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4iG Strengthens Strategic Partnerships with Rheinmetall and Huawei

Hungary Today 2024.05.23.
4iG’s space technology manufacturing center in Martonvásár

Péter Fekete, CEO of 4iG, discussed the company’s recent preliminary agreement with Huawei, highlighting its alignment with 4iG’s strategy to strengthen relationships with international partners and expand business opportunities, Világgazdaság reports.

He explained that the partnership with Huawei aims to enter new markets and attract new customers in the private cloud virtual services sector in Hungary and beyond. The collaboration will leverage Huawei’s advanced technology to provide high-level data center and related IT services to large companies in Hungary. Additionally, the agreement will facilitate joint research in artificial intelligence (AI), contributing to Hungary’s leading position in AI innovations and attracting highly qualified professionals to work in the country.

Péter Fekete, CEO of 4iG. Photo: Facebook / 4iG Nyrt.

Addressing Potential Challenges

Mr. Fekete acknowledged the potential concerns related to Huawei’s presence on the U.S. ban list and similar moves in other Western countries. He emphasized that 4iG works with various major industry players, including Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung, and adheres to all relevant EU and national regulations.

He noted that leading Chinese tech companies like Huawei possess some of the world’s most advanced technologies,

and many European telecom companies continue to partner with Huawei for their 5G infrastructure, highlighting Huawei’s significant market share in Europe.

Space Segment Plans

The CEO detailed 4iG’s long-term plans in the space sector, emphasizing the company’s goal to develop space manufacturing capacity and integrate its technology and defense portfolio. This integration is expected to position 4iG as a significant player in Central and Eastern Europe.

The space industry is shifting towards smaller, cost-effective satellite fleets, enabling developing countries to have their own communication and defense satellites.

Mr. Fekete highlighted the growing demand for in-house development and production tasks due to geopolitical factors, driving the need for national capabilities in space development and defense digitalization.

4iG has invested in a space technology manufacturing center in Martonvásár (a town near Budapest), planning to design, manufacture, and assemble satellites up to 400 kg by 2026. The company sees significant cooperation opportunities with Rheinmetall in earth observation services, drone and drone defense technologies, and defense digitalization, anticipating substantial revenue generation from these partnerships over the next five years.

5.5G Technology

He discussed the recent launch of 5.5G technology, developed in collaboration with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. This new antenna technology offers up to ten times faster download speeds at base stations compared to the fastest currently used 3.5 GHz solution. The 5.5G technology, operating at 6 GHz, is expected to make advanced applications like 3D and high-definition VR/AR widely available to residential users and enable a new era of IoT (Internet of Things), Industry 4.0, and cloud applications in the enterprise sector.

Consolidation and Transformation

Fekete outlined 4iG’s medium to long-term goals in the telecommunication sector, emphasizing the company’s ambition to achieve market leadership.

In Albania and Montenegro, 4iG has already reached this goal and is now focused on strengthening its position in Hungary.

To enhance competitiveness and operational efficiency, 4iG launched a transformation program last autumn, aiming to separate its IT and telecom services, telecom infrastructure, and space and technology capabilities into distinct companies.

This restructuring is expected to increase the company’s value and create opportunities for future minority stake sales. Additionally, 4iG plans to further develop its 5G networks domestically and in the Western Balkans, investing significantly in its fiber-network and gigabit-enabled residential services in line with its agreement with the Hungarian government.

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New Brand and Acquisitions

The CEO confirmed the launch of the new ONE brand in 2025, under which 4iG will sell its Digi and Vodafone residential services and telecom-related business services.

Expansion Plans

To sustain organic growth, 4iG is continuously seeking domestic and international partnership opportunities, such as the planned investment with Telecom Egypt to create a broadband fibre-optic link connecting Africa with Albania. The strategic partnership with Rheinmetall AG is another example. While organic growth remains a priority, Fekete did not rule out acquisitions, especially in regions like the Western Balkans or the Middle East, if suitable opportunities arise.

Debt Settlement Proposal for SpaceCom

Mr. Fekete addressed the current status of 4iG’s debt settlement proposal for SpaceCom, stating that the plan will be voted on by the company’s bondholders at the end of May. He expressed confidence that the proposal would receive support from the bondholders.

Revenue and Growth Expectations

Fekete emphasized the significant revenue opportunities from the cooperation with Rheinmetall in the space industry, projecting earnings of EUR 1.7-2.3B over the next five years. The overall restructuring and transformation efforts are expected to enhance 4iG’s market value and operational efficiency, setting the stage for continued growth and leadership in the IT, telecom, and space sectors.

4iG’s strategic cooperation with Huawei and Rheinmetall, combined with its investment in 5.5G technology and space manufacturing, positions the company for significant growth and market leadership

in Hungary and the broader Central and Eastern European region. The ongoing transformation program and potential for further acquisitions highlight 4iG’s commitment to expanding its capabilities and maintaining its competitive edge.

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Via Világgazdaság; Featured Image: Facebook / 4iG Nyrt.

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