In conjunction with MWC Barcelona 2022 and the launch of new terminal devices, Telecom Review Asia speaks with Luo Wei, vice president of ZTE Corporation and head of product center of mobile device division to find out about ZTE’s latest achievements and innovations.
How does ZTE Mobile Devices fare in the global market and what is the future outlook?
In 2021, the total shipment for ZTE terminal devices exceeded 100 million units to achieve a 60% year-on-year growth, with year-on-year growth for the Chinese and overseas markets reaching 150% and 50%, respectively.
In terms of mobile internet products, ZTE Mobile Devices plays a leading role globally. Ranking first in the global customer premises equipment (CPE) market, ZTE secures the largest market share for 5G CPEs.
Despite the challenges brought about by the ongoing pandemic and global supply chain, ZTE has been developing its business worldwide for over 20 years, with branches in more than 100 countries. Our strong supply chain system lays a solid foundation for us to address uncertainties and risks in the international market.
Committed to "InnovAction”, where emphasis is placed on building innovations and actions to grow product competitiveness, ZTE continues to grow its position as a mainstream terminal supplier. For instance, we are a pioneer in integrating under-display camera technology and computational photography into smartphones. Along with other industry players, we deliver enhanced services and experiences to consumers. Our brand image is also further enhanced with our "1+2+N" ecosystem.
Moving forward, our goal remains unchanged to maintain growth momentum. In the next few years, we expect to achieve a 200% year-on-year growth in the Chinese market, and more than 50% growth in overseas markets.
Does ZTE adopt different strategic goals and tactics in the Chinese and overseas markets?
Currently, ZTE’s key market for terminal products is China. We are committed toward growing this market through our "All in 5G” strategy, embracing "InnovAction" to stay ahead. This year, ZTE has launched several innovative flagship models that have been well-received in the market. With IoT becoming a growing trend, we will continue to build on our "1+2+N" ecosystem to provide full-scenario intelligent solutions centered around smartphones.
For the overseas markets, ZTE strives to maintain stable growth. As you know, market conditions and 5G development stages vary from country to country, region to region. For example, the Asia-Pacific and European markets are witnessing widespread applications of 5G technology, while Latin America is transitioning from 4G to 5G. All these bring great potential for business growth. By offering high-quality products and services, we will continue to build a time-honored global brand that features both competitiveness and professionalism.
To bring to fruition this vision, ZTE will abide by three key approaches. Firstly, ZTE will step up on technological innovations to achieve breakthroughs and open up new horizons. Secondly, ZTE will build on the "1+2+N" ecosystem to provide integrated solutions for highly intelligent lifestyles. Thirdly, ZTE will strengthen strategic investments in products, branding, and channels management.
What fields does the "1+2+N" full-scenario smart ecology cover? In terms of mobile internet, what are ZTE’s achievements and what are some future development goals?
In ZTE’s "1+2+N" ecosystem, "1" refers to smartphones, which is the core of our mobile Internet ecosystem; "2" denotes personal and home information terminals, while "N" represents peripheral ecological products. With this all-around terminal ecosystem, we aim to offer diverse 5G products tailored to empower smart living across as many scenarios.
In the mobile internet business, we aim to maintain our leading role in the global market. That is to say, we will secure our leadership position in high-end MBB markets, as well as maintain our lead in 5G patent applications and products performance.
At the Mobile World Congress 2022, ZTE showcased its new, high-power 5G mmWave pre-research technology and products. What are some key breakthroughs?
To accelerate 5G mmWave deployment, ZTE has been continuously testing to improve the wireless transmission rate of terminal devices. Currently, ZTE’s high-power 5G mmWave CPE boasts a transmission rate exceeding 10Gbps – surpassing the transmission rate of a computer hardware to mark a milestone in the history of internet communications.
The device showcased in MWC 2022 is equipped with the new Qualcomm SD X65 chip that supports dual links between the sub-6G and mmWave to further improve frequency band and Internet fluency. To ensure heat dissipation capability during high-rate transmission, ZTE and Qualcomm conducted a joint pilot study to devise a concept design. New heat-conducting material was integrated into the product to raise heat dissipation efficiency by 20%. In addition, time-sharing CA technology and a new generation of micro-controlled power algorithms were developed to simultaneously achieve improved heat dissipation and signal coverage of the devices.
ZTE announced that global shipment of 5G mobile broadband products has exceeded 1 million units. Can you tell us more about this achievement?
ZTE has been committed to mobile broadband (MBB) devices for the past 17 years. A global cumulative shipment of 5G MBB devices exceeding 1 million showcases ZTE’s stronghold in the global mobile Internet scene.
Even though the smart terminal industry has undergone great changes in recent years, ZTE pursues industry evolution founded on technological innovations, experiences and capabilities to make steady progress. In terms of core technologies, ZTE Mobile Devices has been committed to developing in-house designed chipsets and improving R&D capabilities and innovation levels.
To date, ZTE has submitted 4,400 applications for chip patents, with in-house designed chips for terminal devices covering different fields including personal and home communications, IoV and industrial surveillance. We also focus on robust branding, channel development, and market strategies to maintain a solid growth in our global business.
How is the newly-released 5G mobile broadband series more superior compared with the previous generation? What changes would these upgrades bring to the field of mobile internet?
ZTE released MC801, its first 5G CPE product, in 2019. Since then, we have successively launched Gen 2 and Gen 3 indoor 5G CPE products, in 2020 and 2021 respectively. The new series MBB family is upgraded to meet diversified 5G data terminal scenarios. It meets the requirements for development from 2C to 2B, with wider application scenarios to drive the widespread application of 5G technology.
The new series 5G MBB family, including indoor 5G CPE MC888 series, outdoor 5G CPE MC889 series, and new-gen portable 5G MiFi MU5120, is equipped with the world-leading Qualcomm X65 or X62 platform for the first time. The MC888 Ultra of the MC888 series, suitable for indoor scenarios, adopts the smart antenna array 3.0 with antenna gain reaching 10dBi, enabling stable and comprehensive 5G signal receptions even with weak signals. The MC888 Ultra dissipates heat through a penetrating self-ventilation technology. This ensures ultra-long and stable high-speed operations even under high-power conditions.
The MC889 series, suitable for outdoor scenarios, is compatible with mmWave and sub-6 5G networks, as well as 4G LTE network to address the pain points of low-penetrating signal performances. Being industrial-grade dustproof and waterproof, the series can work normally at temperatures between minus 40 and 60 degrees celsius, to meet higher requirements for temperature, environment and signal reception ability for outdoor scenarios.
MU5120, the portable 5G MiFi product can be stably accessed by 32 devices at the same time. It is also equipped with a 10,000 mAh battery to deliver high-speed connections for up to 16 hours. In addition, it supports 18W reverse charging and a one-touch NFC function.
How does ZTE ensure unique advantages in its mobile phone products?
ZTE recognizes that innovation is a key driving force in today’s era and will continue to drive innovation through a multi-pronged approach to meet various customer needs.
Firstly, as a pioneer in using fusion computational photography, ZTE will continually seek breakthroughs in the field of mobile photography. We will integrate capabilities across cloud, edge computing and terminal devices, leveraging network computing power to deliver optimal user experiences.
Secondly, as a pioneer in developing smartphones with under-display cameras, ZTE Mobile Devices will further improve screen integration and display effects, optimizing the front camera to deliver revolutionary full-screen visual experiences.
Finally, we will leverage our advantages in 5G to improve AI-based communications in different scenarios through our "1+2+N" ecosystem. We aim to deliver intelligent and professional terminal network solutions in key fields including mobile officing, e-sports and live streaming. Through scenario-based applications, our solutions will effectively tap on 5G to radically transform user experiences.