Wayne Gretzky, widely regarded as one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time, credited his father with the famous quote, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.” This quote encapsulates his strategic mindset and exceptional anticipation skills on the ice.
In the context of ice hockey, the “puck” represents the object of focus, which is constantly moving and being contested by players. By saying that he skates to where the puck is going to be, Gretzky emphasizes his ability to anticipate the movements of the puck and position himself accordingly. Rather than reacting to the current position of the puck, he aims to predict its future trajectory and be in the right place at the right time.
By focusing on the future, Gretzky was able to gain a competitive advantage over his opponents. Similarly, in business, anticipating trends, industry shifts, and emerging opportunities can help organizations stay ahead of the curve and achieve success. That is what the Chinese giant Huawei has been doing in the world of telecommunications equipment, where it is already considered a leader in next-generation 6G. This recognition is attributed to its long-term investments in research and development, as well as the filing of approximately 35% of the total.relevant patents, globally,
Huawei began investing in 6G research in 2017, when many other companies were still focused on 5G. This has given Huawei a significant head-start in developing the technology. As one of the leading 5G suppliers in the world, Huawei’s expertise has provided the company with a strong foundation to build upon as it advances in 6G. Huawei has established partnerships with numerous leading universities and research institutions for its 6G research, allowing the company to leverage the latest advancements and stay ahead of the curve. Moreover, Huawei has demonstrated a clear vision for 6G, aiming to create a “connected intelligence” network that enables new and innovative applications. Today, Huawei possesses the resources, expertise, and vision necessary to bring this vision to fruition.
Contrary to Huawei’s forward-looking business approach, Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market, continues to focus on influencing the deployment of 5G in the continent, even as China is already set to reach 1 billion 5G subscribers by 2025. As widely reported in the press, Breton has recently called on more countries to ban Huawei from their 5G networks. He has urged member states to eliminate “high-risk” suppliers from their mobile internet infrastructure upgrades, citing national security risks.
Breton’s comments come after news that Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is considering a potential ban on Huawei from its 5G network. Germany’s telecom operators have long relied on Huawei’s equipment; the reasons behind this reliance are unsurprising: Huawei’s technology is both more advanced and less expensive compared to offerings from competitors such as Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung. It is understandable why European operators have faced challenges in finding an alternative provider to replace Huawei’s infrastructure in their mobile networks.
Instead of emphasizing alleged security risks, for which no definitive evidence has been publicly shared, European Union officials should prioritize the technological risks associated with delaying the deployment of this foundational infrastructure. Today, advancements in artificial intelligence, self-driving technology, telemedicine, and virtual and augmented reality heavily rely on the widespread availability of 5G connectivity. 5G offers significantly faster data transfer speeds compared to previous generations, enabling real-time communication, enhanced application responsiveness, a higher capacity to accommodate a large number of connected devices simultaneously, increased reliability for mission-critical applications and, ultimately, further innovation, economic growth, and the enablement of new business models, industries, and services.
6G, the next breakthrough in connectivity, will be a distributed network that fuses the physical, cyber, and biological worlds. It will revolutionize connectivity by providing instantaneous communication for a wide range of devices, including smartphones, computers, wearables, headsets, robotics, and IoT devices. This will enable highly immersive experiences and multi-sensory interactions. The European Union cannot afford to exclude equipment from the company that is preparing to launch the world’s first 6G network in 2030 from its infrastructure. It is time for the European Union to adopt a forward-thinking approach and anticipate the future of technology.