe.
“In the past few months we have worked out a detailed network plan, negotiated with suppliers and expanded our fiber-optic network so that we can connect thousands of 5G antennas,” said Dommermuth in an interview with Handelsblatt. “We are ready to go.”
To do this, Dommermuth is radically changing its business model. He no longer wants to buy wireless services from operators such as Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica, but rather to become a provider himself with his own infrastructure. He has already bought frequencies for 5G mobile communications for one billion euros.
BIG DECRYPTION – Health, work, education, leisure… The pandemic has accelerated the digitization of our practices by ten years.
It was said that in 2021 the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) would mark the spirits. The organizers of the tech high mass, which was held every year in Las Vegas, had imagined a completely different scenario for this unique meeting of its kind. A new hall, as big as two terminals at Roissy airport, and a Hyperloop link were to be presented to hundreds of thousands of exhibitors and visitors from all over the world.
The Covid-19 has been there. The CES in Las Vegas has been transposed to the web and will open its virtual doors on January 11. But for what result? Nobody knows.
Experience the virtual
Instead of the 4,500 exhibitors usually present, the show will host 1,800. From the largest international groups to start-ups, many still have taken the gamble of exposing themselves in this global showcase. “Countries that have never been to Las Vegas, such as Russia, Thailand or Nigeria, will be represented”, emphasizes Gary Shapiro, the boss of the show.
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Montabaur Over three decades, Ralph Dommermuth established one of the most important internet companies in Germany in Montabaur. In addition to landline and later also cellular, it penetrated more and more areas.
Now the 57-year-old boss and major shareholder of United Internet is facing his most important strategic shift. In future, he no longer wants to rent into the operator’s networks, but rather to set up his own mobile network. Since he first announced the plans in 2018, the share price of his companies United Internet and 1 & 1 Drillisch has plummeted. Network construction has not yet started. Investors are getting restless.
The road to the network operator is not only long and expensive. He is also attached to important partnerships. Dommermuth needs access to existing networks, at least for a transitional period. But so far he has not been able to come to an agreement with any of the three operators – Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica.
He accuses them of discrimination. “None of the three established providers voluntarily sells us network capacities at prices in line with the market,” said Dommermuth in an interview with Handelsblatt. At the same time, he is aggressive: “We are decisive and are not afraid of a takeover.”
Dell and Deloitte agree in their forecasts for the new year in terms of the cloud: What started with the crisis will continue this year with greater strength. […]
“The demand for flexible cloud services will not decrease in 2021 – quite the opposite. For many companies, cloud computing could become the most important technology in the field of digitization in the future. Cloud solutions not only save money, companies can also become more agile at the same time, ”explains Nikola Süssl, partner at Deloitte Austria.
The cloud computing market has been booming for several years. The market grew particularly rapidly in 2020, as numerous companies switched to cloud technologies within a very short period of time. This increased demand can primarily be attributed to the COVID-19 crisis and the associated measures such as increased remote working. Cloud computing providers have benefited from this growing interest in recent months.
Another trend is edge computing. “The rise of remote working and distance learning is leading to highly distributed workloads that need to be managed and analyzed in real time at the edge,” said Dell. “Investments in distributed IT infrastructures will therefore continue to increase. Data-driven applications such as e-commerce and business applications are reinforcing this trend. Networked and intelligent sensors will offer numerous industries new opportunities and provide valuable insights: from healthcare to education to the oil and gas industry. “
Deloitte speaks of “Intelligent Edge” in this context: “This refers to a growing number of wirelessly networked systems and devices for data collection. In the future, interest in this innovative technology, which also makes use of artificial intelligence, will not level off. ”Deloitte expects the global market for intelligent edge to generate around 12 billion US dollars in the new year and thus to record a growth rate of 35 percent .
5G mobile communications standard is on the rise despite skepticism
Around 36 percent of Austrians associate the new 5G mobile communications standard with health risks. In an international comparison, the Alpine republic ranks first among the countries with this percentage that are skeptical of the new network. Even if it is very unlikely that 5G will cause health problems, the percentage of 5G opponents in Austria is still astonishingly high. “There is now an urgent need for good educational work in this country. First, the discomfort of Austrians with the new cellular network must be understood. Building on this, the population can then gradually be relieved of their fear that is unfounded according to scientific standards. It is important to start quickly – because the spread of 5G will pick up speed in 2021, ”says Deloitte expert Nikola Süssl.
“In 2020 IT technology was a central constant in times of general uncertainty,” says Stéphane Paté, Senior Vice President & General Manager at Dell Technologies Germany. “With their help, many companies were able to react quickly and agilely to the special circumstances. In 2021, it will significantly support companies in participating in the economic upswing and in recovering economically. “
Espoo Nokia aims to regain leadership in the 5G cellular standard in 2021. It is expected that the margins in the network business will be around zero in the coming year, but there will be significant improvements in the long term, as the network equipment supplier announced on Wednesday in Espoo, Finland. The margin indicates how much profit a business brings.
Nokia says it aims to take a leadership role in technology across all business segments in which it wants to be active. The new CEO, Pekka Lundmark, pointed out that the world is facing major problems, such as environmental issues, resource scarcity, injustice and a standstill in productivity. Technology will be an important part in solving such problems. “We position Nokia as a leader in a changing world,” he said.
As emerges from the update of the corporate strategy published on Wednesday, Nokia wants to develop its products for the so-called Open RAN and virtual RAN. Open RAN is a type of architecture that allows operators to use accessories from different providers. The virtual RAN can be used as software for generic hardware.
Lundmark is pushing the telecommunications equipment manufacturer’s transformation as the introduction of fifth generation wireless networks picks up speed. He wants to sacrifice short-term profitability in order to gain shares in the 5G market, where the Finnish company does poorly on contracts. At the beginning of the year, Nokia was unable to get an order from Verizon Communications, which ultimately went to competitor Samsung Electronics.
The outlook for 2021 will not change at Nokia: The group continues to expect an adjusted margin of 7 to 10 percent.
More: Federal government tightens rules for Huawei in Germany
Beijing, Berlin The speech that then US President Bill Clinton gave in March 2000 to students at Johns Hopkins University on China politics was a product of its time: full of confidence, borne by the boom in the new economy and a firm belief in the inexorable advance of the liberal democracy. Clinton spoke about how the internet will change China. “In the new century, cell phones and modems will spread freedom,” he said.
The new century is now 20 years old, and it turned Clinton’s expectations upside down. The Internet has not changed China in terms of liberal values, but China is changing the Internet. The battle for supremacy in the digital world is in full swing.
China’s vision for future technologies is diametrically different from the democratic-liberal ideas that Clinton associated with the Internet. It is the vision of an authoritarian state that leaves no room for civil rights and claims control of private data. A state that forbids criticism and extols its repressive system of rule as a development model.
The Chinese government is working to spread its vision of the digital world internationally. The key word is standardization, i.e. the creation of technical standards that are used by companies.
“Five years ago China was still a standard user,” says Betty Xu, envoy for the European standardization organizations in Beijing. “But in the past five years, China has started to export its own standards.”
A recent report by the US Chamber of Commerce to Congress said that China is actively increasing its influence in international technical standardization and has identified standards as a key area for projecting economic power in the world.
It is only superficially about technical details such as the shape of power plugs, the compatibility of car charging stations or the communication between machines. In fact, it is about whose companies have advantages in the end: “Whoever determines the rules of the game ensures that he always wins,” says Tyson Barker, technology expert at the German Society for Foreign Policy (DGAP).
The geopolitical power struggle between the USA, China and Europe is therefore also carried out in the field of standard-setting. At the same time, there is competition between systems, because technologies are not value-neutral – they often spread a basic ethical-political orientation.
For a long time it was the libertarian-capitalist mix of values in Silicon Valley that set the rules of the digital world. But China’s tech firms are increasingly able to take on the US giants. And become messengers of an alternative understanding of values.
For example with the automatic recognition of voices and faces. Chinese companies such as Hikvision or Dahua Technology are leaders in the field of real-time identification of people using artificial intelligence. They benefit from massive support from the communist leadership, which has already rolled out a close-knit network of surveillance cameras in the cities.
While strict rules or even a ban on technology are being discussed in Europe, Beijing is uninhibitedly using its possibilities for its own purposes. And promotes export to other countries: According to a study by the foreign trade agency Germany Trade and Invest, Chinese video surveillance systems are used at 34 Indian airports.
Beijing’s calculation: If the domestic manufacturers manage to occupy the market first, the management can also dictate the technical fundamentals together with them. “If you are a technological leader and define the standards first, you also anchor your values,” says Tim Rühlig, an expert at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Stockholm.
The Chinese government is more powerful than Europe and the USA. In contrast to the European and American systems, standard-setting in China is primarily state-controlled. With the “China Standards 2035” initiative launched in 2018, Beijing has set itself the goal of setting industry standards worldwide.
Experts see the plan as a continuation of the controversial “Made in China 2025” strategy. This should make Chinese companies global market leaders in ten key technologies. The standardization project has a very high priority for the Chinese government: According to the Chinese standardization authority National Standardization Administration, standardization is to become part of the 14th five-year plan. In the plan, China’s leadership sets the direction of the world’s second largest economy for the period from 2021 to 2025.
China’s influence on the 6G network
One step further on the way to its destination is China in the latest cellular technology. The proportion of Chinese patents that are necessary to comply with standards has risen from around ten percent for 4G to around a third for 5G, says Rühlig. “If this trend continues, China could have a greater impact on 6G technology than any country has ever had on cellular technology.”
The leadership in Beijing is proceeding very strategically: It has given domestic companies such as Huawei and ZTE massive financial support in order to become leaders in the new generation of mobile communications, and at the same time created a huge market for them: While in Europe only the existing 4G As networks are upgraded, the government is investing billions in building an entirely new 5G network in the country. At the same time, the technological position was cemented by means of patents and standards; Beijing is providing targeted financial incentives for this.
The leadership is using the growing economic weight of China and its financial strength to determine the international rules of the game. This approach is not new – China has copied it from the West.
So far, Europe and the USA in particular have set the global standards. Its representatives dominate the committees of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). German experts in particular are disproportionately represented there, also because of the strength of the domestic industry. But China has significantly expanded its influence in recent years.
The EU and the USA now want to counter this together. The change in power in Washington opens up the opportunity for this. The EU has already proposed a Joint Council on Trade and Technology to US President-elect Joe Biden “to set regulations and standards that will be replicated around the world”. According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, transatlantic coordination is particularly important for a high-tech and export nation like Germany.
A project that has met with great interest in America. A group of experts led by foreign policy expert Nicholas Burns has just presented an agenda for cooperation with the EU on China policy. One of the most important projects: the establishment of a “transatlantic technology forum”, which aims to establish “global standards for the protection of privacy, competition, transparency and fairness”.
Economy builds on economies of scale through uniformity
The EU and the USA could therefore make a fresh attempt to coordinate more closely on the regulation and standard-setting of particularly new technologies. The first, extremely ambitious attempt to achieve this had failed with the TTIP free trade agreement. The approaches on both sides of the Atlantic were too different, the uneasiness in the population was too great – keyword chlorinated chickens. Ironically, it was only through the TTIP negotiations that Beijing fully realized the importance of standards, says Rühlig.
Uniform standards worldwide are important for the economy in order to achieve economies of scale. “Internationally uniform technological standards are of great importance for German machine and plant manufacturers,” says Claudia Barkowsky, representative of the Association of German Machine and Plant Manufacturers (VDMA) in Beijing. “They simplify the integration and dissemination of technologies, while configurations for individual markets are very expensive.”
Take smartphones, for example: It wasn’t long ago that European cell phones didn’t work in the US, American ones didn’t work in Europe. Today Apple can sell the same iPhone everywhere, whether in Denver, Düsseldorf or Delhi. That lowers the unit costs. In addition: The companies that have developed the standard also have a lead in time over those that have yet to adapt to the standard.
However, Beijing does not only want to enforce its standards in the world through technological progress. China also uses the controversial New Silk Road as the means of choice. With success, as can be seen from the example of trains. “Because China is exporting trains to countries in Africa as part of the Belt and Road strategy, these countries have adopted Chinese standards,” says EU expert Xu.
Beijing is working to further expand its influence along the former trade route. The Chinese government is currently discussing the establishment of a new regional standardization forum as part of the initiative with the participating countries, reports Rühlig. “This forum should challenge the existing international system and at the same time serve as a coordination platform to expand Beijing’s influence in the international standardization organizations.”
More: In five years’ time, all Bosch products should be equipped with artificial intelligence. The Stuttgart-based company is campaigning for ethical standards.