Since every developer of 5G technology has its own SEPs (Standard Essential Patents), which a 5G cellphone manufacture has to license to make the cellphone, the higher the quality of the SEPs, the higher royalties a developer can charge.
Huawei had been silent on its royalty fee for a long time, even after most of its competitors announced their pricing. Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, said in August 2019 that Huawei is the global leader in 5G technology and was looking for a rival to compete with. Ren said Huawei would rather foster a competitor, preferably in United States, by transferring instead of licensing Huawei’s 5G technology to it.
Based on the same raw data in the IPLytics’ study, counting patents granted in the United States only, the company rankings are markedly different. Samsung ranks first, owning 1,728 families of 5G patents, followed by Nokia with 1,433 families, LG with 1,415 families, Qualcomm with 831 families, Ericsson with 748 families, and Huawei with 681 families.
The total value of 5G patents is the number of patents multiplied by the qualities of the patents. The 5G patent royalty fee Huawei just announced reveals its real position among global competitors of 5G technology.