The recent Huawei Better World Summit set out to explore how ICT can be used to contain the spread of COVID-19 more effectively and boost post-pandemic economic recovery.
The pandemic has changed the world around us, touching on every aspect of work and life. With a wide range of participants including telecom carriers, regulators, analysts, media, and partners from around the globe joining online, the Better World Summit delved into how ICT is creating new value in a wide range of fields, including telemedicine, remote education, teleworking, and public health services.
During the Summit, Developing Telecoms had a virtual meeting with Wang Yifan, President, Service & Software Marketing & Solution Sales Department at Huawei. We started with an overview of Huawei’s service and software business.
WYF: Over the past 30 years, Huawei's service and software products have provided professional services for 1,500 networks of more than 300 telecom carriers worldwide. Currently, we maintain over 18 million network elements, handle over 200 major events every year, provide over 600,000 technical support events, and resolve over 1 million support tickets annually. Huawei provides assurance for internet services and voice calls for 3 billion people worldwide.
DT: What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on telecom operators?
WYF: During the COVID-19 epidemic, operators experienced rapid changes in traffic hotspot areas as many customers switched to working or studying from home rather than at offices and colleges. The movement of traffic from CBDs and college campuses to residential areas within a short time period has posed a big challenge for carrier networks.
Fortunately, Huawei has the expertise to handle this. For example, after the Mexico earthquake in 2017, Huawei helped operators restore telecom services quickly in the disaster area. Huawei has also worked with operators for more than 15 years to provide reliable network assurance for the Hajj pilgrimage when more than 3 million Muslims visit Saudi Arabia every year.
DT: What are the most important factors in providing reliable service assurance for operators?
WYF: Huawei believes that it is only possible to ensure stable network operations if you deliver a reliable and professional service system on an open and agile digital platform. Huawei provides global operators with five services to keep their operations continuous. These are rigid maintenance services backed by a good rapport with customers, uninterrupted network operations, continuous spare parts supply and 24/7 Technical Assistance Centre (TAC) response.
DT: Many telecom software and services vendors would claim to provide a similar level of support. What makes the services offered by Huawei different?
WYF: There are five key factors to support the reliable services from Huawei. First, Huawei has well-established management systems, certified by a host of international standard organizations including ISO/TL/IEC/OHSAS and others. Second, Huawei has 22,000 frontline employees and 120,000 from partners across 170 countries and regions to provide on-site services in a timely manner.
Third, Huawei has a comprehensive spare parts support system, including five global spare parts supply centres, nine global spare parts operation centres, and 16 global spare parts maintenance centres. These are critical to supporting operators, particularly in the most remote areas, and we do not believe other vendors can match the scale and reliability of this network.
Fourth, Huawei has a three-level technical support system consisting of global Research and Development, GTAC/TAC, and project maintenance team.
Finally, Huawei encapsulates and builds a large number of successful experience and knowledge assets accumulated over 30 years in the telecom industry on the platform together with models generated through machine learning. Moreover, Huawei opens its digital platform to customers and partners to continuously improve service quality and efficiency.
DT: How important are open systems?
WYF: Huawei Service and Software has been building its knowledge and machine learning models in the telecom industry on a digital platform that is open to the entire industry based on our more than 30 years’ experience. This platform is continuously evolving and the operators' teams and ecosystem partners are able to develop their own applications through this open platform to achieve business agility.
DT: In what ways is this digital platform an open system?
WYF: We believe that real value creation is based on the “Experts + Engineers + Platform +Knowledge Assets + Ecosystem Partners" model, which is a truly open system. Huawei’s digital platform provides open APIs that can be invoked by other systems and partners; it also provides an application development centre (ADC) that enables partners and operators' in-house teams to develop versatile Apps.
DT: How much do developers contribute to the Huawei open system platform?
WYF: Currently, Huawei has developed 80% of common applications (Apps), including network planning, construction, maintenance, optimization, and intelligent operation. The other 20% of customization requirements are met by our ecosystem partners. This open multi-ecosystem partnership platform will benefit the entire industry and continuously create value.
DT: Are there other areas where Huawei Service and Software is creating value for operators?
WYF: Huawei has developed AI applications such as a digital survey App which improves site survey efficiency by 30% and requires only consumer-level cameras. And in the environment and green energy area, which is of very great concern to operators, Huawei reduces operators’ energy consumption with innovative technology. The PowerStar solution saves 15% power consumption for wireless networks and 9% to 17% for data centre PUE optimization.
DT: The Better World Summit sets out to explore the strategic foundations that ICT lays for a brighter, more prosperous future. How would you sum up the way in which software and service will contribute to this in the post COVID-19 world?
WYF: Huawei Service and Software will rely on our professional and reliable global service team, an open and agile digital platform, powerful R&D innovation resources, and ecosystem partners to help the telecom industry achieve digital transformation during and following COVID-19. We believe in enabling business success through reliability, professionalism and agility and in working with telecom carriers and ecosystem partners to achieve sustainable development and win-win outcomes.