5G crucial for future after pandemic – Huawei Mid-East president

1. Steven Yi, President for the Middle East, Huawei
Steven Yi, president for the Middle East, Huawei (Photo: Handout from Huawei)
DUBAI — Huawei firmly believes in working together with partners to create a better future for shared success, and that the company is keen to openly work with more partners to create a digital future of shared prosperity.اضافة اعلان

The newly appointed Middle East president at the technology giant, Steven Yi, told the Jordan News on the sidelines of the Gitex exhibition in Dubai last week, that the company will focus on both regional and global ICT ecosystem partners towards reaching Huawei’s vision of bringing digital to every person, home, and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

“In the Arab region, digital technologies have ushered in historical transformations and enabled Arab leaders to diversify and strengthen economies. ICT technologies are at the core of many Arab states’ national agendas and visions,” Yi said.

“We are honored to provide an unparalleled platform that inspires collaboration to drive the next phase of socio-economic growth in the Arab world, driven by ICT innovations,” he added.  

5G in the Middle East market

Yi said 5G deployment has been quite successful in the Middle East. He said that it is estimated that 5G subscribers will exceed 10 million in the GCC by the end of 2021. “This is 2 million more than we forecast in April, the 5G penetration rate will reach 20 percent,” he said.

Yi said that 5G is the most important infrastructure for the digital future. “Once the penetration rate of 5G subscribers is high enough, there will be solid business returns. If it exceeds the 20 percent threshold, 5G will enter a rapid growth (phase),” Yi said. To date the number of 5G subscribers in the GCC countries has reached 7 million. 

Globally, 176 commercial 5G networks have been deployed. In the Middle East, most GCC countries have made good progress. A key difference between 5G and 4G, is that 5G matters particularly to industry development. 

At the Port of Sohar in Oman, Huawei worked with its customer Omantel and partner Hutchison to implement 5G-based vehicle license plate recognition, container number recognition, and remote detection, which greatly improved efficiency.

“In countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar, we are working on similar 5GtoB projects to help industries improve efficiency,” Yi said.

Pandemic’s impact on Huawei’s strategy in the Middle East

Yi said that the pandemic has accelerated digitalization globally. “People became more aware of the importance of digitalization and that brought many opportunities to the industry. For example, online activities such as online healthcare, online education, online shopping, and online meetings have become the new normal,” Yi said. 

He said that traffic is growing rapidly in the Middle East. “We hope to work with customers to build a partnership with a win-win mindset to jointly address the challenges of the pandemic. At the same time, we will seize and create opportunities to achieve growth in the context of accelerated 5G deployment and digital transformation,” he added.

Huawei has witnessed the evolution of the telecommunication industry over the past 20 years in the Middle East, from SMS, to multimedia messaging, video calls, and now 5G connectivity. Since the pandemic, industry digitization and online business have gained strong momentum. Huawei’s priority in the region is to first, ensure reliable network operation, and second, to work with industry partners to apply ICT technologies and expertise to pandemic prevention and control.

Cybersecurity challenges in the Middle East

Yi said that cybersecurity is a common challenge for the entire industry and for all countries. He said that in the past 30 years, Huawei has not had any major incident related to cyber security. In the Middle East, Huawei has never been questioned about cybersecurity. 

Since 2004, Huawei has provided network assurance for the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia with zero network failure or accident, keeping the network secure and stable. Huawei’s network assurance mechanism has been tested at the G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia, the G20 Summit in China in 2016, and the World Cup in Russia in 2018, and has been proven effective.

“In the Middle East, we are working with local governments, industry organizations, universities, customers, and partners, to discuss how to advance cybersecurity and build open, transparent, and secure networks. We believe that these efforts will help our cybersecurity operations in the Middle East,” Yi said.

Huawei puts in a lot of effort in network assurance to avoid network interruption. “We attach great importance to the training of experts in order to improve their skills and ensure cybersecurity and stable network operation,” Yi said.

He said that cybersecurity requires enhanced cooperation. “The whole network is highly complex, so we need vendors and industry partners to work together to protect and guarantee cyber security,” Yi said. Regarding recent major incidents of cybersecurity breaches, Yi said that similar problems have occurred in many places around the world in recent years, but that up to now, Huawei’s network is secure, and the company will strive to prevent such incidents from happening.

Global cybersecurity weakness

Yi said that while some countries try to politicize cybersecurity issues, they are essentially technical issues that require technical solutions. 

“We think that cybersecurity issues should be based on verifiable facts and objective methods. Huawei has established a sound cybersecurity assurance system and has a clean track record. Our cybersecurity practices have earned the trust of our partners in the Middle East and globally,” Yi said.

Huawei continues to encourage cooperation in all areas of ICT, particularly in cybersecurity, working together with industries to figure out the management structure of cybersecurity. 

In the past two years, the development of new technologies, such as 5G, industry digitalization, and AI, and the new normal under the pandemic have accelerated the advent of a digital world. Cyberspace is becoming increasingly complex. People face unprecedented risks and threats while enjoying the convenience of the digital world. 

Huawei calls on all parties to cooperate in various fields, such as governance architecture, standards, technologies, verification, to share successful practices, and improve overall capabilities, so as to enhance the trust and confidence of government regulators and society as a whole. 
“Together, we can find the solution to both growth and security of the digital age.”

“Cyber-defense requires greater global cooperation, this is not the responsibility of one company or country alone, but our common responsibility and obligation,” Yi said. He added that governments, technology companies and other stakeholders need to cooperate on laws and regulations to protect the digital economy.

Huawei Cloud plans to help Chinese enterprises go abroad 

Huawei, as a pioneer among Chinese firms of venturing abroad, is well aware of the challenges such companies may face and is familiar with local business policies and market environments. 

“Given the interest of Chinese companies, Huawei Cloud Middle East is committed to guiding their entrance into the Middle East market,” Yi said. Huawei Cloud provides comprehensive high-quality services for customers in the Middle East, he added, and can solve the technical difficulties of their global expansion through one global network.
“Our strong local ecosystem can help customers roll out their services in the Middle East and set up sales channels quickly,” Yi said.

In the past year, Huawei Cloud Middle East has cooperated with more than 20 Chinese enterprises to bring their business philosophies and practices to the Middle East. “In the future, Huawei Cloud will continue to be customer-centric and share our strong local ecosystem and technical capabilities with our customers, helping more Chinese enterprises succeed globally,” Yi said.

Giving the next generation a helping hand

Huawei has been enabling the next generation of developers and students through hands-on, real-life experience by providing online courses, training teacher resources, activities and onsite open labs. 

One such initiative is Huawei Student Developers, which is a community group for college and university students interested in Huawei technologies, where they can familiarize themselves with cutting-edge technologies and obtain knowledge and experience through hands-on practice. It aims to empower students to expand their scope of knowledge in a dynamic peer-to-peer learning environment.

The tech giant also announced the launch of the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) Certificate Program which aims to boost developers’ employability and expand their digital skills. Interested developers and students can apply for the certificate in three easy steps via the link: https://bit.ly/3DT4eRw

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