Bringing the Benefits of Technology to Everyone
For 32 years, Huawei has been creating value for its customers through innovation. We’ve been doing everything we can to bridge the digital divide and meet the world’s need for connectivity. We want to make digital services more affordable and equally accessible to all, and to do our part in contributing to social and economic development. We believe that technology is fundamentally good, and that the value it creates should be shared – it should be passed on. This has made us what we are today, and it will continue to drive us forward for the next 30 years.
We work with carriers and other industry stakeholders to connect people in all four corners of the earth, whether it be border towns in Africa, the top of Mount Everest, remote arctic nations like Greenland, or unconnected regions in first-world countries. By helping people connect with ICT technology, we hope to give them more readily available access to the knowledge, information, and communication services they’re looking for.
Take Nigeria, for example. More than 50% of Nigeria’s population lives in rural areas scattered across vast grasslands and forests. Many of the residents lack basic communications infrastructure and access to electric power. Local income is low, which means it typically takes a long time to recoup investments in network construction. This has caused most equipment vendors to think twice about entering the market.
But not Huawei. To address the challenges specific to remote areas in countries like Nigeria, we developed a solution called RuralStar 2.0. Each RuralStar 2.0 base station has six solar panels, and does not need an external power supply. What’s more, it’s compact, light, and easy to install. MTN Group, a multinational carrier in Africa, has deployed this solution to bring network connections to many remote areas in Nigeria. The benefits were immediately clear. As a primary school principal in a small village said, “Now we don’t have to take a bus to the Education Bureau 30 kilometers away just to fetch teaching materials. This wireless communication allows us to learn more quickly and easily.”
RuralStar enables connectivity across all types of terrain, including plains, hills, deserts, and islands. As of the end of 2018, we had deployed this solution in more than 50 countries and regions, including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Algeria, Thailand, and Mexico. RuralStar is used in more than 110 networks worldwide, connecting 40 million rural residents.
The digital divide is not unique to developing nations. Some developed countries also have unequal and difficult access to digital services. For example, by the end of 2018, the French telecom regulator ARCEP had identified more than 4,000 white zones – areas and towns that had no network coverage. The residents of these towns accounted for 1% of the country’s total population. To get them connected, the French government launched a white-zone project. Huawei has been involved in this project since 2011, working with carriers to deploy 3G networks in these unconnected regions. As of last year, we had helped provide 3,300 of the 4,000 white zones with 3G access. We will start 4G rollout later this year – all zones should have 4G coverage by 2022.
But our innovation does not stop at connectivity. We also work on application development and enablement to bring the full benefits of digital technology to everyone. Working together with the European Union of the Deaf, we developed an app called StorySign that uses AI and AR to help deaf children overcome barriers when they first learn how to read. All they have to do is hold their device up to a book, and a cartoon avatar will appear on the screen to translate the written text into sign language. This bridges the gap between phonetics and written language, and makes reading more fun for deaf children.
We want to advance technology for every person, home, and organization. But the reality is, we still have a long way to go. According to GSMA, 66% of the world’s households remain unconnected, and nearly 4 billion people have no Internet access. On top of that, more than 2 billion people around the world lack reliable mobile broadband service.
With the arrival of 5G, we will continue to work hard to provide everyone with equal and more readily available access to digital services.
Green 5G: Huawei’s 5G base stations consume 20% less power than the industry average
Environmental protection is also a key component of our sustainable development initiatives. We are innovating hard to reduce the energy consumption of our networking products for a greener world.
We believe that the digital economy needs to be a green economy, one in which both policy and innovation enable us to use resources more efficiently, while enhancing human well-being in an inclusive manner and protecting the natural systems that sustain us.
As the world grows more connected, energy efficiency has become a major consideration for future communications networks. We have to use less energy to transmit more data, and reduce the overall energy
consumption of power systems. ICT technologies can help.
There’s a fair amount of concern over the power consumption of 5G networks, especially considering that they will have much larger capacity and transmit data at much faster speeds. Given the sheer number of connections we expect to see, you might think that 5G networks will eat through twice the amount of power that 4G does.
But that’s actually not the case. 5G networks are already being deployed, and we anticipate that for the same geographical coverage, overall power consumption for 5G networks will typically be at the same level as 4G.
More importantly, with 5G, we can use less energy to transmit more data. With 1 kWh of electricity, we can transmit 5,000 GB of data over a 5G network. That’s equivalent to roughly 5,000 ultra-HD movies. With 4G, the same amount of electricity would only get you about 300 HD movies. Huawei’s 5G is 10 to 20 times more energy-efficient than 4G.
Essentially, the overall power consumption of our 5G base stations is at about the same level as 4G, even though they support much larger capacity at higher speeds.
We have managed to achieve this through extensive innovation in 5G research, product development, and engineering.
First, we’ve got our chips. Huawei uses highly integrated chips, which makes our boards more integrated, reduces the number of on-board components, and brings down the power consumption of modules.
Next is our innovations in system software and professional services. For example, we use AI to cut the power consumption of wireless network equipment by 10% to 15%, without any impact on network performance. This enables optimal power savings across an entire network.
Third, our hardware. We’re continually making improvements in our hardware to drive power efficiency. For example, we use advanced processes to improve energy conversion and use biomimetic heat dissipation technology to reduce power consumption.
Finally, our 5G site design. Huawei’s Simplified 5G solution, a modular design for full-outdoor base stations, requires no air conditioning. This has greatly reduced energy consumption.
Combining our strengths in software and hardware, we have managed to reduce per-site power consumption to 20% less than the industry average. Our 5G equipment is more energy-efficient. With the right solutions, Huawei’s 5G is green.
By focusing on sustainability, we can contribute to the sustainable development of global ICT infrastructure
There’s a lot going on these days. Huawei is facing some challenges, and some people are wondering: Will Huawei survive? Are our products and services secure and trustworthy?
We can tell you for certain that we will survive and thrive. Our growth is sustainable, and we will get through this in an even better position than before.
There are four reasons for this.
First, in an ever-changing and competitive environment, innovation is the foundation of survival. Huawei’s strong investment in basic research and engineering technologies has enabled us to move forward steadily despite external pressures.
Second, we live our core values: customer-centricity, dedication, and perseverance. These values are at the heart of our corporate culture, guiding us – a team of more than 190,000 people – in everything we do.
Third, we are committed to developing secure and trustworthy digital products and services. We have established a comprehensive cyber security assurance system that covers everything from organization, personnel, and processes to IT systems to ensure smooth and secure communications in all situations.
Fourth, we have a mature supply continuity program for every aspect of our business, including technology, products, procurement, manufacturing, logistics, sales, and services. We’ve been working on these programs for more than a decade, and we can ensure supply continuity in all manner of emergency.
For the past 32 years, we have provided services to more than three billion people in more than 170 countries and regions. Huawei plays a critical role in the sustainability of the global ICT ecosystem. Ensuring stable and secure network operations for our global customers, users, and partners is paramount, and we consider it one of our most important responsibilities.
Openness, collaboration, and shared success
Open collaboration is key to achieving our sustainable development goals. We believe that working together leads to shared success, which is why we proactively engage with all stakeholders, including customers, governments, and industry organizations. Together, we want to build a sustainable ecosystem that is more inclusive, flexible, and responsive.
Moving forward, we will continue to collaborate and promote shared success. We will continue to grow the industry and enlarge the market. We will continue to enable others and till the soil for everyone.
Open collaboration is good for the entire industry, and if we hope to build a more fully connected and intelligent world, everyone in the ecosystem needs to work together. By working together, we can provide our customers with the best possible service and support.
We hope to see greater solidarity and cooperation in the future. We will keep investing in joint innovation, breaking through technical bottlenecks, and driving industry upgrades with our partners. Together, we will make digital technology more affordable and equally accessible for everyone.
Download the Huawei 2018 Sustainability Report for more information on how we’re working to build a green, inclusive, and sustainable future.
Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.