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Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum, Tokyo

Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum, Tokyo

4 months after a chance encounter at the FIA Formula-e London Championships with the Head of Branding at Huawei Wireless, Evolution found herself heading on an adventure to Tokyo. Seeing her displayed in the Formula-e show area had inspired Huawei to invite us to the Global Mobile Broadband Forum which they host in a different major city every year.

At the beginning of November, having finally overcome our incredulity at the situation, we boxed Evolution up and sent her on her way to Japan where she was due to arrive 3-4 days before the beginning of the conference.  3 team members set out to arrive around the same time, with our Technical Manager, Frank Bloomfield, coming from the IDTechEx show in California while the Project Manager, Xiaofan Zhang, and outgoing Chief Electrical Engineer, Amy Livingstone, left from Cambridge.

Five 8-hour flights and one crossing of the date line later, the three team members gathered at our hotel in Chiba late on Sunday evening to venture out for food. For our first dining experience in Japan we adventurously entered a McDonalds around the corner, exploring the options not available in the UK, a team tradition! The following day, Evolution having arrived safely, we ventured into Tokyo city to explore and try some proper Japanese sushi. Still feeling mildly jetlagged we managed to skip the queues at a popular sushi restaurant by eating at 4pm, trying such delicacies as octopus head and eel maki.

Taking advantage of our presence in Japan, we visited the Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF) where our new sponsor, Mazak, had a stall. After spending the morning getting to know the company and looking around the Fair, we had the afternoon off before setting up for the Huawei conference the following morning.  Having been invited to a Japanese banquet that evening, we consumed yet more raw fish and traditional Japanese sake.

The conference got off to a booming start, with many interested people swiftly congregating by Evolution, who was perched at a 20deg angle resting on some carefully fixed wooden chocks. The stand remained fairly busy throughout the day so breaks were taken in shifts, with team members heading off to explore the other stands; test the new VR systems; and talk to other conference goers. 

CUER Team Members with Representatives from Mazak at JIMTOF, Tokyo

The second day passed in much the same vein, greeting people we’d met previously and introducing ourselves and CUER to yet more attendees. The conference finished mid-afternoon, giving us 3 hours to pack up the car with the conference being broken down around us. The break-down was a very impressive undertaking, with the venue returning to its bare state within 4 hours of the conference ending.

Following a celebratory dinner with the organisers from Huawei, we spent our final day exploring in Tokyo before heading to the airport for our long flight back to Cambridge. Evolution's journey took rather longer but thanks to previous sponsor, Bollore Logistics, she is now safely back in the workshop, ready for another adventure.

Amy Livingstone

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