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Collaboration within the digital sector is the only way forward to grow the industry, writes Charles Yang, President, Middle East, Huawei

In any industry, the whole is better than the sum of its parts. We can either take our own piecemeal slice of pie, restricting the bigger growth picture of the sector we operate in, or we can work more holistically to form the value fabric woven from our collective knowledge. Through cooperation, we can all share each other's growth and success, while providing the industry with its full growth potential. Nowhere is this truer than in the ICT industry and in our current age of reinvention and digitization.

Over recent years, Huawei has initiated the Open ROADS to a Better-Connected World model, designed around open communication and cooperation between all industry stakeholders. We strongly believe this is key to the development of the ICT ecosystem.

Open ROADS has three main pillars:
First is Exploring all digital tomorrow. This is the development of ROADS (Real-time, On-demand, All-online, DIY (do-it-yourself) and Social) for all digital business. Right now, for example, video is growing as a fundamental service leading the digital ecosystem, while business-to-business (B2B) ICT is the main route to expanding the vertical industry.

Second is exploring all cloud tomorrow. This involves the evolution of ROADS to an all-cloud platform - more specifically the cloudification of networks, operations and services, plus improving structural efficiencies. All Cloud networks are the only way for carriers to support their digitization. They offer more flexible and intelligent digital services oriented towards people and things, enable digital operations that deliver the ROADS experience, and more flexible and efficient resource utilization.

Third, but by no means least, is what we call the cooperation for a win-win digital ecosystem. Cooperation is the key enabler for the growth of the digital business and harnessing the huge opportunities that lay ahead for all industry incumbents. Rather than the traditional more vertical value chain, this pillar promotes a 'value fabric' - an interwoven network of collaborating stakeholders.

Why now?
Open ROADS is by no means a new concept. Healthy cooperation is already happening and has been crucial to further developing broadband technologies and laying the groundwork for 5G for some time. Through the Open ROADS model, we seek to reinforce the essential collaborations that will take the industry forward.

Strengthened ties between global telecom operators, industry leaders, product designers, and application developers have led to increased connectivity, enabling verticals and redefining network capabilities. We believe that combining expertise in this way has led to a new industrial revolution we refer to as 'Industry 4.0'. This has the potential to reorder the global economy impacting the way that people learn, work and live.

In the digital era, changes in ICT are the main driving force behind business development. Huawei is committed to helping the telecoms sector and vertical industries digitize their infrastructure, operational systems and business models with state-of-the-art technology.

Hence, Huawei's commitment to meeting user demands for a 'ROADS' experience. A digital era which enables agile innovation, builds an open ecosystem, expands business partnerships, and helps carriers succeed in their digital transformation.

5G launch planning
There is nowhere perhaps more relevant to the Open ROADS concept than within the broadband space - and particularly within the ongoing development of 5G technology. The main driving force of 5G's commercial use will be the partnerships and alliances between its respective industry players.

We have no doubt that well-defined industry alliances will speed up commercial 5G deployment. This is why we are working closely with industry incumbents in Open ROADS collaborations. Huawei has worked with several carriers on 5G testing, with excellent progress thus far.

We are also working alongside mainstream carriers and equipment vendors to establish a 5G network slicing technology alliance, allowing telecoms operators to provide networks on as-a-service basis. New eMBB (enhanced mobile broadband) services like AR/VR are also a major driver for 5G development, while the accelerated formation of spectrum standards will lay a solid foundation for its commercial use.

The cooperation extends to the 5GAA, a new global cross-industry alliance of companies from the telecommunications and automotive firms looking to deploy 5G technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) for safer and more efficient 'connected' driving. Integrating smart transportation and communications will, once again, also drive 5G's commercial use.

Video launch planning
There are three aspects to this. First is to make video a basic service for carriers. This means defining video as a strategy rather than value-added service - it should be the first element within the basic service package. We focus on product quality, user experience, and services; create a long-term emotional bond with our users; and continuously deliver the best products and services to users. The variety of monetization options include:
• Increasing broadband revenues and users through video
• Revenues created directly from video operations
• Revenue growth through value-added video services such as gaming, online Karaoke or VideoCall
Second is to help carriers achieve business success in video. Just some of the initiatives include:
• Developing business consulting capabilities for video services to help carriers achieve success
• Building content aggregation capabilities to make it easier and less costly for carriers to acquire content, and help them improve their video operational efficiency), which will in turn enhance experience
• Building cloud-based converged video platforms to help carriers efficiently develop and manage video services and open up their video capabilities

Third is to build an open platform to deliver the best video experience. We have called this Huawei Envision, which aims to deliver the four 'bests' as a partner for our video carriers, supporting them in developing full-play video services. We built this with the user-experience in mind, as we continue to improve our services to customers through innovative breakthroughs:
• Carriers' video services have evolved from 1.0 to 2.0
• Huawei's envision video platform helps video develop as a basic service
• The envision cloud makes work easy for all video services
• The envision ecosystem bridges the gap between content providers and telecom operators

PaaS launch planning
In combination with our IaaS (infrastructure as a service), our first commercial PaaS (platform as a service) demonstrates Huawei Cloud Computing's full-stack OneCloud capabilities and enables us to lead in the industry cloudification 2.0 era.

This means interconnecting with the heterogeneous IaaS layer to allow for hybrid resource orchestration and cloud service presentation. It also means creating a Future Cloud 3.0-oriented and application-centered PaaS structure for development, testing and building a microservice architecture.

Cloud launch planning
This involves elements such as hardware resource pooling, the development of fully-automated operations and designing the architecture for software distribution. It is a top priority for Huawei to ensure customers and user experience will continue to improve through the technology innovations breakthroughs.

An essential part of the All-Cloud concept is developing the access architecture through CloudRAN, CloudAir and CloudFAN. It also means creating cloud-based integrated bearer networks (allowing for the transmission of information signals between network interfaces), plus robust cloud DC (data center) solutions.

Another essential component is Huawei's Telco OS. The next generation digital operation system for carriers, the Telco OS platform provides differing capabilities for different users. For end users, it is an online marketplace for digital services and products. For operators, it helps them achieve development and operations goals - for example developing new services, marketing activities, or providing new sets of solutions through agile operations. For business partners, it is a channel and business development platform which will enhance and upgrade the experience.

Then there is the aspect of open ecosystems, involving aspects such as software defined network (SDN) solutions, network function virtualization (NFV - decreasing the proprietary hardware needed to launch and operate network services), and a global Open Cloud Lab system ensuring smooth evolution to all cloud-based networks.

As Mr. Ren Zhengfei, Huawei founder predicts that "the human society will transform into a complete smart society, although we could hardly imagine its depth and breadth." The next 10 years will hold immense opportunities. Huawei is committed to support the Middle East through digital transformation across all the areas we discuss above as well as the national targets and visions of regional governments. By engaging in a Better-Connected World philosophy, we can ensure the future growth of the digital industry.

By Charles Yang, President, Huawei Middle East

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