Huawei announced on Wednesday that it had reached a patent licence agreement with Japan-based Buffalo, a provider of networking, storage and memory products. According to Huawei, this agreement enables Buffalo coverage for certain Wi-Fi 6-enabled products under Huawei’s portfolio of Wi-Fi 6 standard essential patents (SEPs). Buffalo joins the growing list of global vendors authorized to access and implement Huawei’s Wi-Fi SEPs and technologies.
“We are pleased to reach this license agreement with Buffalo, which is our first overseas Wi-Fi 6-focused license,” said Fan Zhiyong, Global Head of Intellectual Property at Huawei. For Huawei, reaching the first Wi-Fi 6 patent license agreement in overseas markets is also a huge step for the beleaguered tech giant. With this cooperation case, it is expected that more network equipment companies will adopt Huawei’s patent license.
Fan added, “We have broader license agreements covering both Wi-Fi 6 and legacy Wi-Fi products, but this agreement marks the emergence of Wi-Fi 6 as the dominant Wi-Fi technology. Huawei is proud to be a key contributor to the all-new Wi-Fi 6 standard, which enables thrilling experiences such as ‘smart home’ and ‘smart factory’ innovations.”
Huawei estimates that there are over 2 billion active networking devices licensed under Huawei’s patents.
The Wi-Fi 6 standard was renamed as 802.11 ax by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Wi-Fi 6 not only has the same free and high-speed features of wireless Gigabit Ethernet, but also has licensed radio technology standards. 5G is synonymous with the high speed of mobile networks, while Wi-Fi 6 is synonymous with the high speed of wireless local area networks.
According to industry insiders, one of the main uses of Wi-Fi 6 is to meet the needs of wireless networks in dense environments, such as gymnasiums, supermarkets, airports, and universities.
In September 2020, Japanese legal services company NGB Corporation released a report titled “Essentiality Report on Wi-Fi 6 Patents”. According to the report, Qualcomm and Huawei have led the development of Wi-Fi 6 technology and the formulation of its standards, followed by Intel, LG, Newracom and Marvell. Although Qualcomm still holds a slight advantage over Huawei in the number of patents, Huawei is performing more prominently in important technologies.