THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA
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President Dalia Grybauskaitė with Vice Presidents Qu Wenchu and Lu Yong of the Chinese IT giant "Huawei" - to discuss cooperation and investments in the sphere of innovations. The President said the cooperation with "Huawei", is already yielding mutually beneficial results. Vilnius University, "Omnitel" and "Huawei" this week opened an information technologies research laboratory which they believe will become a centre of innovations for the Baltic countries and Eastern Europe.
Text: Aage Myhre, Editor-in-Chief
There has been expressed skepticism about some of the so-called foreign investments (FDIs) that have taken place in this country over the past two-three years, as they largely have been paid by Lithuania itself, meaning the country's tax payers, partly as a hollow play to the gallery with the intention of putting the government's results in this field in better light.
This week's announced partnership with China appears different. More pragmatic, real and sustainable. I consider the new Chinese-Lithuanian IT Innovation Centre at Vilnius University a step in the right direction!
Lithuania should create more 'basketball business'
The cooperation with China started when Lithuania’s “Omnitel”, the leading Baltic telecommunication company, owned by Scandinavian TeliaSonera, invited Chinese “Huawei”, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, to a cooperation with the aim to extend Omnitel’s network ahead of the European basketball championship (EuroBasket.2011) that took place in Lithuania earlier this autumn. The cooperation led to the successful deployment of a commercial 1800MHz LTE network for Omnitel to serve the championship.
Omnitel had long been planning an upgrade to its existing network in order to meet increasing data demands, and in May of this year, Huawei was exclusively awarded the Omnitel contract for LTE deployment and GSM/UMTS radio access networks expansion across all of Lithuania.
At EuroBasket 2011, Huawei provided Omnitel with its world-leading Single RAN LTE solution as well as with radio access and transmission networks. As a result, the LTE network was able to achieve downlink speeds of 85Mb/s, making it the fastest mobile broadband network in Lithuania.
The excellent performance of the LTE network during EuroBasket 2011 was an important step in the commercialization process of the Baltic region’s mobile broadband network.
Basketball is known as Lithuania's second religion (after Catholicism). The collaboration between Omnitel and Huawei shows that it also can lead to business and development cooperation. This week's IT Innovation Centre is a tangible proof of that. So why not think more in this direction? There is probably much more of business and FDIs that can be created around the national sport…
The President plays well with business and science!
"Lithuania is among the leading players in the European IT and telecom market. We have not only the most advanced infrastructure but also highly qualified professionals. "Huawei" is one of the most innovative companies in the world. Cooperation with this company will serve to promote more rapid development of innovations as it will open new possibilities in the global IT market," President Dalia Grybauskaitė said at a meeting with the Chinese delegation in Vilnius this week.
The President during her visit to China in October last year participated in the Shanghai World EXPO and agreed with representatives of "Huawei" to organize the training course for Lithuanian students in this company and to establish an information technologies research centre in Lithuania.
In July, ten IT students from Kaunas University of Technology, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and Vytautas Magnus University underwent a training course in the Chinese company. This week Vilnius University, "Omnitel" and "Huawei" opened in Vilnius a research centre of information technologies the activities of which will include the implementation of research programmes, traineeships for researchers, and the development of modern technologies.
Dalia Grybauskaitė also stressed the importance of economic cooperation between Lithuania and China. The shuttle train "Saulė", which was launched last month, connecting China, Kazakhstan and Lithuania, should enhance the bilateral business relations even more, she said.
The President plays truly well with the business and the scientists in this case. That bodes well for a better and more advanced ‘Lithuania of the future’!
In May this year an initial agreement for the establishing of a joint research laboratory at Vilnius University was signed between (L/R) Antanas Zabulis, President of „Omnitel“, Professor Benediktas Juodka, Rector of Vilnius University and Ye Yong, Country Manager for the Baltics of „Huawei Technologies Co”.
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