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Bridging the Digital Divide
  • To enable more people to access informationby providing customized ICT solutions
  • To support and develop telecom networks at regional and national levels
  • To nurture and support education in telecom technologies in underdeveloped regions

Through our "Bridging the Digital Divide" strategy, Huawei aims to better allocate information resources by developing effective communications networks in underdeveloped regions that would enable more people to have access to communications and information systems. To achieve this goal, Huawei is consistently expanding the coverage of communications networks in underdeveloped regions and providing training opportunities for local technicians and talent.

To sustain communication services and help bridge the digital divide, Huawei focuses its activities on three main elements: technology, funds, and knowledge transfer, which foster mutual support and improvement.

A. Decreasing network costs through technological innovations and providing customized solutions to help carriers successfully operate in outlying

B. Providing financing solutions for cash-strapped local governments and carriers to develop telecom networks

C. Establishing training centers and launching joint teaching initiatives to develop local talent, transfer knowledge, and improve the ability of locals to build digital communities

A. Decreasing network costs through technological innovations and providing customized solutions to help carriers successfully operate in outlying areas.

Case Study: The "Phone Lady" Initiative in Bangladesh


In remote areas of countries like Bangladesh, a lack of information access means rural residents are unable to lead a more economically beneficial life. The "Phone Lady" initiative aims to resolve theUniversal Access Service (UAS) issue to enable people in rural areas to easilycommunicate with relatives, friends, and trading partners.

Phone Lady Solution

Huawei partnered with the largest local carrier in Bangladesh to initiate the Phone Lady project and establish Communication Information Centers (CICs) to provide UAS. The aim of the initiative is to increase the availability of telephone and information access services for residents in rural areas and enable them to benefit from economic and social success.

Through this initiative the carrier engages a large number of local proprietors, most of whom are female, by arrangingloans from the local bank for purchasing mobile phone devicesandproviding training on how to operate the service. The initiative has proven to be a great success in resolving the UAS issuein rural areas and has led to increased economic activities and facilitated overall communications.

The carrier and Huawei will further expand UAS to information services such as the Internet and related services.

CIC Initiative

The carrier organizes the local collective units and some proprietors to establish CICs that the proprietors independentlyown and operate. The CICs functionascustomer service centers that provide services such as pay phones, e-recharge, printing, scanning, copying, as well as notificationsand news (including the priceof farm products, government websites, and job information). As a result, people in remote areas are able to have better incomes, find jobs, get information on farm products, and increase the overall economic activity of the region.

Huawei's Participation

Huawei, as a strategic partner of the carrier, provides network support throughout the project's implementation. In addition to network equipment, Huaweiactively customizes service features for the project. The entire network is integrated with green technology solutions and the adoption of a green power solution offers coverage to rural areas with unreliable electrical power while also enabling the realization of sustainable business growth.

Impact and Benefits of the Phone Lady Initiative

The carriergets good financial returns from mobile services and the "Phone Lady"initiative employs more than 28,000 proprietors, whose average income is three times higher than per capita income in Bangladesh. The initiative employs people in rural areas and improves their livelihoods, and by providing access to communications and information services, it has also brought significant social benefits.

Case Study: The instant network brings you more survival opportunities

An instant network is a useful tool for bridging the digital divide. The network not only rapidly provides telecommunication services for developing countries and regions, but also plays a crucial role after a natural disaster happens.

Millions of people today suffer as a result of war or disaster both natural and man-made. After a disaster strikes, in most cases, local communications are badly disrupted and there is a long delay in service restoration. This leads to more lives lost and a prolonged period of hardship. It is important that emergency rescue teams are able to quickly rebuild and recover communications networks. This helps them deliver messages to the outside world so that the emergency rescue teams can get food, water, and medical assistance for the disaster victims. After the emergency rescue team has the communications networks up, victims can also communicate with their relatives to obtain information and seek help.

The "Instant Network" Solution

Huawei partnered with Customer V to launch the "Instant Network" solution in the Joint Innovation Center in Madrid, Spain, to create a super GSM network. The network provides advanced emergency communications services such as voice, text, and data, and can be rebuilt quickly in disaster-stricken areas. The instant network is a self-contained portable system weighing 100kg. It can be packed into three suitcases and taken anywhere in any commercial flight. No matter how complicated the disaster situation, the instant network can rebuild the local network within 40 minutes using satellite communications as a wireless backhaul to restore communications services and save more lives.

In May 2011, a team consisting of Huawei, Customer V, and Télécoms Sans Frontières (NGO) joined together for a humanitarian mission in Barsaloi (Kenya). Due to various factors, local residents had been unable to talk with their relatives fortwo years. After an instant network was set up, locals in an area with no network coverage could communicate with their relatives within two days.

Huawei also cooperated with governmental authorities and relief forces following a train crash simulation in Barcelona city center. Key emergency relief forces such as the fireman brigade, policemen, and Red Cross were involved and they used the instant network to provide mobile services.

The instantnetwork is a major breakthrough in emergency communications, as it drastically reduces the response time during disasters and enables communications with remote areas that do not have mobile network coverage. This advanced technology has significantly changed people's lives around the world.

B. Providing financing solutions for cash-strapped local governments and carriers to develop telecom networks.

National Broadband Networks

The "Telephone for All" project (first promoted by the Maitland Commission more than two decades ago) has achieved a certain amount of success. According to the latest report by the ITU Secretary-General, its objective has basically been achieved. The world's top priority for the next twenty years will be to bridge the digital divide caused by national information networks (broadband) and make "Broadband Inclusion for All" a reality. However, constructing national broadband networks often requires a substantial investment and both public and private sectors must work hard to achieve this goal.

National broadband networks (NBNs) can significantly boost a country's competitiveness and can stimulate economic development according to multiple studies. Statistics from the World Bank in 2009 show that in developing countries, NBNs can increase the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country by an additional 1.5%. Consequently, financing for NBNs has become an increasingly important element of governmental policy in various countries to stimulate the economy. These policies have played a key role in bridging the digital divide after the global economic crisis in 2008. Huawei has made efforts to facilitate financing and reduce initial costs through innovative solutions. Our all-encompassing products, services, and solutions allow us to be at the forefront of assisting a number of countries in the construction of NBNs.

Huawei's NBN solutions cater to different requirements of both developed and developing countries. For developing countries, the driving force lies in satisfying people's communication needs and bridging the digital divide.

C. Establishing training centers and launching joint teaching initiatives to develop local talent, transfer knowledge, and improve the ability of locals to build digital communities.

Below are some of the activities carried out by Huawei in 2011:

  • Donated equipment to the St. Petersburg State University of Telecommunications in Russia, set up a joint lab, and provided training for 250 college students annually.
  • Continued the 'E-HOPE' project in India.
  • Donated computers and office equipment to schools in developing areas of Northern Laos.
  • Set up a training center and established a foundation at the National Institute of Advanced Communications in Belarus to encourage and support talented college students.
  • Conducted the Huawei Undergraduate Work Experience Program for talented students from higher education institutes around the world.

Huawei's long-term effort has been to expand communications network coverage in developing countries and regions and provide training opportunities to local technical personnel. As a result, more people enjoy conveniences brought by communications, the distance between people has been shortened, and lives have been enriched through communications via terminal products, services, and solutions such as eCity.

Case study: Let's simply share

In August 2011, Huawei Device launched "Let's simply share," the world's first branded concept for mobile Internet, to drive innovation in Huawei Device's brands and build a "Business to Person (B2P)" device brand centered on user experience. The CEO of Huawei Device said, "It is our unshaken belief that the real value of innovation is to help people enjoy a better life and bring people closer."

Cloud computing is sweeping the world, and Huawei has launched an industry leading cloud services platform. Building on its fresh new concept of "Let's simply share", Huawei Device has launched two flagship products–the Vision phone and the MediaPad tablet. The aim is to draw people closer and enable consumers to enjoy new and enhanced mobile Internet capabilities.

Case study: eCity Solution

Huawei provides the future-oriented eCity Solution with five products (Unified Communications, Cloud Contact Centers, Collaborative Conference, Telepresence, and Video Surveillance) and a government collaboration platform that is driven by cloud applications and carried by devices.

Huawei's eCity solutions are widely deployed.

Huawei's eCity solutions are deployed in more than 50 cities worldwide.