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Intelligent Experiences Unlock New Value

Huawei's Ryan Ding explores the latest trends shaping the home and enterprise markets.

By Ryan Ding, Executive Director and President of the Carrier BG, Huawei
Apr 2021

Today, many countries and regions are implementing ultra-broadband connectivity strategies such as EU's Gigabit Society 2025, South Korea's 10GiGA plan, and Malaysia's National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan. A Huawei survey reveals that there are over 24 million gigabit broadband users worldwide, so carriers are racing to release gigabit broadband services. 10G home broadband packages have already been released in France, Japan, and Singapore, and full-coverage Wi-Fi packages are now available in Thailand and Saudi Arabia. The world is entering the age of intelligent connectivity.

Ding Yun

Home+: Better experiences and more diversified services

As online connectivity becomes increasingly important, homes are developing into multi-purpose platforms. More people are working, studying, and doing business from home, and international conferences and key business decisions are currently taking place online. This requires networks that are stable and secure, with a guaranteed level of user experience. In the first half of 2020, 800 million students worldwide studied online. Universities were running online classrooms, including the University of Cambridge in the UK. And in South Africa, Rhodes University streamed its graduation ceremony online. 

Live streaming platforms are giving consumers a true-to-life shopping experience. During the pandemic, many small business owners in Africa have been selling products through live streaming. Their businesses haven’t been affected – in fact, many vendors have expanded their reach thanks to stable and smooth live streaming.

From 128 Kbps bandwidth to 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 define this as follows:

Home digital value = Broadband Speed + Home Network + Diversified Services

First, carriers need to deploy FTTH and ensure fast broadband connectivity, so that a single investment can lead to returns for 30 years. With fiber infrastructure in place, users will enjoy faster speeds, from 100 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps right up to 10 Gbps 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. 

Connecting the unconnected

At 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 AI-powered building scanning technology to accurately identify where high-value users were located. In addition, lighter, easier-to-deploy products increased construction speeds by 90 percent and cut TTM from 180 days to 7 days. In Peru, Claro and Huawei developed a digital ODN solution, making plug-and-play for optical fibers a reality and eliminating the need for fiber splicing and making 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 home-visit services and if stated data rates are not realized, BT will return £100 to their users. In Anhui Province, China Telecom uses its network O&M platform to offer users services such as custom networking, self-service management, monthly quality reports, auto network optimization, and online expert services. By upgrading its basic services to professional services, the carrier has seen a rapid growth in sales.

Home network development does not stop with Wi-Fi coverage. We’re working with carriers to promote a Fiber-to-the-Room (FTTR) solution. Once fiber is available in every room, we will see an explosion in intelligent services. The ability to intelligently identify priority services has also become 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 as the pandemic hit. So they worked with China Unicom and used Huawei's eAI technology to increase network speeds specifically for VIPKid services. In Thailand, 3BB used Huawei's eAI technology to identify popular games and provide gaming broadband packages for 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 differentiated services. 

Enterprise+: Maximizing digital value with better experiences

For enterprises, digitalization is about connecting the flows of capital, human resources, assets, and information. After all, connectivity is the lifeblood of digital enterprises. Zhang Qingxian, a professor at China’s First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, has seen the value of the remote consultation system. He said that a doctor can provide remote consultations for 81 cases each day. If cloud and private lines become available earlier, more patients 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 100 times less than demand during peak hours. Therefore, bandwidth flexibility is crucial.

Many issues are affecting connection experiences for enterprises. Provisioning of services takes a long time. Pricing options are limited. And SLAs are invisible. So, we came up with a formula to address these issues and help enterprises create greater digital value.

Enterprise digital value = Coverage (C) x Architecture (A) x Fusion (F)

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 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, deploying one private line for each SME and providing five types of services. This reduces the need for SMEs to deploy ICT solutions and cuts 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's congestion-free, always-on, scalable, and simplified. This type of architecture is the precondition for providing deterministic experiences. For example, a carrier in western Europe built a country-wide private line specifically for the local media industry, employing a transparent transmission solution that dynamically adjusts bandwidth. China Telecom Shanghai rapidly upgraded its services by optimizing optical cable routes, reducing 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 interconnections between data centers to guarantee business development and security. The Indonesian carrier Indosat has rolled out a private line for the bank, improving network reliability from 99.9 percent to 99.999 percent, which represents a 50-percent 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. 

To more easily monetize their networks, carriers must optimize network architecture for agility, so networks can adapt to the needs of enterprise customers.

As AI technologies mature, the demand for computing power from enterprises is growing rapidly. How can we increase network bandwidth to make the most of computing power and accelerate digitalization across industries? We believe network capabilities should gradually become the foundation, so that carriers can provide cloud, network integration, and one hop to cloud with guaranteed SLAs and differentiated cloud and network services.

Business development and tech advancements cannot happen independently. To constantly grow, an industry needs both the technologies and the business applications to monetize these technologies.

Huawei is ready to work with carriers. Together, we achieve innovations in intelligent connectivity and provide 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.

We believe that demand can always be created and experiences will never stop evolving. Intelligence shapes experience, connectivity creates the future.