Many people remain unconnected because they do not see a need to access digital information. ICT applications must create value. This drives demand for data and incentivizes further investment in expanding network infrastructure and quality.
Huawei works with its customers to unlock the potential of digital solutions. These innovations offer users access to vastly improved healthcare, education, transportation, utilities, public safety, energy, finance, and more that can transform their lives and their communities. For example, Huawei's Mobile Money solution drives financial inclusion. Mobile Money can facilitate basic banking transactions and drive inclusive financial services in unbanked rural areas.
In 2017, we explored how ICT-enabled education can improve access and quality of learning in Asia. Smart City has also become a key focus of Huawei's innovative efforts as we believe communication technologies and applications can result in fast and open exchange of data, which is key to building better cities.
All of these solutions bridge the digital divide because they enable far greater levels of social inclusion and economic participation. These applications can lead to significant improvements in human wellbeing and quality of life in a way that was not previously possible without digital networks.
Huawei has invested resources in developing education solutions (see Figure 5). More and more colleges and universities are integrating Huawei's cloud computing technologies and building next-generation, intelligent campus networks and large-scale data centers for teaching and research applications. Primary and high schools are increasingly utilizing Huawei's resource sharing platform solutions to enable school-to-school, class-to-class, and person-to-person connectivity.
The use of these technologies will play a crucial role in providing new and innovative support to teachers, students, and the learning process as a whole. With globalization, digital transformation, and increasing demand for a highly skilled workforce, countries are increasingly prioritizing education. Huawei is committed to creating the best tools to increase the efficiency of education systems.
Education Cloud Network Promotes Education Model Innovation
As of December 2017, the global population is estimated to be 7.6 billion with almost a quarter under the age of 18. ICT solutions will be critical to achieving SDG 4 (Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning). Together with CSR Asia, a leading Asia-based consultancy, Huawei prepared a whitepaper to explore the potential of ICT in China and the Southeast Asia region. In the whitepaper, we call for a re-imagining of learning experiences with ICT to provide universal access to a quality education.
The whitepaper maps out a number of education opportunities that could benefit from digital solutions, including the provision of specialized learning methods for vulnerable people, improving the quality of education systems, and enabling lifelong learning by creating flexible learning spaces, such as interactive websites, chat rooms, web-based courses, and online libraries.
Link to the whitepaper:
Smart City technologies will play a key role in tackling these challenges. Using new ICT like cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Smart City solutions will help drive unified coordination, cross-sector collaboration, and intelligent analysis and provide better public services. Currently, Huawei's Smart City solutions are serving over 120 cities in more than 40 countries and regions.
Huawei's Smart City project for Weifang City in Shandong, China, was recognized as a model for others to follow at the 2017 Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC). Our approach was developed according to the city's own "people-oriented, innovation-driven" concept. Together with the Weifang City Government we created a Narrowband (NB)-IoT network following a "one network, one platform, N applications" model using IoT, cloud computing, big data, and other ICT solutions. Using the Huawei OceanConnect IoT platform, a city-level IoT platform was created for Weifang, enabling unified access, management and data collection from IoT-enabled sensors. By gathering IoT data in real time from smart devices around the city, the platform enables big data analytics.
Smart lighting, an innovative IoT application enabled by the standardized NB-IoT, is the first of its kind in China. The smart lighting system monitors the status of street lamps in real time, adjusts brightness automatically, and detects faults, among other functions. This system helped reduce electricity consumption by 80% and maintenance costs by 90%.
Additionally, Huawei and the Weifang City government established the Huawei-Weifang IoT Innovation R&D Center and the Huawei-Weifang Smart City IoT Industry Alliance. These initiatives are designed to enhance and expand industrial applications of NB-IoT and drive continuous improvement of city management and public services.
Huawei Supporting Open Platforms with City Leaders from Around the World
Sending utility staff to homes to read water meters is costly and inefficient. More importantly, these staff are unable to record water losses from pipes. Records in China suggest that municipal water mains have a 37% loss rate due to leaking pipes.
In March 2017, Huawei partnered with Shenzhen Water Group and China Telecom to launch the world's first commercial smart water network, deploying more than 1,200 NB-IoT-enabled smart water meters across the city. Deployment was complicated, requiring city-wide network coverage that could also connect with meters mostly located on underground inlets or in basements.
Despite this challenge, the solution saved money and improved data completeness and accuracy. To date, data is retrieved from over 99.5% of the meters at every reading. The meters are also able to check water pressure, and compare throughput across the pipe network, which enables the company to identify leaks and carry out preventive maintenance. Smart meters also enable differentiated rates at peak and non-peak times of day, helping the utility company use its water resources more efficiently.
Globally, 2 billion people do not have bank accounts and 200 million small businesses in emerging economies lack access to formal savings and credit. Their financial transactions are in cash and they have no safe way to save or invest their money. Instead they rely on informal lenders and personal networks for credit. In other words, they have no access to safe, secure, and affordable financial services.
However, 1.6 billion of these people do have mobile phones. Mobile technology can provide access to savings accounts, credit, and loans, which can expand middle-class populations and stimulate further economic growth. Mobile money is one of the most exciting innovations to address financial inclusion. According to the GSMA, there are more than 690 million registered mobile money accounts around the world which collectively move around a billion dollars a day. To give an indication of the level of "digital disruption" underway, approximately 70% of these accounts are provided by mobile operators rather than traditional banks.
Source: McKinsey Global Institute
This opportunity is clear to see; however, the business landscape is complex and unique as it straddles both the financial and telecommunication industries, and responds to the needs of individuals that have never used formal financial services before.
Huawei has applied its technology, and worked diligently with its customers and partners to help overcome this challenge. Huawei's Mobile Money solution is able to provide innovative, asset-light, and reliable mobile banking services to people who need it most. It utilizes existing communications network capabilities, so these services can be used seamlessly with feature phones or smartphones. Huawei's Mobile Money solution has so far been commercially deployed in 19 countries and regions and serves over 152 million users, accounting for 22% of the world's registered accounts. In fact, approximately 50% of all mobile money transactions now take place on Huawei's platform. Our partners in Africa include Safaricom, Vodafone, Vodacom, and Teasy Mobile in 10 African countries, including big markets like Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.
In 2017, we continued to expand our service and joined forces with Xpress Money, one of the world's most dependable money transfer brands. By growing Xpress Money's mobile money footprint and strengthening Huawei's international reach, our new partnership will help to further reduce the cost of remittance services and drive financial inclusion for millions of more mobile money users.
Huawei is committed to offering premium applications and solutions, providing global users with a convenient, digital experience. We offer a full portfolio of products and solutions for different types of user groups. We provide unique solutions based on our deep insight into the habits of different types of consumers. We provide easy-to-use office applications for business people; solutions for students that can reduce the negative impacts on their eyesight due to long-term use of bright-screen products; solutions for those with disabilities enabling them to easily access information; QR code plus one-click ordering solution for consumers; and Huawei Pay, a mobile payment solution that is secure and protects user privacy. We put our consumers first and bring them innovative communications technology and a brand new experience in an intelligent, fully connected world.