Sep 10, 2020

Huawei plans to launch Android rival Harmony OS next year

Harmony OS
William Smith
2 min
Huawei is moving forwards with plans to turn away from Western technology such as Google’s Android OS and introduce its own alternatives
Huawei is moving forwards with plans to turn away from Western technology such as Google’s Android OS and introduce its own alternatives...

Huawei is moving forwards with plans to turn away from Western technology such as Google’s Android OS and introduce its own alternatives.

According to Reuters, the Harmony operating system is planned to be introduced on the company’s smartphones next year. That was announced by Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group, at the company’s annual developers conference.

Having already developed a 1.0 version of the system, it hoped to release a beta testing version of Harmony OS 2.0 in December.

Huawei has been building up to such a move ever since its access to Western technology began to be restricted as part of a United States trade ban first raised in May last year, albeit with a number of reprieves. The initial ban led to Huawei’s flagship smartphones debuting without Google services and apps such as Maps, Google Pay and the Play Store, and running on the open-source version of Google’s Android operating system.

Accordingly, at last year’s developers conference, the company announced $1.5bn of investment over five years to bring developers into an open ecosystem with new industry standards.

Huawei said its Harmony operating system would not simply copy Android’s functionality, but serve as a platform across multiple devices including watches, laptops and mobiles.

Further difficulties encountered by the firm have included its banning from the 5G networking infrastructure of many Western countries, including the UK, which had originally said it would persevere with Huawei technology.

The US recently further stepped up its sanctions, stopping Huawei from acquiring semiconductor chips by requiring companies it does business with to obtain a license.

The move raises the possibility of a bifurcated technology scene, with China developing its own alternative technologies. China’s internet is already heavily censored and restricted, giving rise to the notion of the Great Firewall of China

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Jun 18, 2021

Thales Group to Provide Tech for Low Earth Orbit Satellites

2 min
The Swiss branch of Thales Group is set to supply world’s only network of satellites in low earth orbit with its cutting-edge technology

The Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer, Thales Alenia, which specialises in the space industry is set to supply the world’s only network of satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) with its industry-leading technology. More specifically, the Optical Inter-Satellite Links ─ which is hailed as the ‘best technology for the next generation of the Galileo Navigation System’, by the European Space Agency. Through the implementation of Thales Alenia’s optical systems, the satellite network will be able to provide global, fine-scale coverage, overland, oceans, and both poles, without compromising the security of data communications. 


Telesat, a Canadian satellite services company, is currently developing the network and has commissioned Thales Alenia Space to build its broadband constellation. The network, which will be named Lightspeed, will apparently comprise 298 individual satellites, each weighing roughly 700 kilograms. These satellites will be capable of delivering multiple terabits per second worldwide for secure broadband professional services with low latency and high levels of performance. Ergo, it’ll be incredibly fast. 

‘The Optical Inter Satellite Links technology is based on Thales Alenia Space’s product line Space Optical Communications, i.e., OPTEL-C. The more compact OPTEL-µ is another optical communications product from this line. This is particularly good for downloading data from small LEO satellites’, according to Innovation Origins. 


Thales Alenia Space Background

Thales Alenia Space is the largest satellite manufacturer in Europe ─ the Swiss branch, which has been commissioned in this particular announcement, opened up five years ago in Zurich, where the company primarily specialises in the development and manufacture of instruments for scientific satellites, but also on optical communication terminals for space applications.

The Swiss Space Sector

When it comes to the European and international space industry, the Swiss sector is becoming increasingly important. Approximately 100 Swiss companies already produce incredibly sophisticated pieces of kit and technologies for space missions, and Switzerland also plays host to the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre, which was established back in 2016 in an effort to help entrepreneurs ‘realise their innovative ideas and transfer technologies from space to Earth and from Earth to space.’

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