Huawei firmly believes in the power of 5G to transform society. In the future, all things will be connected: this includes 100 million new generation bicycles, 300 million LED street lamps, 1.8 billion water meters worldwide. 10Gbps connectivity is also essential to foster the growth of high quality AR and VR experiences. From self-driving cars to virtual reality, from Internet of Things to drones, 5G is the foundation necessary to support all these connections - nurturing the growth of 5G is therefore essential to the next stage of digitalization.
While the switch from 3G to 4G was mostly a matter of increased speed, the rise of 5G will unlock the potential of a flood of new technologies. In November, Huawei Wireless X Labs released a white paper on the Top Ten 5G Use Cases. These included cloud VR/AR, connected automotive, smart manufacturing, connected energy, wireless eHealth, wireless home entertainment, connected drones, social networks, personal AI assistant, and Smart City.
At Huawei we are working to ensure that the Middle East is at the forefront of these trends. We accomplish this by focusing on infrastructure and smart devices that provide a plot of 'rich soil' for the development of information, automation, and intelligence technologies. This includes a full range of 5G networks, products and solutions. At MWC 2018, we demonstrated to our partners and customers how 5G can transform their industry, and how close we are to making it a reality.
Everyone can benefit from the huge commercial value 5G will unlock: Huawei estimates that the digital transformation market will be worth US$23 trillion. In order to benefit from this, stakeholders should enhance capabilities, build connections, develop business, and forge partnerships to tackle obstacles and shape a better future.
At MWC 2018, we focused on the three areas we believe are essential to making progress in digitalization: better connectivity, better business growth, and better experience, Huawei, together with its carrier customers and partners, is building a fully connected, intelligent world.
Better connections: By building more connections and expanding data pipes, Huawei is enabling industry-wide digitization and helping carriers fully leverage the power of 5G and cloud-network synergy.
Better business growth: Huawei helps carriers dig deeper into their installed base to maximize network value. It also helps carriers develop video and IoT services to enable new business growth.
Better experience: Huawei's digital operation & maintenance solutions enable agile business and intelligent and efficient operations. This helps carriers deliver a Real-time, On-demand, All-online, DIY, and Social (ROADS) experience.
Because of our belief in the power of 5G, in 2018 Huawei will invest CNY5 billion in R&D in the field, and launch a full range of commercial 5G equipment, including wireless access networks, bearer networks, core networks, and devices. Additionally, Huawei will drive the large-scale commercial deployment of NB-IoT networks around the world, and increase the number of NB-IoT connections to over 100 million.
The Mobile World Congress 2018 was held in Barcelona from February 26 to March 1. This was a great opportunity to meet with our leaders in the ICT industry and discuss how we can facilitate the growth of 5G. Beyond developing the technology itself, the telecom industry needs to ensure the mobile ecosystem is able to nurture the implementation of 5G. In the past, we focused on connecting people. That was like planting a single tree. Now we're connecting things. That's like planting an entire forest. We have to integrate with the ecosystem, and build it out together. At MWC, we hope to have come a step further on this journey to Building a Better Connected World together.
Charles Yang, President, Huawei Middle East