Huawei bags multiple 5G deals during key industry expo

Saul Bowman
March 3, 2019

US District Judge Richardo S. Martinez set a trial date of March 2020 for the case.

Rain, South Africa's mobile data-only network operator, also signed a deal with Huawei to launch the country's first 5G commercial network.

The charges include conspiracy to steal trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets, wire fraud and obstruction of justice. The Washington indictment comes almost two years after a jury awarded T-Mobile $4.8 million in damages in a long-running trade secrets dispute centered around a smartphone testing robot that caught the eye of federal authorities.

The pleas follow a 10-count indictment unsealed last month alleging in part that the Huawei divisions tried to collect information about a robotic arm that T-Mobile used to simulate human touch on its smartphones.

If found guilty, the company faces a fine of up to $5m or three-times the value of the secrets it stole - whichever is going to leave them the most out of pocket - though in Huawei terms, its still piddling small change. The charges primarily stem from a 2013 incident in which Huawei engineers allegedly took photos and measurements of one of T-Mobile's phone testing robots called Tappy.

He also appears to disagree with his spooks' assessment of China's Huawei, the world's largest supplier of telecoms equipment.

Huawei ran into legal trouble in December when CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver by Canadian police on behalf of the US because of alleged activities during her time as head of a Huawei-affiliated company that USA prosecutors believe sold equipment to Iran in violation of USA regulations.

The cases are U.S. v. Huawei Device Co., 19-cr-00010, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (Seattle) and U.S. v. Huawei Technologies Co. However, these efforts haven't hurt Huawei globally, as the smartphone maker passed Apple in market share for the first time a year ago and saw phone shipments increase 30 percent in 2018.

Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei, which is in the eye of a storm on concerns over network security, is ready to roll out 5G in India and can do field trials "within 20 days of government approval", Huawei India chief executive officer (CEO) Jay Chen said in an interview.

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