Huawei to invest $4 billion in fixed broadband R&D in next three years

Journalists attend the presentation of the Huawei's new smartphone, the Ascend P7, launched by China's Huawei Technologies in Paris, May 7, 2014. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker, said it would invest more than $4 billion in fixed broadband technology research and development (R&D) in the next three years. Huawei, which has shifted its focus to the mobile device market in recent years, said in a statement on Thursday that fixed broadband - the pipes connecting homes and offices - remained a "key direction for strategic investment." The Shenzhen-based company said it would research basic technologies such as photonics used in fiber optic cables as well as software-defined networking. Huawei said investing in fixed broadband technology will be important given the rise of high-resolution video technology, which for instance powers 4K television sets as well as commercial big data operations that also consume significant bandwidth. Fixed broadband has largely been overshadowed by the runaway growth of mobile broadband, which has grown 20 percent this year in worldwide users, according to a UN report this week. Originally a maker of fixed-line switches, Huawei rode the wave of mobile telecoms growth worldwide during the 2000s to become a global force, winning contracts to build cell networks for carriers around the world. In 2012 the company overtook Ericsson to become the world's leading telecoms equipment maker. (Reporting by Gerry Shih; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)