Along the sidelines of the 15th Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit, Telecom Review had an exclusive interview with Steven Yi, president, Huawei Middle East, focusing on Huawei’s role in 5G and other innovative technologies, the leading telecom vendor’s latest cloud strategies and solutions in the region as well as developments in R&D and contributions in achieving zero-carbon goals.
How is Huawei helping enterprise and government entities enhance their network speed and security?
Digital technology has played an irreplaceable role in keeping our lives on track and our businesses open. At the same time, as digital transformation picks up speed, we see growing challenges relating to cyber security and privacy protection. In a digital, intelligent world powered by technologies like 5G, cloud, and AI, maintaining a secure and stable cyberspace is critical to protecting people’s livelihoods. It’s clear that cyber security and privacy protection are becoming necessary capabilities for all organizations, crucial for a properly functioning digital world.
Today, 5G is the catalyst for secure high-speed connectivity and innovation. Huawei was part of many of the first phase 5G commercial rollouts in the Middle East and has continued expanding those networks with our partners. In the Middle East, where 5G is developing rapidly, operators have seen faster revenue growth and been able to open up new revenue streams.
That being said, the real value of 5G now transcends the telecoms industry and has transformative implications for the economy as a whole. 5G serves as the bedrock for other innovative technologies such as cloud and AI, while enabling a new generation of applications in fields like transportation, healthcare, education, and much more. Today, a new suite of 5G solutions provides industry and governments with more intelligent and precise planning, simplified on-demand provisioning, and proactive network O&M.
As far as cybersecurity is concerned, the rapid increase in digitalization has led to a corresponding rise in cyberattacks. Cyber defense thus requires strengthened global cooperation - it is not the responsibility of one company or country. Governments, technology companies, and other stakeholders need to cooperate on unified laws and regulations to protect the digital economy and ensure fair access to innovations that can serve future generations. A safer network is our shared obligation, and Huawei is helping to lead such collaborations with many of its partners in the Middle East. Huawei has also participated in more than 360 industry standards organizations, held more than 300 important positions in these organizations, and actively submits proposals to industry standards organizations to develop more secure standards.
Security and privacy protection are and will always remain our top priorities. We believe strongly in the power of openness and transparency, and work hard to make ongoing improvements to our software engineering capabilities and business continuity management systems, while enhancing the resilience of our networks.
For more than 30 years, we have worked closely with our carrier customers to build over 1,500 networks in more than 170 countries and regions. Together, we have connected more than three billion people around the world and have maintained a solid track record in security.
Please tell us about Huawei's latest cloud strategies and solutions in the region.
The cloud is reshaping the way people acquire digital capabilities. The cloud is as important for intelligent transformation as electricity was for the electrification revolution of the 20th century. The cloud is a critical digital infrastructure that underpins the intelligent world. Huawei is innovating at every level of the cloud technology stack, and delivers public cloud services and hybrid cloud solutions that stand out for their excellent value, availability, and data security. Huawei itself focuses on platform services and capabilities. Through AI enablement, data enablement, and application enablement, Huawei speeds up innovation in industries and simplifies application development. With ecosystem partners, Huawei aims to drive digital transformation and intelligent upgrade in all industries.
HUAWEI CLOUD is the world’s fastest growing major cloud service provider, launching over 220 cloud services and 210 solutions. It works with over 19,000 partners and 1.6 million developers, while over 4,000 applications have been launched on the HUAWEI CLOUD Marketplace.
In the digital economy, computing power is a new driver of production. Data itself is a core asset, and cloud and AI are the new tools of productivity.
At its core, HUAWEI CLOUD delivers a smart experience for people, cities, and enterprises in all scenarios. It is part of Huawei's commitment to providing reliable, secure, and cost-effective cloud services to empower applications and help organizations of all sizes grow in today's intelligent world.
To support a wider cloud rollout, Huawei has unveiled several programs to help the region cultivate digital experts and build the local cloud ecosystem. It recently announced a support program for developing 3,000 cloud experts in the region as part of the HUAWEI CLOUD Oasis Program. The Oasis Program includes $7.5 million allocated for partner development, over $2.5 million to be put behind credits and other cloud resources, and more than $4.5 million in marketing support for program projects.
But we realize that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to cloud adoption. That is why Huawei recently launched its Huawei CloudCampus and Cloud Managed Networks in the Middle East. These help enterprises accelerate their digital transformation goals by enabling faster, more secure, and more efficient access to—and deployment of—innovative digital services. The subscription-based model of cloud-managed networks helps break a key barrier for enterprises keen to evolve their businesses by eliminating the need for more costly CAPEX spending. Additionally, the network-as-a-service model supports a broad range of network products, enabling faster time-to-market for telecom service providers specifically who are keen to launch new business offerings.
What are the developments in Huawei's R&D and implementation of emerging technologies?
To start, Huawei's R&D investments over the past decade exceed $110 billion. We constantly reinvest in R&D, and that has kept us at the forefront of the global ICT sector.
Huawei has ranked second in the 2021 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, up from third place in the previous year’s edition. The 2021 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard is a European Commission publication that ranks the research investment levels of 2,500 companies around the world that comprise 90% of the world’s business-funded R&D. The report is prepared by the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC).Let's look at 5G as an example. Huawei began 5G research as early as 2009, and has the highest number of 5G patents of any company globally. All of this is based on open collaboration. Working together within an ecosystem allows for shared success for individuals, businesses, and governments. Huawei has established 13 Open Labs worldwide—including in the Middle East—to support open collaboration for shared success in areas like 5G and others.
But the idea of development is not limited to technologies alone. Bridging the digital skills gap is another crucial aspect of Huawei’s investment and innovation strategy. We currently support the region's digital future through many education and training-oriented CSR initiatives. Programs like our Seeds for the Future initiative and Huawei ICT Competition are just a few that have had tremendous success in the Middle East. These initiatives promote a greater understanding of and interest in the technology field while encouraging participation in the region's growing digital economy.
Every year, Huawei invests over 10% of its sales revenue back into R&D. We continue to increase our investment in basic research and theoretical breakthroughs, and have invested heavily in innovation and invention for decades to help drive the
Looking to the future, Huawei will maintain its focus on research, aiming to remove bottlenecks in basic science and drive breakthroughs in cutting-edge technology. Guided by our vision of a fully connected, intelligent world, we will devote our efforts to identifying different industry needs and overcoming shared challenges on a global scale.
How is Huawei contributing to zero-carbon goals of industries and the regional economy?
A recent study commissioned by Huawei laid in stark terms the environmental challenge facing the world, and imagines a technology-led sustainable future. While the rising use of technology has brought numerous new experiences to every aspect of business and personal life, these benefits must be delivered without any more detrimental impact on the environment.
Technology innovation will play a central role in tackling climate change and achieving carbon reduction goals. Huawei Digital Power integrates digital and power electronics technologies, develops clean power, and enables energy digitalization to drive energy revolution for a better, greener future. We focus on converging and innovating on technologies to accelerate the digitalization of energy and enable various industries to upgrade. We aim to accelerate clean power generation, build green transportation, sites, and data centers, and work with industry partners to build a low-carbon smart society.
The telecoms industry has taken a leading role in addressing its energy efficiency. The cellular industry was the world's first, in 2016, to commit to achieving the UN SDGs, setting an industry goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. At Huawei, we reduce carbon emissions by providing green products, creating sustainable company campuses, and building a competitive and green supply chain. Just this past year, for example, Huawei launched its Huawei Digital Power business. This business contributes towards the goal of carbon neutrality by helping to meet our customers’ requirements for integrated energy solutions, and telecom carriers’ requirements for energy saving and emissions reduction.
Huawei adheres to the green pledge of "Tech for a Better Planet" and has continued to invest in reducing carbon emissions, promoting renewable energy, contributing to a circular economy, and conserving nature with technology. As of September 30, 2021, Huawei Digital Power has helped customers generate 443.5 billion kWh of green power, save 13.6 billion kWh of electricity, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 210 million tons, which was equivalent to planting 290 million trees.
Whether in environmental protection or another sustainability field, Huawei is ready and willing to work with partners across the entire value chain to make the future a more prosperous one for all.