5G: Oppo is progressing towards the development of the 5G ecosystem

Oppo is now working on 5G “ecosystem development” through partnerships with universities and startups. The Chinese smartphone is also ready to work with Indian universities around 6G technology, a senior official said.

In an interaction with ET, Tasleem Arif, Head of R&D at Oppo India, said the handset company’s headquarters are focused on 5G and 6G technologies and seek collaboration in these areas.

“There will be more partnerships in India which will help to use academic strength on research related collaboration. We are also providing funding for research in India,” he said.

Oppo, among the top five smartphone brands in India, has set up its third lab to focus on “Power and Performance” at its R&D center in Hyderabad. He had previously installed a camera and 5G labs at the center. Investing in all of these labs is part of its $7 billion global R&D investment budget, which was announced in 2019.

The company is working closely with Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel to better plan its product portfolio for 5G technology. “We discuss our products and network support with them before launch,” he said.

Arif said Oppo smartphones will support all possible 5G bands in India once the service becomes commercially available. “Our R&D teams play a crucial role here…whatever the telecom operators’ decision in terms of network and spectrum planning, we take note of it and take the feedback into account for our product planning”

The executive said that Oppo may also launch its 5G-enabled customer site equipment in India. Private infrastructure requires such 5G devices… overall we have received a good response and we will decide on the launch once we have services available,” he added.

The company had recently launched a program for startups in India to collaborate with them and find synergies. “Once shortlisted, we offer advice on technology and allow them to use our labs and if there are synergies, we partner with them for products and services and provide support,” Arif said.

A similar program was launched by Oppo’s global team, which also shortlisted some Indian startups. “These startups lack infrastructure and support. We help them develop their services. Currently, in our R&D premises in India, 50% of the space is dedicated to the innovation lab,” he added.

“As part of our innovation strategy, we created an internal “Innovation” team to cultivate the culture of patent filing for engineers through rigorous training…we have seen significant growth of over 128 % of patents filed by OPPO India in 2021. Over 280 patents so far by Indian R&D, including 140 in 2021. Our team is working hard to maintain these numbers,” said Arif.

(Reporter covers Mobile World Congress 2022 at Oppo’s invitation)