By Ryan Ding, Executive Director and President of the Carrier BG, Huawei
The world is entering an age of intelligent connectivity. In response to this, Huawei and carriers strive to bring intelligent connectivity with deterministic experience, ubiquitous gigabit speed, and hyper-automation, so that full connectivity is available to homes and enterprises.
Today, ultra-broadband connectivity is part of the strategies of many countries and regions, such as the EU's Gigabit Society 2025, South Korea's 10GiGA plan, and Malaysia's National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan. According to our survey, there are over 24 million gigabit broadband users worldwide. Carriers are racing to release their gigabit broadband services. For example, in France, Japan, and Singapore, 10G home broadband packages have been released, while in Thailand and Saudi Arabia, Wi-Fi full-coverage packages are now available. The world is entering an age of intelligent connectivity.
As online connectivity becomes increasingly important in our lives, homes are developing into multi-purpose platforms. Now more and more people are working, studying, and doing business from home. Many international conferences and decisions are currently being held and made online.
To facilitate such online events, networks must be stable and secure, with a guaranteed level of user experience. In the first half of 2020, 800 million students worldwide had studied online, with universities running online classrooms. In the UK, professors from Cambridge gave online lectures. In South Africa, Rhodes University streamed its graduation ceremony online. Connectivity is unlocking new possibilities in education and many other sectors.
Live streaming platforms are giving consumers a true-to-life shopping experience. During the pandemic, many small business owners in Africa have sold products through live streaming. Their businesses have not been affected and they are even able to sell their products to more regions. All of these are made possible thanks to stable and smooth live streaming.
From 128 Kbit/s bandwidth and gigabit broadband, to intelligent connectivity, connecting homes is a never-ending journey.
Providing an intelligent experience for diverse home services is where our value lies. We have come up with a formula:
First, carriers need to deploy FTTH and ensure fast broadband connectivity. This way, a single investment can lead to returns for 30 years. With fiber infrastructure in place, users will enjoy faster speeds, from 100 Mbit/s and 1,000 Mbit/s all the way up to 10 Gbit/s in the future.
Second, carriers need to build networks that can cover an entire household. They should not simply connect homes, but every user in every home. Minor home network upgrades will result in major user experience improvements.
Third, carriers need to provide guaranteed levels of user experience for diverse services. This will grow the entire smart home ecosystem and further unlock digital value.
Next I will elaborate on each of these three aspects.
By the end of 2019, 1 billion households were still unconnected and 500 million households only had access to low-speed Internet. Being able to quickly provide broadband access at home is a major obstacle we must overcome.
In the Philippines, Globe used Huawei's AirPON solution to build FTTH. They used intelligent-powered building scanning technology to accurately identify where high-value users are located. In addition, lighter, easier-to-deploy products increased construction speed by 90%. The TTM was cut from 180 days to 7 days. In Peru, Claro and Huawei conducted joint innovation and came up with a digital ODN solution. This made plug-and-play of optical fibers a reality, eliminating the need for fiber splicing. This solution has made fiber deployment much faster.
Second, Home networks are key for carriers to improve user experience. Many carriers have launched related services.
In the UK, BT has launched its Complete Wi-Fi value-added service. Users can install the AP themselves and test the Wi-Fi. If necessary, BT will provide door-to-door services. If committed data rates are not realized, BT will return 100 pounds to their users. In Anhui Province, China Telecom offered services like custom networking, self-service management, monthly quality reports, auto network optimization, and online expert services, through its network O&M platform, to end users. By upgrading its basic services to professional services, the carrier has seen a rapid growth in sales.
Of course, home network development does not stop with Wi-Fi coverage. We are working with carriers to promote the Fiber-to-the-Room (FTTR) solution. Once fiber is available at every room, we will see an explosion in intelligent services.
To further improve home experiences, the ability to intelligently identify priority services is increasingly important. We can provide differentiated services with guaranteed experience levels across multiple scenarios.
For example, VIPKid needed to guarantee a high-quality online learning experience when the number of users quickly rose during the pandemic. So they worked with China Unicom and usedHuawei technology to increase the network speeds specifically for VIPKid services. In Thailand, 3BB used Huawei's technology to identify popular games and provide gaming broadband packages to end users, attracting a large number of gamers. The carrier has since seen an increase of 10,000 new users every month.
Unlocking the digital value of homes depends on intelligent connectivity and guaranteed experience levels. As homes become multi-purpose platforms, we will work with carriers to explore and incubate new services and offer end users an intelligent experience at home. This will help carriers unlock new value while monetizing their differentiated services.
For enterprises, digitization is about connecting the flows of capital, human resources, assets, and information.
Connectivity is the lifeblood of digital enterprises.Mr. Zhang Qingxian, a professor at the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, China, has seen the value of the remote consultation system. He said that a doctor can provide remote consultations for 81 cases each day. The earlier that cloud and private lines become available, the more patients that can be treated.
At the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the average daily turnover has exceeded 100 billion Hong Kong dollars, with their network handling 300 transactions every millisecond. When a private line with guaranteed ultra-low latency is in place, the stock exchange can quickly handle more transactions, giving it a head start in the volatile financial market.
In the automotive industry, a key approach to ensuring driving safety is to use the cloud to simulate collisions in all scenarios. At FAW Group, the model used for the collision simulation of a single car generates hundreds of gigabytes, if not terabytes, of data. A high-bandwidth private line is needed to instantly upload the model data to the cloud. Bandwidth demand during off-peak hours is about one hundredth of that during peak hours. Therefore, bandwidth flexibility is crucial.
Many issues are affecting connection experiences at enterprises. Provisioning of services takes a long time. Pricing options are limited. SLAs are invisible. We have come up with a formula that can be used to address these issues and help enterprises create greater digital value.
First is coverage. This is about achieving seamless coverage through comprehensive service area planning and intelligent network construction.
Second is architecture. This is about adopting a flexible, intelligent architecture to deliver deterministic SLAs.
Third is fusion. This is about integrating the cloud and networks to achieve one-hop access to the cloud and deliver user-defined experiences.
The value of connections is maximized when we multiply C, A, and F together. But if we miss any one of these dimensions, the overall value of the network suffers.
First, let's look at the coverage dimension. To ensure agile access for enterprise users, carriers must plan their infrastructure networks and make resources rapidly available.
China Telecom Shanghai has realized wide coverage with its all-optical city plan. The carrier deploys one private line for each SME, providing five types of services. This further reduces SMEs' ICT deployment and maintenance costs. The carrier can then deliver more compelling services and generate higher revenue.
The second dimension is architecture. Carriers need an elastic and intelligent architecture that is congestion-free, always-on, scalable, and simplified. This type of architecture is the precondition for providing deterministic experiences.
A Western European carrier built a country-wide private line specifically for the local media industry and employed a transparent transmission solution that dynamically adjusts bandwidth. China Telecom Shanghai rapidly upgraded its services by optimizing optical cable routes, and reduced the network latency at the local stock exchange from 4.6 milliseconds to 0.63 milliseconds. BRI is one of the largest banks in Indonesia. It requires highly reliable interconnection between data centers in order to guarantee its business development and security. The Indonesian carrier Indosat has rolled out a private line for the bank, improving network reliability from 99.9% to 99.999%. This improvement translates to a 50% increase in service prices. China Telecom Ningxia enables network sharing through slicing, and provides dedicated services for different tenants. It has deployed private lines in multiple industries, including 3,000 medical institutions and 2,000 educational institutions.
Carriers must optimize their network architecture to make it more agile and adaptive to the needs of enterprise customers. This will leave carriers in a better position to monetize their networks.
Enterprises' demand for computing power is growing rapidly. How can we increase network bandwidth to make the most of computing power and accelerate digitization across industries? We believe network capabilities should gradually become the foundation. Carriers will provide cloud and network integration, as well as one hop to the cloud with guaranteed SLAs and differentiated cloud and network services.
Business developments and tech advancements cannot happen independently of one another. To constantly grow, an industry needs both the technologies and the business applications that monetize the technologies.
Huawei is ready to work with carriers. Together, we will innovate on intelligent connectivity that will offer hyper-automation, ubiquitous gigabit, and deterministic experiences. We will apply the two monetization formulas to generate greater value from homes and enterprises and deliver intelligent experiences based on ubiquitous connectivity. We will enable digital transformation based on the two drivers, and tap into industries worth trillions of dollars.
The industry continuously changes, and people always want something new.
We believe that demand can always be created and experiences will never stop evolving. Intelligence shapes experience. Connectivity creates the future.