HUAWEI BETTER WORLD SUMMIT 2020: Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping (pictured) delivered a high-level overview of how ICT is being used to fight the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus) and support recovery, highlighting the role of 5G networks in the battle, while avoiding any mention of the company’s growing troubles worldwide.
In a keynote, Guo said the pandemic is reshaping how we live and work and dealt a heavy blow to the global economy: “Fortunately, ICT can help us fight back against the virus on multiple fronts. And the use of 5G can boost the digital transformation across all sectors of society.”
Breaking from the past, Guo didn’t take questions from the media after his presentation, which was not surprising given the recent ban on its 5G gear in the UK and a widening row with banking group HSBC, which China Daily reported “played the role of Washington’s accomplice to politicise” a US case against the company’s CFO Meng Wanzhou.
Guo said 81 operators had launched commercial 5G services as of June, with more than 700,000 base stations already deployed and the vendor expecting 1.5 million by the year-end.
He believes 3GPP’s approval of Release 16 specifications in early July will jump-start the development of industrial applications, as the business case for 5G goes beyond just connectivity.
“When technologies like 5G, computing, cloud and AI come together, they reinforce each other to create greater value.”
The chairman gave the example of how live 4K video streams powered by 5G enables engineers to reduce inspection times, cutting labour costs by as much as 78 per cent.
Guo said 5G also lays the foundation for digital cities. In Shanghai, China’s three mobile operators deployed more than 7,400 5G base stations, which link with the city’s general urban planning to support a wide range of applications, including integrated environmental monitoring and autonomous driving for delivery vehicles, buses and taxis.
Liu Guiqing, executive director at China Telecom, noted while China’s GDP dipped 1.6 per cent year-on-year in H1, the ICT sector experienced 14.5 per cent growth.
He said the digital economy achieved counter cyclical growth as a result of ICT accelerating digital transformation across many industries, which supported the government and medical institutions in helping control the virus.
The operator launched a cloud-based educational platform for more than 10 million students and introduced a pandemic query assistant using its big data capabilities.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back