Huawei hits 5G and cloud wins in Middle East – it wants to go ‘green’ next


Dubai: Enabling 5G networks and cloud services are the two pillars to build on for Huawei’s push into the UAE and the Middle East. A third pillar, of course, comes via the smartphone and accessories, which are adding more and more users to Huawei’s vision of an always-on consumption universe.

But on the corporate side, the Chinese tech giant keeps re-examining big profits. Examples of this were 5G-related contracts from e& and you, which should keep Huawei busy with the planning and execution in the short term.

Of equal importance was a project win with Dubai South, the developer behind the 145 square kilometer multi-district development (and site for District 2020). Shunli Wang, Vice President of Huawei Middle East, provides an update on how the rest of 2022 is expected to unfold for the company.

Huawei Middle East’s Shunli Wang said, “Huawei actually has a lot of experience in the aviation sector around the world and is already driving some of the most significant airport projects in the UAE and the wider GCC.”

Would you say that the major 5G deals have already been awarded by telcos in the Gulf? Or do you think 2022 will be the record year for the big 5G tenders?

We’ve seen telecom operators who invested early in 5G reaped significant benefits in terms of faster revenue growth and their ability to capture new revenue streams through industry-specific 5G applications. This is truly the next chapter of 5G – industries like oil & gas, manufacturing, healthcare and others are deploying more scenario-specific 5G applications in partnership with local carriers.

Huawei is already researching applications of customized 5G solutions for over 20 industries worldwide.

In cooperation with industry partners such as 3GPP, GSMA and others, we contribute to the development of the “5GtoB ecosystem”. The further development of 5G standards and the harmonization of the spectrum will make it easier and faster for industry in the UAE, for example, to use 5G applications.

In 2021, Huawei collaborated with more than 500 new industry solution partners, complementing our capabilities with which we have jointly released over 700 solutions, including more than 100 scenario-based 5GtoB solutions. These solutions have been deployed in more than 10,000 5GtoB projects in the enterprise market.

We also believe it is important to use comprehensive solutions that integrate “green” sites, green networks and green operations to continuously increase network capacity while consuming less energy per bit. As a result, we expect investment in 5G infrastructure and applications to continue to grow in 2022.

What is your timeline for completing these projects? Do 5G projects represent the largest part of your regional business?

It’s a significant business opportunity for us. Globally, our carrier network business accounted for approximately 44 percent of our total business in 2021.

Whether it’s 5G or any other technology, we always start by thinking about how we can add value for our customers and improve their business performance. Supporting network operators in building, maintaining, expanding and improving their 5G infrastructure is one possibility.

In parallel, we are always looking for ways to drive prosperity in the digital economy, including building simple, green and smart ICT infrastructure that will help all industries go digital. Often this is a direct cooperation with companies or in joint projects with a freight forwarder and a local company.

In many cases, our contribution to such projects is not only limited to 5G network technology, but uses our strengths in other areas such as cloud, smart devices, digital power and so on.

There was a big win for Dubai South-based Huawei, which was also exploring “smart transportation” opportunities. How big is that?

This is an exciting new partnership that aims to enable more connected and sustainable services in Dubai South. We first looked at how we can help Dubai South build a connected aviation community capable of supporting sophisticated services in line with the future of transport and mobility.

Dubai South Inks are partnering with Huawei to develop an intelligent transportation ecosystem

For its Dubai South project, Huawei will build a new-generation network infrastructure tailored to the needs of the aviation sector.

In fact, Huawei has a lot of experience in the aviation sector worldwide and is already driving some of the most famous airport projects in the United Arab Emirates and the wider GCC. Besides network improvements, one of the main themes we are exploring is an integrated operations center that enables more seamless and centralized control of air traffic, security and other operations through ICT.

Last year, Huawei made a determined push into cloud and data center operations in the UAE. Will this also be rolled out in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf markets?

Across the region, we are deeply committed to digitization as a service, whether by offering infrastructure, technology or expertise in a cloud-based model. We call this “Everything as a Service”.

Today, Huawei Cloud can accelerate the digital transformation of all organizations in the region. Our offerings help companies minimize the carbon footprint of their IT infrastructure, accelerate the development of new applications and business processes, and enable them to innovate faster in a digital economy.

To build this cloud infrastructure, we see four essential elements: technology, commercial alignment, a talent ecosystem and digital sovereignty. We work with governments and local partners to strengthen these foundations through initiatives like our Spark program, which helps startups build their cloud capabilities.

In terms of cloud regions, we already have a cloud region based in the UAE. Earlier this year, we announced that a new cloud region would be established in Saudi Arabia. Our intention with all these investments is to enable more companies and governments in the Middle East to access our cloud services.

In the Middle East, Huawei Cloud now offers 220+ services, 19 data centers, 200+ local partners and a growing list of 80+ marketplace offerings.

Are there any new areas of operation you would like to add to regional coverage this year?

One emerging area where we see great potential across the region is digital energy. Carbon neutrality has become a hallmark of the national development agendas of many Middle Eastern countries. The innovations we make in ICT will play a central role in tackling climate change and helping nations meet their carbon reduction goals.

Last year we launched our Huawei Digital Power business. This team is now integrating digital and power electronic technologies to develop clean energy and help traditional energy sectors build a greener future. We look at five key areas: smart PV, data center facilities, mPower for electric vehicles, site power and integrated energy solutions.

Whether it’s digital energy, 5G networks, cloud services or other areas, we are ready – and willing – to work with partners across the entire value chain.


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