Research Note

December 2023 ZTE: The Rise of a Revenant

December 2023

Abstract

No, this is not about Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s 2015 movie! This is the tale of a company that came back after a near death experience. It happened in Bangkok, Thailand, where ZTE pulled off an overwhelmingly successful 2-day 5G Summit and Analyst Conference—November 14-15, 2023. This was the 10th edition of this event and the first time to be held in Asia. Since ZTE is a major equipment supplier to Thailand’s communications service providers, Bangkok was a strategic choice. In addition, the kingdom has big ambitions: becoming a developed, prosperous, and stable country by 2037. For that, it counts on ZTE’s 5G technology to accelerate its digital transformation.

Overall, 300 guests, including 40 analysts, gathered to take the ZTE pulse and get an update on the company’s business strategy and technology innovation. Much larger than last year in Stresa, Italy, the first day of the event boasted a well-balanced mix of C-level speakers from the Telecom Association of Thailand, the GSMA, the ITU, as well as ZTE and its partners and CSP customers from various parts of the world. Day 2 started with a visit to the A-Z 5G Center in the morning followed by an analyst conference in the afternoon; that’s when we received a full-blown update on the company’s fortunes. Clearly, ZTE is a revenant that quickly learned from its mistake to articulate a 10-year strategic plan that sets a new technology driven growth trajectory.

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