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Huawei's New ICT Empowers Smart Grids But Electric Power Industry Needs Urgent Transformation

Today marked the Seventh Huawei Global Power Summit themed "Bits Drive Watts, Building a Fully Connected Smart Grid". Held online, the summit invited global customers, partners, industry experts, and thought leaders in the electric power industry to discuss the impact and response to this year's pandemic and political and economic uncertainties.

The electric power market continues to represent huge potential while the industry needs to build reliable, cost-effective, efficient, and green power grids with a more efficient and reasonable energy supply.

Seize the Opportunity to Transform the Electric Power Industry

Electric power companies around the world are looking to improve quality and efficiency by deploying data centers and reconstructing management platforms. They aim to provide more reliable, efficient, and green energy while ensuring grid security, and offer more value-added services through the energy Internet to drive social development.

However, conventional operational models and technologies fail to support this transformation. As such, the global electric power industry needs to consider how to adapt to new trends; how can grids detect security issues in real time and respond quickly; how can we make better use of clean energy and reduce carbon emissions? How can energy networks match the rapidly expanding charging pile network and achieve efficient management?

To change agents, challenges mean opportunities. "Huawei helps customers cope with these industry challenges and seize future opportunities through digital transformation," said David Sun, Vice President of Huawei Enterprise BG and President of the Global Energy Business Unit.

Huawei seamlessly integrates 5G, IoT, optical, IP, cloud, big data, and AI technologies into power systems. Together with partners, Huawei has launched smart service solutions, such as AI-powered grid inspection and distribution IoT, covering power generation, transmission, transformation, distribution, and consumption. These enable comprehensive sensing, interconnection, and service intelligence of various power terminals.

Mr. Sun also noted that "Huawei looks forward to sharing the digital transformation experience of China's electric power and other industries with more customers, drive watts with bits, and build smart grids to help global electric power companies accelerate development."

New ICT Empowers Smart Grids

An increasing number of electric power companies identify their digital transformation strategies as their priority. At the summit, Huawei and industry leaders illustrated the importance of 5G, AI, big data, and cloud computing for this process.

For example, China Southern Power Grid (CSG) finds that power distribution networks and users require power grid communication that features wide connectivity, high bandwidth, low latency, high reliability, and fast deployment. These features ensure intelligent power distribution and metering, and facilitate the development of smart home and Internet of Vehicles (IoV). In response, Huawei's advanced 5G slicing technology enables end-to-end communication of smart grids, ensuring secure and reliable power distribution networks as well as improved efficiency.

CSG has summarized 53 typical service scenarios covering power generation, transmission, distribution, transformation, consumption, and integrated services, according to Yang Junquan, Deputy General Manager of CSG Power Dispatch and Control Center. He also expects more 5G applications to emerge in the near future.

HUAWEI CLOUD and data platform provide mass data storage and computing capabilities. Together, they integrate data assets from multiple systems of a power grid company into one platform. Through high-speed data processing and sharing, the platform helps complete various challenging tasks.

For example, Qinghai Province in China aims to achieve 100% green energy consumption and supply in the long term. Together with Huawei, the province has leveraged cloud computing to construct a new energy data center powered by AI and big data capabilities. Now, the provincial electric power company can predict the renewable energy yield simply based on the weather forecast.

With multi-energy compensation, the total power output to access the grid will be more stable. By implementing these high-tech strategies, in 2019, Qinghai maintained 100% green energy generation for 15 consecutive days. In this case, clean energy consumption has been supported through digital and smart means.

New ICT can also improve the O&M efficiency of electric power companies. The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) worked with Huawei to build a digital platform, IoT platform, and cloud, which reduces the time it takes to collect and store data from four hours to 30 minutes for its Henan branch.

Huawei embeds AI modules into cameras and drones, enabling the O&M team to remotely monitor power transmission lines and detect faults. Thanks to this, the Shenzhen Power Supply Bureau reduced its grid inspection time from 20 days to 2 hours and the time to capture images from hours to minutes. It has also achieved over 90% image analysis accuracy.

Huawei will centrally deploy and remotely manage millions of EVs and charging piles through the cloud, improve charging efficiency and battery lifespan management through AI-powered data analysis, and increase management efficiency using 5G high-speed networks.

Providing digital services by leveraging abundant fiber and site resources and innovative ICT solutions has become one of the major digital transformation trends for global electric power companies.

Huawei has worked with over 190 electric power companies worldwide, including 10 of the industry's top 20, to implement digital transformation. Huawei's solutions are widely used by electric power companies such as the Saudi Electricity Company, Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation, Provincial Electricity Authority of Thailand, SGCC, and CSG .For more information about Huawei Global Power Summit, please visit https://bit.ly/32bYD9i

Building The 5G future On An LTE Foundation

The latest report from GSA shows, by the end of May 2020, 386 operators globally had announced they were investing in 5G, , among which 81 operators in 42 countries/territories launched 5G commercial services, including the most recent MTN 5G launch in South Africa.

5G, the fifth generation of mobile networks, will enable enhanced mobile broadband, mission-critical communications, and massive Internet of Things (IoT) communications between equipment.

However, today the immediate need is for online, digital communications, which can easily be provided by 4G or LTE networks. The good news is that LTE is also the foundation for the revolutionary move to 5G.

Narrowing the digital divide and empowering more of the world’s people with online connectivity is key to overcoming poverty and attaining a sustainable future. This will require constantly expanding LTE (4G) mobile broadband coverage and adoption.

Living and working online is becoming acknowledged as a human right. Sadly, billions of people remain excluded from the opportunities of the online economy, according to Emmanuel Coelho Alves, Senior Marketing Director at Huawei. 

“There is a need to redouble our effort for more digital transmission and inclusion to support United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and bring the excluded 3.9 billion of world’s population online,” he said, “It won’t be easy, but with cross-sector efforts from government and partners in the private sector, academia and civil society … we can achieve that.”

Alves was speaking at the recent online LTE Summit 2020 held by the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA).

Alves said that there had been progress in expanding global mobile broadband coverage, with almost 66% of areas now covered. Of these, 90% had access to high-quality networks such as 3G and 4G.

Around 80% of the world’s population now has mobile coverage, according to the latest GSMA report. Of these, more than 50% of connections are already on 4G.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are 456 million unique mobile subscribers, representing 44% of people, with this proportion expected to grow to 50% by 2025.

 

 

The GSMA report predicts that Africa will be the fastest-growing global region, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.6%. However, mobile broadband subscriber numbers remain significantly lower, with 239 million subscribers and a penetration rate of just 23%.

Bringing Africa’s people into the mobile economy will require ongoing expansion of mobile broadband services such as 4G, with penetration expected to reach 39% by 2025.

“4G provides an extremely good asset when you go later to 5G,” said Alves. “4G has been deployed widely in the past years. 4G is the capacity layer in city, leveraging massive MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) in hot spots with significant traffic.”

By applying a standard known as ENDC (E-UTRAN New Radio – Dual Connectivity), network operators are able to use both 4G and 5G schedulers together. 

It is also possible to use a technology known as DSS (dynamic spectrum sharing) to allow for real-time allocation of spectrum resources between 4G and 5G, depending on network traffic. This can be achieved with millisecond accuracy.

“Currently, 4G is the main mobile broadband layer, and what is replacing 3G,” said Alves. “But on top of this, 4G has flexible capabilities that allow 4G and 5G to work together from the network level.

Industry leaders believe that in the medium term, 4G will be the layer of choice for global mobile communications, while 5G will mainly be used in more industrial communications.

However, 4G networks already have the capabilities to guarantee an optimal user experience for 5G users, including services such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and cloud gaming.

It thus makes sense for national networks to invest in 4G to secure future growth opportunities, while already supporting leading-edge 5G capabilities.

Mohamed Madkour, VP of global wireless networks marketing and solutions at Huawei, said at the AfricaCom 2019 conference in Cape Town last year, that “all investment in expanding 4G and organising site assets will reduce the amount of money needed to switch on 5G in the near future. Every rand spent on 4G is thus a rand invested in 5G.”

Whether seen from a network operator or a policy perspective, 4G is thus not simply an interim step towards 5G. The 4G foundation already heralds the arrival of our 5G future.

4G Networks Support Communities Through Covid-19 Pandemic

Much of the current hype in the telecommunications space focuses on the roll-out of 5G technology, the new mobile networks that will power the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). But it is, in fact, 4G technology – LTE – that is providing lifesaving connectivity during the Covid-19 pandemic right now when communities need it most. 

Called Long Term Evolution to give it its full name, LTE is the network technology used by 52 per cent of the world’s mobile devices. As such, it is this 4G tech that has underpinned the innovative digital initiatives supporting communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The pandemic and the lockdown have presented humanity with mortal challenges. People, countries and organisations are rising to these challenges, often using our evolving telecommunications capabilities. However, the new era has come with opportunities, which innovators have also been able to grasp, thanks to 4G connectivity. 

This will remain the case over the medium term. 

“Until 2025, LTE will continue to do the heavy lifting,” said Henry Calvert, head of the Network 2020 future network programme at the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), “Our 4G networks will remain key… They will continue to be important for the next five-to-seven years,” he said.

Speaking at the recent 2020 GSMA LTE Summit, Calvert said that during the pandemic, LTE was coming to the fore in the provision of telehealth and telemedicine, as well as expanding network services to hot spots to support the ill through hospitals and other healthcare services.

Besides the significant role 4G plays in supporting health services, it also provides for the data and connectivity needs of the new lifestyles taking shape since lockdown. 

Calvert said operators report that data usage has increased by more than 70 per cent per customer during the pandemic, driven by online services and consumption of on-demand video services like Netflix, which recently reported adding 15,8 million subscribers in a year – more than double expectations.  

“There has even been a call to on-demand video providers to reduce the quality of video they’re deploying and encourage people to use standard-definition rather than high-definition TV to preserve the capacity in the networks for online education, online health and online businesses,” he said. 

“As transformation continues it’s been focused on expanding 4G capacity,” he said. “But the 5G transformation is clearly going to be needed in the future to meet online demands.” 

During COVID-19, 4G networks have also been instrumental in supporting contact-tracing apps, which can locate and notify the contacts of infected individuals remotely, while still protecting the privacy of users. LTE networks have also provided free data to support contact tracking to do as much as possible to ensure the infection isn’t spread any further. 

LTE also underpins the recent shifts in lifestyles, with large proportions of the population working, educating their children, shopping and socialising from home using online platforms. 

So critical is LTE to this new paradigm, that it must remain the priority infrastructure over the short term, while societies grapple with the pandemic. 

“Our GSMA intelligence groups show that there will be a short-term dip in 5G deployment,” said Calvert. “But that will quickly recover to normal levels. We still see launches of 5G networks, as we now know that delivering on the data demand that has been met by our LTE networks can only get better with 5G.”

5G’s Impact On Global GDP Over $7.5trn

Huawei recently held its 5G+, Better World Summit, where various operators and industry partners shared their experiences of how 5G applications can drive significant business and industry efficiency.

"5G development has entered a new phase," said Huawei Carrier CMO Bob Cai.

"With over 80 5G networks commercially available worldwide, determining how to leverage 5G to create more value is currently a topic of great interest within the industry.”

“Currently, 5G for business is still more of a branding concept, and more solid work needs to be done. To build a positive business cycle, work should be done in four aspects: technology, ecosystem, standards, and business model.”

5G will drive future business

Dimitris Mavrakis, research director of ABI research, highlighted that new ‘G’ technologies have historically offered major benefits to consumers.

5G, however, is likely to be most beneficial to the commercial sector.

By 2030, Mavrakis predicted that 5G’s impact on the global GDP will be over $7.5 trillion – compared to the $5.1 trillion 4G contributed in 2019.

“We expect that 5G will transform businesses in the same way 4G transformed consumers,” said Mavrakis.

However, he cautioned that it could take several years for the manufacturing world to adopt technology.

Mavrakis also implored governments to provide opportunities for 5G to flourish within their countries and highlighted ways that this is already being done, such as in the provisioning of free 5G spectrum and the reduction in taxation of carriers.

Several Huawei partners also highlighted the different industries that are already getting great benefits out of 5G.

Ports of trade

Xu Mengqiang, General Manager of China Mobile Ningbo, highlighted that several 5G implementations have resulted in substantial benefits to a Ningbo port.

These include 5G-powered self-driving container trucks, remote-controlled cranes, and backhaul HD video streaming - which shows key cranes in real-time.

The Ningbo port envisions that efficiency will be increased by over 260% while labour costs will be cut by over 70% as a result of new 5G-powered technologies.

Agriculture

Dr Thomas Anken is the head of the Digital Production Federal Department of Economic Affairs Education and Research in Switzerland.

Anken highlighted that 5G is enabling a variety of smart farming methods that have a significant impact on the yields of farms in the country.

Examples include:

  • Multispectral imaging of wheat fields by drones resulting in a 10% decrease in fertiliser usage.
  • Tractors with an automated hoe that recognises plants and eliminates the weeds around them.
  • The swift delivery of important intelligence to the cloud which ensures that automated robots receive data to update their machine learning capabilities, while farmers also receive insights into how they can optimise their processes.

Smart factories

Guo Lihong, Deputy Director of the Engineering Equipment Department of Hunan Valin Xiangtan Iron and Steel, explained that 5G is expected to increase the factory’s efficiency by 30% while reducing costs by the same margin.

5G is used with remote-controlled cranes and slag-adding arms to streamline the factory’s processes, and these cranes have improved production efficiency by 33%.

The ability for production line surveyors to watch real-time production through HD video has also optimised these workers’ jobs.

In total, the factory plans to build 100 5G macro sites as well as three management centres to continue to reap the benefits of 5G.

Hospitals

Hospitals in the Henan province have implemented a variety of impressive 5G-powered functionalities to improve their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These systems were installed within 82 hours and involved the building of remote systems for 147 hospitals in 18 cities within the province.

Features that were available to these hospitals included:

  • Remote surgery guidance.
  • Robots through which doctors can talk to patients.
  • Systems in ambulances which support first response teams – in an ambulance moving at 80km/h, backhaul speed is 50MB/s.

How Huawei Is Driving Equity & Quality In Education Using Technology

Huawei’s Deputy Chairman Ken Hu outlined its vision and action plan for education under its digital inclusion initiative TECH4ALL at the Global Education Webinar entitled "Driving Equity and Quality with Technology", emphasizing that "connecting schools and skills development are two key ways for Huawei to improve equitable and quality education."

The webinar was joined by leaders and experts from UNESCO, GSMA, the Ministry of National Education of Senegal, universities and educational institutions, as well as the private sector.

Improving Equitable and Quality in Education through Technology

 Digital technology plays an important role in education. However, 50% of the world’s population still does not have Internet access, and many people lack the skills needed to use digital devices. As a result, the digital divide in education continues to widen.

Ken Hu said: "We believe that everyone, everywhere has the right to education and the equality of opportunity it brings. As a technology company, Huawei wants to help with connectivity, applications and skills by focusing on two important areas of connecting schools and developing digital skills respectively.

In terms of connecting schools, Huawei will help to provide access to high-quality educational resources such as digital curriculums and e-learning applications, and teacher and student training by connecting school to the Internet with partners.

In South Africa, Huawei recently launched the DigiSchool project in partnership with operator Rain and educational non-profit organization Click Foundation, aiming to connect 100 urban and rural primary schools over the next year, in addition to the 12 already connected through 5G technology.

"Through digital education, we not only address the literacy crisis in the country, but also provide young children with the digital skills needed for future success," Nicola Harris, CEO, Click Foundation added at the webinar.

In terms of digital skills development, Huawei plans to provide digital skills training for vulnerable groups in remote areas, especially female students, through projects such as DigiTruck in a program called ‘Skills on Wheels.’

Since the launch of DigiTruck in Kenya at the end of last year, it has provided training for more than 1,500 young adults and teachers in rural areas. Huawei hopes to replicate the program in France, the Philippines and other countries in the next two years.

"These all solar-powered, mobile classrooms with wireless broadband access can reach even the most remote communities." Olivier Vanden Eynde, CEO of Close the Gap, key partner of DigiTruck, said.

Stepping up efforts in response to Covid-19

Huawei has stepped up its efforts through its TECH4ALL initiative in support of UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition, set up to tackle the global challenges impacting education due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For instance, the company has joined forces with the UNESCO Coalition and the Ministry of National Education of Senegal to support the country to carry out distance learning during the outbreak. Local teachers are provided with connectivity, digital devices and skills training which will benefit more than 100,000 students.

“This crisis has changed the face and future of education. It has demonstrated how fast change can happen through partnership, when expertise and resources are matched up with local needs to ensure learning continuity, especially for the most marginalized students,” said Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education.    

At the same time, the Huawei ICT Academy launched its "Learn ON" program in early April, aiming to address the educational needs of University-based ICT talent affected by the epidemic. The program brings together global university partners and offers college cooperation incentive funds, which can be used for online courses and examinations, online experiments, etc., and provides more than 130 Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC) resources, covering cutting-edge technology fields such as artificial intelligence, big data, 5G, and the Internet of Things.

Public-private cooperation accelerating the resolution of education issues

The Global Education Webinar focused on the two topics of "Distance Learning for Better Education Continuity" and "ICT Innovation for Inclusive Learning".

The best practices and experience of China, France, Luxembourg, Senegal, South Africa and other countries were shared and discussed and Borhene Chakroun, Director of UNESCO’s Policy and Lifelong Learning Systems, reiterated that “with at least 63 million primary and secondary teachers affected, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for developing teachers' capacity to effectively engage in distance learning, which will become part of the education and training provision in the future”.

 In addition, participants reached a consensus that public-private cooperation is the key to promoting inclusive education by digital technology. “Many lessons have been learnt this year in low- and middle-income countries, adapting services to address the needs of users and responding to the impact of the global pandemic by evolving business and critical partnerships.

The GSMA and the mobile industry are supporting the current situation, and committed to long-term support of the SDGs (the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal) in the era of ethical leadership.” added by Stephanie Lynch-Habib, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA.

To achieve greater digital inclusion in the education field, it requires cross-sector efforts by governments, industry organizations, educational institutions, and technology companies to contribute their respective experiences and resources. This will ultimately accelerate the achievement of SDG 4 (“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”) by 2030.

How New Digital Logistics Firm Logistify AI Is Disrupting Logistics Industry

Transport Engineering PhD graduate Daniel Emaasit from the University of Nevada in the USA together with his brother Tobias Tukei who has been in the logistics industry for over 7 years teamed up to start on-demand warehousing and logistics firm  Logistify AI and they believe this company will tilt the logistics and warehousing industry on its head.

The Covid-19 pandemic is causing a good amount of panic across the industry and Emaasit believes their startup is the solution to rapid response support during this time through providing speedy warehousing services for essential commodities like masks, food, sanitizer and essential medicines that are highly needed now.

Their pay as you go model gives you the flexibility of using the facilities under their management starting from a few hours to days, months and much longer than traditional logistics firms don’t.

The old business model in the industry was built on locking down clients into inconvenient long-term contracts something Emaasit and his team want to change.

Breaking Out

Logistify AI started operations in July last year and the company has been growing steadily month on month. They have since onboarded a number of leading warehouse owners like Equator Catering Services, BAT Uganda warehouses in Jinja, Rafiki Property Services, East Africa Investment, Sarjan Property Agencies and Creston Business park to mention but a few.

Through his experience working for DSV Global, Tobias Tukei the company’s co-founder realised warehouse owners do have seasons of low or no business at all.

Combining their experience growing up in rural Eastern Uganda to parents who were farmers and owned a warehouse with the challenges Tukei saw in the logistics industry as he worked. He got a good understanding of the bad and good seasons in the industry and the company, as a result, is equipped to help clients navigate through them both.

During this Covid-19 lockdown, the key products taking up large spaces in the warehouses include food, sanitizer and soap which are critical for survival in this period.

However more products including all fast-moving consumer goods, light and heavy commodities including timber among other things will be added on as the lockdown eases.

International clients like Aqua Fish and Son Fish both makers of fish feeds based in Egypt have already trusted them as a service provider of choice and the numbers are set to rise.

Growth

With close to 50 prospective clients already in talks with the firm, CEO Daniel Emaasit says the growth is promising.

Month on month growth figures show a 33% increase in bookings, a 120% increase in users and a 167% growth in listings.  Daniel Emaasit the company’s CEO believes they will break even within a year’s time thanks to this rapid growth.

Challenges

Limited knowledge among warehouse owners about their product, some warehouses being hard to reach, internet access for the rural ones remains an issue to yet a lot of the firm’s business’ is online leaving out some customers.

The Future

They are exploring how to roll out complete pick, pack and ship services with transport to the final destination from the warehouses as clients demand more of these.

Over $20, 000 (about Shs75.7m has been sunk into the business by the founding brothers with plans to expand across borders.

Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania are the next markets with the entire continent being the ultimate target going forward says the firm's COO Tobias Tukei.

New forms of storage space will also become available going forward with plans to have onboard every one with a deport, vacant store, residential house and even vacant shop as a client on the supply side.

What sets them apart?

While most sites and companies in this sector list real estate in general, Logistify AI has put it’s focus on the warehousing, storage and logistics sector.

They also ease the monetary transactions in the sector as an intermediary and single centre for payments something that makes the work of the warehouse owners and those hiring them easier.

Affordability is embedded in their service as there is no extra payment charged to customer besides a 10% shippers fee that is booked on the storage fee to ensure customers are not exploited.

Back and forth communication that goes into invoicing has also been reduced with customers being able to receive invoices through the Logistify app and make payments through mobile money, card payments and direct bank deposits.

Choosing to take on a digital approach to a largely brick and mortar logistics industry, the ease of scaling across borders is another advantage they intend to use and build Logistify AI into a real force in the industry COO Tukei concludes.

 

Huawei: A Year & Beyond

Huawei held its 17th annual Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen, both onsite and online. At the event, Huawei was joined by over 2,000 analysts, key opinion leaders, and media representatives from a range of industries, including telecoms, the Internet, and finance.

Together, they discussed how the industry can work together to weather the difficult times, achieve win-win outcomes, and accelerate the arrival of the intelligent world.

At the opening of the event, Huawei's Rotating Chairman Guo Ping delivered a keynote speech titled "Huawei: A Year and Beyond". Guo Ping started by sharing Huawei's experience and business results of the past year. He said, "Over the past year, many technologies became unavailable to us. Despite this, Huawei struggled to survive and is striving to move forward."

Huawei has long been an active contributor to the ICT industry. Since it was founded, Huawei has been committed to bringing digital to more people, homes, and organizations, in order to move the world forward.

In the past 30-plus years, Huawei has deployed over 1,500 networks in more than 170 countries and regions, serving over 3 billion people worldwide.

We also provide smart devices to 600 million consumers. US actions against Huawei will not only harm Huawei, but also harm the experiences of customers and consumers that use Huawei's products and services.

ICT infrastructure is the foundation of the intelligent world. By 2025, the digital economy will represent an industry worth 23 trillion US dollars. The ICT industry still has great potential. Standing at the threshold of the intelligent world, we can see more opportunities than challenges for the ICT industry.

Looking ahead, Huawei will continue investing and innovating in three domains: connectivity, computing, and smart devices. We will work with customers, partners, standards organizations, and all other industry players in domains like supply chain, standards, and talent cultivation, to encourage open collaboration, promote inclusive industry development, and explore the future together.

Guo Ping stated, "Today the world is an integrated collaborative system. The trend of globalization shouldn't and will not likely be reversed. Fragmented standards and supply chains benefit no one, and further fragmentation will have a severe impact on the entire industry. The industry as a whole should work together to strengthen IPR protection, safeguard fair competition, protect unified global standards, and promote a collaborative global supply chain."

The first Huawei Global Analyst Summit took place in 2004, and has been held annually ever since. This year's summit runs from May 18 to 20, with a series of parallel sessions. Attendees include industry experts from around the world, who discuss and share their insights into industry trends, tech trends, and global collaboration.

US Move Undermines The Entire Industry Worldwide

Huawei categorically opposes the amendments made by the US Department of Commerce to its foreign direct product rule that target Huawei specifically.

The US government added Huawei to the Entity List on May 16, 2019 without justification. Since that time, and despite the fact that a number of key industrial and technological elements were made unavailable to us, we have remained committed to complying with all US government rules and regulations.

At the same time, we have fulfilled our contractual obligations to customers and suppliers, and have survived and forged ahead against all odds.

Nevertheless, in its relentless pursuit to tighten its stranglehold on our company, the US government has decided to proceed and completely ignore the concerns of many companies and industry associations.

This decision was arbitrary and pernicious, and threatens to undermine the entire industry worldwide. This new rule will impact the expansion, maintenance, and continuous operations of networks worth hundreds of billions of dollars that we have rolled out in more than 170 countries.

It will also impact communications services for the more than 3 billion people who use Huawei products and services worldwide. To attack a leading company from another country, the US government has intentionally turned its back on the interests of Huawei's customers and consumers. This goes against the US government’s claim that it is motivated by network security.

This decision by the US government does not just affect Huawei. It will have a serious impact on a wide number of global industries. In the long run, this will damage the trust and collaboration within the global semiconductor industry which many industries depend on, increasing conflict and loss within these industries.

The US is leveraging its own technological strengths to crush companies outside its own borders. This will only serve to undermine the trust international companies place in US technology and supply chains. Ultimately, this will harm US interests.

Huawei is undertaking a comprehensive examination of this new rule. We expect that our business will inevitably be affected. We will try all we can to seek a solution. We hope that our customers and suppliers will continue to stand with us and minimize the impact of this discriminatory rule.

Registration For 40 Days 40 Fintechs Kicks-Off To Promote Financial Inclusiveness In Africa

As part of its on-going Financial Inclusion efforts, HiPipo has launched the 40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs initiative with online registration currently underway.

40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs, running from 25th May to 5th July 2020 will have 40 Africa based FinTech companies get introduced to Mojaloop OSS.

Mojaloop OSS is open-source software for financial services companies, government regulators, and others taking on the challenges of financial inclusion.

Successful FINTECHs will be guided on how to best use the software to achieve the best financial inclusion results for their bigger audiences with Women led FinTechs given special attention.

While announcing this development, Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO, noted that this initiative will help to expose local FinTechs, developer teams or emerging companies to new tools available to reach the poor and as such extend access to innovative financial services.

“FinTechs should be excited because they have a grand chance to expand their market, first through learning and developing interoperable solutions using new amazing technologies such as Mojaloop.

And secondly, because of the many discoveries and lessons they are going to make from the many astonishing and failed stories that we are going to discover and expose to the FinTech community and the world.” Mr. Kawooya said, adding;

“Additionally, thanks to this initiative, Mobile Network Operators and Banks are going to be more open to integration and collaboration and last but most importantly, one or a number of the FinTechs that will participate in the initiative, collaborate and embrace the use of Mojaloop might turn into the real heroes of our economy that will maybe create a payment switch that will simplify payments interoperability in different markets forever.” 

Follow this link to learn more about and register for the 40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs project - https://www.hipipo.org/40-days-40-fintech/

Tech For Humanity: Preparing For The Next Phase

ICT has been critical to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and transforming society over the long term. But the key to progress is laying the foundation for constant evolution, writes Chen Lei, President of Huawei Southern Africa Region.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic at the beginning of this year, organisations across the planet began to shift into action. But as critical as it was to react appropriately, it has also been important to proactively prepare for the next phase.

At Huawei, we are aware of the massive effect of the pandemic, as well as how seriously communities would be affected. However, we are also conscious that as well as protecting lives, we need to help lay the foundation for the next stage of society’s technological advancement – the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

I’ve been inspired by a recent YouTube video of young South African dancer Hlumelo, who has been under lockdown in his home township of Gugulethu. A member of the Zama Dance School, Hlumelo has not let the lockdown hold him back, and has continued practising his steps for the moment when he and his friends can perform together again.

Similarly, during the Chinese lockdown, members of the Shanghai ballet continued to practise – wearing facemasks – for their upcoming performance of Swan Lake. They took precautions, but remained focused on the next phase of their development.

During the pandemic, once Huawei had secured our people and our operations, we looked at how we could support our business partners on the African continent through our core competences in the ICT sector. We were fortunate to be able to assist with social distancing by African organisations through our technologies.  

The video conferencing systems we provided in some African countries enabled information sharing domestically and experience exchange internationally between epidemic prevention experts in China and Africa.

Our remote videoconferencing systems have helped medical institutions communicate more efficiently. We have also implemented an AI-based diagnosis solution in several medical institutions. CT scan reviews can now be completed in two minutes, 80% faster, in a race with time, critical for saving lives.

Huawei will continue using our core information and communication capabilities to support Africa’s epidemic control efforts.

When the dust settles, and we begin to arrive at the much-heralded “new normal”, we will have seen the immense potential for ICT to build social cohesion.

A new business model is taking shape across sectors, one characterised by remote work, distance education, remote healthcare, online shopping and mobile money. These business models span transportation, security, finance, medicine, education and entertainment.

This new paradigm is driven by vastly greater data consumption, facilitated by the mass connectivity of 4G/5G technology.

Governments are coming to understand the need to prioritise ICT as a basic necessity. As a recent white paper noted, the Covid-19 pandemic is seeing 5G transform healthcare response mechanisms to become digital, accurate and smart.

The epidemic has brought home to policymakers the importance of ICT in national development. This is likely to accelerate the establishment of a national data centres, optical fibre networks and communication base stations.

This kind of "big network" deployment also presents a historic opportunity for Africa to use ICT to catch up with, and overtake other nations in terms of human development and quality of life for all its citizens.

We are seeing the first signs of digital transformation not just in healthcare systems, but across entire economies, and society itself.

ICT platforms are likely to provide the foundation of Africa’s future economy. The key is to continue honing and perfecting them, expanding their use even now, so that once the lockdown ends, we can recover more quickly.

As the old poem notes, good honing does indeed give a sharp edge to a sword. Like Hlumelo and the dancers of the Shanghai ballet, we should spend this time honing our abilities. When the new dawn arrives – as it surely will –  let it find us well prepared to seize the day!

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Kampala