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AfricaCom 2022: Huawei addresses digital transformation’s big business opportunity


Huawei Principal Digital Transformation Consultant Jonathan Hopkinson delivered a keynote speech under the theme, “Accelerating Digital Operations Transformation towards Business Success” at the recently completed ‘Telcos of Tomorrow: The Evolution of African Telecoms’ forum.

Jonathan Hopkinson, Huawei Principal Digital Transformation Consultant

Hosted by Informa, the forum took place during AfricaCom – the continent’s biggest technology conference. During his speech, Hopkinson explained how important the digital economy has become and how it’s shaping the world of business.


“The digital economy is currently growing twice as fast as the traditional economy,” he said. “The digital economy has become an engine of economic growth. The pandemic has greatly accelerated the digital transformation progress of enterprises by seven years, resulting in huge opportunities for operators.”


Hopkinson further pointed out that digital transformation also has a role to play in making business more environmentally friendly.


“Extreme climate disasters have increased by 83% over the past 20 years, while energy prices have surged by 300% year-on-year in some regions,” he said. “The telecoms industry could help other sectors save considerable carbon emissions and energy by utilising digital technologies.”


Hopkinson also called for greater industry cooperation in ensuring that digital transformation is rolled out as effectively as possible.


“Huawei invites all operators to carry out better experience, smarter operations, and richer business co-creation together,” he said. “For better experience co-creation together, Huawei believes that digital technologies such as cloud and AI, OSS data, BSS data, and social data are integrated with convergent intelligent data, which maximises data value, and reforms business decision-making models through data-driven digital experience transformation.”


Addressing fears that technology could take jobs away from humans, Hopkinson pointed out that human-machine collaboration is the best way to achieve digital operations transformation. The work model of people will change from ‘in-the-loop’ to ‘on-the-loop’ and will focus more on intent setting, solution choice, and optimisation of the machine.


As examples of how Huawei is helping operators drive digital transformation for further business growth, Hopkinson pointed to the examples of 5G video calling and digital financial services. Some operators, he said, are treating 5G video calling as a strategic priority. Those operators already have more than 100 million customers. More than 390 million people around the world, meanwhile, use operator-run mobile money services powered by Huawei’s Fintech platform. By 2025, that number is expected to reach 2 billion globally.  


Both providers and operators, however, must realise that the network is becoming more complex, and that the increasing variety of services brought about by digital transformation require more nuanced service level agreements (SLAs).


“Huawei is willing to share our experiences, facilities, and resources as much as possible,” Hopkinson concluded. “We would like to establish a joint innovation centre together with our customers to conquer the industry’s most pressing issues. We will do more. We will share more. We will create more!”