#27 Paul Scanlan: The Future of 5G

In this week’s episode of Future Forecast Isabelle Ringnes meets Paul Scanlan to talk about mobile giant, Huawei, and why everyone should have fifth generation (5G) mobile handsets.

TUNE IN to hear Paul Scanlan explain Huawei’s success strategy and how technology can help people worldwide

With over 30 years of experience in the information technology and telecoms industry, Scanlan is the chief technology officer of Huawei Carrier Business Group. Scanlan is optimistic about the future of technology and how it can help the world. He is especially keen to present the possibilities of 5G.

READ MORE: Solving World Problems with Innovation and Tech

From Switch-maker to Market Leader

Huawei started off being a manufacturer of phone switches in the 1980s that has grown to become the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer.

Scanlan attributes Huawei’s significant growth to strategic business planning. He points to its specific pillars of success:

  • It is a private company – when people invest in a private company they feel part of the business.
  • It is customer-oriented – where the relevant questions are asked. There is collaboration with customers to incorporate new features for the next model within a system that works.
  • It invests heavily into research and development – this is customer oriented and looks at the purpose of communications and how communication needs to flow, which Scanlan refers to as the pipe strategy.

Trade Barriers

When addressed about the U.S.-China trade war, Scanlan turns the unfounded accusations into an anecdote; he says that if another business figured out how to do something that people needed, and if its shares would jump-up as a result, it would become a threat. He wonders if supplies would be withdrawn in this anecdotal story. Scanlan explains that at Huawei they do things in a different way than the west.

"Just because it is different does not mean it is wrong, just because it is different, you do not need to fear it.”

- Paul Scanlan

3 Ways Businesses can Plan for the Future

  • Instill a transformation mindset – make transformation part of the company DNA. Investigate what is out there and how to do it differently, e.g. how to make a cup more than just environmentally friendly
  • Think about business-continuity management - invest into research and development
  • Implement a long-term strategy – look at the full stakeholder spectrum, and understand that working quarterly is not enough

Scanlan warns that growth is a gradual process and highlights that the world is not able to handle more than two percent growth.

The Future is 5G

Scanlan’s optimism continues as he eagerly explains how technology will help societies around the globe. Huawei is working towards a more connected world and improving the connectivity experience through 5G. He is excited to share the many virtues of 5G, which helps individuals and businesses alike.

READ MORE: How 5G Will Change the World with Paul Scanlan

He gives several examples, and explains that 5G can help share medical information worldwide and deliver medical aid to remote places. He shares a story where someone is hurt in a remote mountainous area, and through 5G they can get help quickly from a (5G) connected medical vehicle to provide the best service.

But Scanlan urges that collaboration is needed to get 5G installed and connected and needs coordination on a large scale.

He concludes that technology gives options, so manufacturers need to adapt by figuring out how to solve global issues and encourage a connected world.

“We have opportunities to improve our lives with technology.”

- Paul Scanlan

PODCAST: Tune in to hear Paul Scanlan explain Huawei’s success strategy and how technology can help people worldwide.


Text by Rosanna Bueler Mount