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South Africa key to Huawei's OpenLab strategy

South Africa key to Huawei's OpenLab strategy

Huawei has revealed during the 2017 Huawei Eco-Connect Conference that its new OpenLab planned for Johannesburg is well on track.

The Chinese multinational firm says two of Africa's first OpenLabs, which function as industry solution innovation hubs, will be opened by the end of the year in order to bring development, testing and experience of ICT solutions to local markets.

Alex Du, Managing Director of Huawei Enterprise South Africa says the company's investment of US$200 million in the OpenLabs over the next three years will result in a wordwide network for collaboration.

"By the end of this year, we will grow these OpenLabs as a platform for innovation of different industry solutions from five to twelve. One of the OpenLabs will be launched in Johannesburg in a few months. The preparation has started and the target is to provide an environment for our local partners and customers to get together to find innovations and solutions for South Africa. They will also, of course, inherit knowledge from our global network, for example with manufacturing expertise from Germany."

Du says the company plans to export solutions from the Johannesburg Openlab, located at Vunani Office Park, to global regions where Huawei operates.

The first two joint innovation areas of Huawei's Johannesburg Openlab will focus on public safety and smart grid solutions, which will feature the development of advanced analytics for law enforcement and power grid operations, as well as power IoT and integration of Huawei's communication module into local smart metres.

Victor Yu, President of Industry Marketing & Solution Department of Huawei Enterprise Business Group said, "Each OpenLab addresses the needs of its local market, and harnesses local talent and technology assets. For example in Munich, Germany, we are working on joint innovation projects, conducting simulation tests and researching on connected cars with German automotive enterprises. We work with outstanding local companies to integrate their capabilities into Huawei's global value chain and promote these capabilities across the world, helping to enhance the competitiveness of local ICT industries."

Five OpenLabs have been established so far globally, with plans to grow this number to twelve by the end of 2017 and to fifteen by 2019.

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