Saturday, June 3, 2023

Value of ZTE’s patented technology exceeds RMB 45 billion

ZTE Corporation (0763.HK / 000063.SZ), a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, has been included among major participants and setters of the global 5G standards for leading the world in 5G technology, patents, standards, industries, and terminals, according to the latest report “Challenges and Prospects for China’s Telecommunications Industry and Intellectual Property Market” by established investment management company Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).


According to the report, ZTE has also been ranked in the first tier of global patent layout in recognition of its contribution to the research and standard settings of the global 5G technology. To date, ZTE’s patented technology value has exceeded RMB 45 billion (approximately USD 6.9 billion).

Committed to creating value for customers through the accumulation of high-quality patents and aimed to be a “digital economy road builder”

With the advent of the digital economy era, a new generation of mobile information technology like 5G, has developed into a key driving force for the digital transformation and upgrading of the entire society. Enhancing independent technological innovation and strengthening the cultivation and layout of high-quality patents are playing an important role in the development of China’s enterprises. As a major contributor to the global 5G standards, ZTE insists on building its stronger core competence and continues to research and develop in key technologies and basic sciences. The company has invested more than RMB 10 billion on a yearly basis in the R&D over the past years. In 2020, its R&D spending reached RMB 14.8 billion, accounting for 14.6% of its operating revenue.


As 5G technology becomes mature and gains increasing popularity, major global manufacturers are building their core competitiveness in the iterative patent layout. ZTE has launched a high-quality patent layout in many 5G-related fields. The company constantly strengthens its innovative R&D capabilities to maintain its competitive advantages in the domestic and international markets. Furthermore, by virtue of its global strategic layout,the company continues to bring its customers the innovative products and high-quality services, and is committed to creating value for its customers as a “digital economy road builder”.

ZTE, backed up with its high R&D spending and continuous technology accumulation, has filed over 80,000 global patent applications by March 2021, and accumulated more than 38,000 granted patents globally, including 4,270 chip patent applications and more than 1,800 granted patents. According to the latest report “Who is leading the 5G patent race?” published in February by IPlytics, ZTE has been included global top 3 for its sustainable leadership in 5G declared Standard-Essential Patents(SEP) to ETSI.

Efficient operation strategies effectively driving the conversion of innovation achievements, boosting high-quality growth of the intangible assets

With the significant improvement of the innovation and creation capabilities, ZTE has been constantly strengthening the utilization of intellectual property (IP). In addition to reinforcing the cultivation and layout of high-value patents, ZTE proactively promotes the application, conversion and implementation of patents under highly efficient operation strategies. On the one hand, it makes efforts to increase the alignment of patent applications and technology R&D with market demand, while continuously improving the quality of patent applications. On the other hand, with the establishment of a management system across the entire IP life cycle, IP management is performed in all work flows including R&D, marketing, procurement, production design and sales and so on. In this way, a well-conceived and efficient patent protection network is built to promote the high-quality growth of the commercial value of the company’s intangible assets.


“As one of China’s high-tech companies in global competition, ZTE is fully aware of the value and significance of independent R&D and technological innovation. The company has maintained powerful investment in R&D for decades and has accumulated a large number of innovative technological achievements,” said Hu Yi, Vice President and Head of Intellectual Property Department at ZTE Corporation. “Some of these achievements have been transformed into high-tech products to help ZTE expand overseas markets like Europe and North America, and some of them have developed into intangible assets including intellectual properties, such as patents.”

“With the progress of the times and the development of the industries, ZTE actively seeks how to further explore and leverage the value of intangible assets. The company reaches patent cross-licensing with mainstream companies in the telecoms industry, thereby achieving rapid iteration of new technologies and products through commercial interactions and promoting telecoms industry technologies to further impact vertical industries.”

“Besides, we collect reasonable R&D investment through transfers, licensing and other management methods to build a closed loop of sustainable development of “Innovation – Operation – Re-innovation”. In the past few years, ZTE’s intellectual properties income has grown steadily, which has brought cash benefits to the company and will continue to create predictable benefits. It is estimated that our intellectual properties will bring nearly RMB 4.5-6 billion revenue to the company during the period from 2021 to 2025.” added Mr Hu Yi.

As the best practitioner of global innovation and intellectual property commercial value, ZTE has always regarded intellectual property as the core strategy for enterprise development. Moving forward, ZTE will continue to improve its core competence by enhancing the quality of intellectual property creation, and the efficiency of utilization and management of IP. While achieving a good balance between technological innovation investment and intellectual property return, ZTE will join forces with all partners to promote a high-quality development of the IP ecosystem, and empower the digital and intelligent transformation and upgrading of society.

In Malaysia, ZTE has partnered with major mobile operators, Digi and U Mobile for the deployment of 5G and 4G network upgrades.

In November 2020, U Mobile and ZTE signed an enhanced network transformation agreement in preparation for 4G Network upgrade and 5G deployment which will see U Mobile’s network to be future proof and 5G-ready.

U Mobile’s enhanced network transformation by ZTE includes:

  • 4G Capacity expansion by introducing Massive MIMO technology, 4T6S solution, high transmitting power RRU, to largely improve the spectrum efficiency by up to 3 times.
  • 4G Coverage expansion by improving in weak coverage areas and largely improving the network quality as well as user experience, to achieve the goal of 35 Mbps download speed as required by JENDELA.
  • Network Intelligence by introducing AI-based Smart Network analysis tool – VMAX, which would allow precise network planning, smart and simple maintenance and optimisation, including identifying the network problems, and improving the network optimisation efficiency by around 30%.
  • 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) Core Network Ready – NSA Core Network upgraded with Network functions virtualisation (NFV) platform.
  • 5G SA Core Network Preparation – U Mobile’s network to be future proof with 5G SA network ready.

U Mobile was the biggest winner in the latest Opensignal Malaysia Mobile Network Experience Report (April 2021), winning the award for Voice App Experience, Upload Speed Experience and the telco was also declared a joint winner for Games Experience. Opensignal reported that in the 90 days ending on 28 February 2021, U Mobile users saw improvements in Games Experience (17%), Upload Speed Experience (5.5%), 4G Availability (5.4 percentage points) and 4G Coverage Experience (2.5%).

Meanwhile for Digi, ZTE Malaysia is currently upgrading Digi’s 4G Radio Access Network (RAN), to improve user experience, while preparing a future-ready network. This modernisation initiative will see ZTE progressively renew Digi’s network sites across Malaysia with the latest technology over the next few years.

These network improvements helped Digi become the fastest mobile network in Malaysia. A third-party network speed test platform recently revealed that Digi has fastest mobile network in Malaysia, in 2020H2, leading the first or second spot across 13 states.

A study from Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) last year revealed that the implementation of 5G in Malaysia will contribute approximately RM12.7 billion to country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create 40,000 new jobs in the next 5 years.


This article is brought to you by ZTE Malaysia.

ZTE Corporation is a global leader in telecommunications and information technology. Founded in 1985 and listed on both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges, the company has been committed to providing integrated end-to-end innovations to deliver excellence and value to consumers, carriers, businesses and government and enterprise network customers from over 160 countries around the world to enable increased connectivity and productivity.

ZTE believes in technology innovation as a core value of the company, continuously enhancing its core competitive advantages in the 5G era.  For the twelve months ended 31 December 2020, the company’s R&D spending amounted to RMB14.80 billion with a year-on-year growth of 17.9%, which was 14.6% as a percentage of operating revenue, 0.8 percentage point higher than that in 2019.  According to the report generated by world-wide famous patent data company IPLytics in Feb. 2021, the Global 5G related standard essential patents (SEP) that ZTE has declared to ETSI, ranked the top 3 in the world. The number of the patents of 5G standards, to some extent, reflects ZTE’s ability on technology research and patent reserves achievements in 5G field. Meanwhile, ZTE has filed about 80,000 global patent applications by the end of 2020, and accumulated more than 38,000 granted patents globally.

In terms of operator network business, ZTE has actively participated in the global 5G construction. Backed up with its serialized products and solutions, the company has been committed to achieving the ultimate experience of customers and the extraordinary efficiency of networks, expecting to build the most cost-effective 5G networks. Its 5G wireless products, 5G core networks and 5G transport products respectively account for more than 30% of the domestic operator market. According to a report from an external organization, ZTE ranked No.2 in the world in terms of global shipment of 5G base stations in 2020. Also, the company ranked No.2 in terms of global operator market share of optical network. With the total user capacity of video system exceeding 150 million, ZTE has achieved further market share growth. The company’s full series of 5G power supply products and solutions have safeguarded the power supply for over 200,000 5G sites around the world.

Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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