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I Went to Paris and the Frenchest Man on the Planet Made Me See the World Differently

Last week I went to Paris with Huawei to sit in on a two day conference about the Beauty of Technology. There were two days of speakers, about a half hour each, and some of it was very high level tech speak but we’ve entered a moment in history where high level tech speak affects every part of our daily lives.

5G is coming and it matters more than you can imagine.

We hear folks talk about the The Internet of Things and I’ve been rolling my eyes at that phrase for a few years now. The reality is that every year more of my house is internet connected. From thermostats to doorbells and television sets to key chains my home is peppered with internet connected devices and the 4G network will soon be overwhelmed.

Zhu Peiying (Huawei’s first female fellow and a compelling public speaker) showed us where we are with the development of 5G and how we’ll get to a 5G network. Huawei is expecting a full roll out by 2020. I’m particularly interested in how it will speed things up in my cars and everyone who is looking forward to self driving cars is actually looking forward to a 5G network, they just don’t know it yet.

The timeline for 5G wireless Huawei collaborations for 5G development

I was surprised to hear from William Xu (CMO of Huawei) about Huawei’s collaborative nature. He gave the opening talk and I had a lot of expectations about the Chinese way of doing things that were wrong. I’d expected rigidity and a reverence for math and order that I didn’t see or hear about. Instead Xu talked about new collaborations with Vodaphone, with universities and with artists. They’ve partnered with Rostelecom to lay a submarine fiber optical telecommunication line (SFOTL) connecting Kamchatka and Sakhalin.

Sadly I was not invited for a submarine trip. Maybe luckily… maybe I’m not the kind of person who is ready to live underwater?

So Huawei isn’t this standalone company in China making phones that Americans will never see. They’re international innovators contributing to science, math and technology. Cédric Villani presented and reminded us of the following:

The key to success is hard work, and trial and error. What if we fail repeatedly? Sometimes, that is what really happens. So success is accidental, and good luck also plays a role. Hard work and good luck are interdependent. Countless trials are the only way one might one day perhaps be rewarded with a bit of good luck.

When I close my eyes and think of a Frenchman I think of a man who looks like Cédric. I just imagine him with a paintbrush in his hand not a Fields Medal.

Cédric Villani Fields Medal winner Huawei day


The event really wasn’t about Huawei specifically so much as it was about innovation, collaboration and math. It was exciting to be part of the day and I now have one of a very few p9 phones in America. I took these photos with it, they’re completely unfiltered.

Lines to get into the #euro2016 fan zone #latergram

A video posted by The Other PTA (@otherpta) on

Lots of support for Orlando at Place de la Republique. #nofilterneeded #p9 #travel

A photo posted by The Other PTA (@otherpta) on

Creve le capital #Paris #travel #nofilterneeded #p9

A photo posted by The Other PTA (@otherpta) on

I’m wondering if I’d use a P9 instead of a standalone phone for future travels. I think the answer might be yes. I’m also playing around with their watch, which works seamlessly with an iPhone. When I figure things out I’ll post more about both, probably mostly on Instagram.