On the sidelines of du’s first exclusive tech event, Envision 2023, Telecom Review held an exclusive interview with Huawei UAE CEO Jiawei Liu, covering the topics of digitalization, Industry 4.0, talent development and sustainability in the UAE, among other insights.
Huawei and du have a long-standing partnership in technological advancement and the delivery of superior connectivity solutions to customers. How will this continue to shape the telecom industry in the UAE?
du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), is an integral driver and contributor to the UAE’s economic, social and digital transformation. Huawei and du have a long-standing and friendly relationship for cooperation, accelerating the digitalization of the UAE in a joint effort. Huawei highly values our partnership with du, and we believe this continuous cooperation will lead to the expansion and enhancement of the UAE’s telecom infrastructure, enabling faster and more reliable connectivity for consumers and businesses. By unleashing the power of cutting-edge technologies such as 5G, IoT and AI, we believe our partnership will keep driving innovation in various industries.
Envision 2023 focuses on “Enabling the Future Makers with Technology for a Better World.” What are Huawei’s key initiatives aligned with this vision?
As a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, Huawei is committed to empowering industry leaders and innovators with cutting-edge solutions. We are honored to be a strategic sponsor of “Envision,” an event dedicated to enabling a better and more sustainable future. By joining “Envision,” we aim to keep acting as a solid foundation for the continuous digitalization and sustainable development of the UAE.
One of the key initiatives is TECH4ALL, which is our long-term digital inclusion initiative and action plan at Huawei. TECH4ALL aims to face the major global challenges — inclusion and sustainability — to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. That’s why we focus on four domains where we can make the most difference: education, environmental protection, health care and rural development. We’ve developed different types of programs together with our partners for remote communities and vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, children and unemployed youth, women and the elderly. We are looking forward to further consolidating our partnership with du on these areas of focus to innovate technologies and solutions that create a more inclusive and sustainable space for the UAE and beyond, especially in this Year of Sustainability.
The power of innovation and advanced technology is essential in realizing the Industry 4.0 era. How will Huawei ensure a sustainable and safe environment for its partners and customers?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), founded on ICT networks and technologies, is leading us into an intelligent era where there will be 100 billion connections and 40 billion smart devices around the world by 2025. This path towards an intelligent world with ubiquitous high-speed connections will lead to unprecedented economic growth, innovation and value creation. The UAE’s Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution was set into motion via various plans on the integration of advancing innovation and future technologies to boost the UAE’s national economy, which also lays the foundation of the future digital economy of the UAE.
To ensure that we can unlock the full potential of the 4IR in the UAE, two key elements need to be considered: security and sustainability. At Huawei, cybersecurity and privacy protection are our top priorities. Operating in the UAE for more than 22 years, our goal remains steadfast in serving as a reliable pillar to boost the UAE's digital economy's security. We are dedicated to collaborating with stakeholders to achieve this objective. Huawei was also the first global ICT player to join the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation-Computer Emergency Response Team (OIC-CERT) since 2021, a leading international cybersecurity platform and the third-largest national CERT organization in the world.
Besides, it is important to stress the importance of green ICT, especially as part of the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050. Leveraging digital technologies like AI, cloud and big data can make an incremental impact on reducing emissions across all industries in the UAE. At Huawei, we are committed to integrating digital and power electronics technologies, developing clean power and enabling sectors; we help create new power systems that primarily rely on renewable energy. In the green ICT power infrastructure sector, we help build green, low-carbon and intelligent data centers and communications networks. In the green transportation sector, we redefine consumer driving and safety experiences in electric vehicles, accelerating transportation electrification. Huawei will continue to innovate through open collaboration with global partners to promote carbon neutrality.
What is your outlook on the increased importance of telecom players, such as Huawei, in the UAE’s thriving digital economy?
We work with governments and industries in an open, transparent and constructive manner to maximize the social and business benefits of ICT infrastructure. ICT will continue to be the fuel behind society’s progress, especially in a country like the UAE, where the government is keen to pursue the immense potential of connectivity by cooperating with various telecom players.
Huawei aligns with the UAE industrial strategy, Operation 300bn. As part of our participation in “Envision,” we demonstrate our continued collaboration with du on 5G cutting-edge network solutions, empowering sectors such as manufacturing with flexibility, digitalization and intelligence. With key 5G features such as high uplink, stable and low latency, high reliability, positioning and 5G LAN, 5G networks support a flexible combination of typical use cases widely used in Industry 4.0, such as AR maintenance and collaborations, quality inspection, drones, video uploading, AGV, remote control, robots and massive data upload. Its enablement effects accelerate the adoption and integration of other AI, cloud and IoT industrial applications, achieving the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability targets of Industry 4.0 adoption and maximizing the industrial sector value-added GDP contribution to the UAE economy.
Among all the initiatives, one of the key priorities for future-proofing the UAE’s digital economy is nurturing its talent pool. There is no time more pertinent than the present to invest in talent development, specifically in the ICT sector, to ensure that there is an ample supply of qualified people available to leverage technology in realizing the ambitious plans of the UAE’s leaders. By 2022, Huawei had established cooperation with a wide range of partners, including 11 universities in the UAE to establish the Huawei ICT Academy and hold programs such as “Seeds for the Future” and “Huawei ICT Competition.” Up until now, more than 5,000 Emirati students have participated in Huawei's on-site training programs. Through these efforts, we believe it can better contribute to reinforcing Dubai’s and the UAE’s position as a global destination for world-class tech talent. Huawei will continue to use technologies to enable industries to lay a solid digital foundation for the digital transformation of Dubai and the UAE.