LIVE FROM HUAWEI GLOBAL ANALYST SUMMIT, SHENZHEN: Eric Xu, rotating CEO of Huawei, said that the telecoms industry – including both service providers and equipment vendors – is facing challenges driven by dissatisfaction of the status quo.
And the executive was very measured in his selection of the world ‘challenges’.
“Maybe I’m not that sure to use a more dramatic word, but ‘challenge’ is a neutral world which reflects what the industry is facing,” he said.
According to the chief, consumers are dissatisfied with pricing and in some cases service levels; enterprise customers want more agility and faster time to market; and equipment vendors are unhappy with shrinking margins (although, unsurprisingly, he said this was an issue for companies beyond Huawei).
In addition, online service providers “might even see the telecoms industry as a roadblock to better serving their customers”. This has led to them looking at disruptive business models and technology that could potentially “overthrow” the telecoms industry.
On that basis, there are two way to resolve the problems, he declared.
The first is disruption from “non-traditional telecom players”. Xu cited connectivity efforts from companies such as Facebook and Google, which have often steered clear of existing technology in order to investigate drones, balloons and satellites.
“The second alternative is for our own industry to truly reinvent ourselves. And industry has to come up with faster and more efficient ways to solve customers.”
Xu said that Huawei’s strategy, including its efforts to “cloudify” networks, are designed to “inject new momentum” into a journey that leads to the transformation of operators.
“In that context, open source and virtualisation are not such a big deal,” he said.