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By An Jian, president of Carrier Networks Business Group, Huawei Middle East

As the digitalization of diversified industries continues to deepen, virtual and physical worlds have converged rapidly, and data has become the "new fuel" in the digital era. The growing digital economy in the Middle East brings a wide market space and development opportunities for carriers. Digital transformation is the driving force for carriers to improve O&M efficiency, assure superior user experience, develop new digital services and increase revenue. It can help carriers share the dividends brought by digital economic growth.

According to industry insights, carriers face several challenges, which include complex network architectures, personalized user experiences and diversified digital services during digital transformation.

“Governments across the Middle East have astute foresight about the transformative potential of building robust ICT infrastructures to shape its future digital economy. Many Middle East countries were pioneers in building 5G networks. Regulators in the Middle East have put the right policies for spectrum in place, meaning the countries are ready to support the adoption and deployment of 5G and further 5.5G technology. This is an excellent initiative for the regulators to promote these solutions and help unleash the full value of digital transformation,” said An Jian, president of Carrier Network Business Group, Huawei Middle East.

Based on its solid track record and long-standing experience in global digital transformation projects, Huawei finds that the success of digital transformation projects has the following common characteristics:

  1. The digital transformation experience and capabilities of a single domain can be shared across other departments and processes, improving the O&M efficiency of internal departments.
  2. A unified big data and AI platform can be used to support decision-making, helping carriers find the optimal solutions for service development, improve customer experience and enable business growth.
  3. A project should be able to apply its digital capabilities to quickly develop new digital services and open the second business growth curve.

Digital Transformation, the Key to Enabling Operation Excellency With Built-In Intelligence

Carriers' digital capabilities are different in the O&M domain. Most carriers have high automation capabilities in the MBB domain. For example, the average automatic identification and compression rate of network alarms has reached 95%. The automation rate of trouble ticket creation/dispatching/closure has reached 98%, and the automatic diagnosis level is constantly improving. Compared with the MBB domain, carriers have a great space for improving their digital capabilities in the FBB and energy maintenance domains. The automatic alarm identification and compression rate in the FBB domain is 60%, and the proportion in the energy maintenance domain is only 30%.

To implement comprehensive digitalization in the O&M domain and continuously improve efficiency and reduce costs, carriers need to share automation and intelligence capabilities across departments to optimize O&M processes. And the O&M processes should be changed from passive to proactive, from manual to automatic and from experience to mature data models and AI.

Digital Transformation, the Key to Enabling Data-Driven Ultimate Experience and Revenue Growth

The data traffic and the application scenarios in carriers’ networks continue to explode and change. Huawei predicts that the mobile DoU will reach 600 gigabits in the 2C domain, that the 10G home broadband penetration rate will reach 23% in the 2H domain and that 390 robots will be deployed for every 10,000 workers for man-machine collaboration in the 2B domain.

Carriers need to integrate, analyze and apply massive data through a unified big data platform and AI capabilities to ensure the experience of "new users," "new scenarios" and "new services," and based on data-driven decision-making for business development. This is a way for carriers to achieve parallel growth of both experience and business, and it also targets the goal of unleashing the full potential of digital transformation. To provide a better user experience, carriers can improve their digital capabilities in the following aspects:

  • Accurate insight and traffic prediction capabilities are embedded into the network insight and planning process to improve ROI.
  • All-round measurement and closed-loop management of user experience are embedded into the quality management process to reduce the complaint rate and complaint handling time and improve the user satisfaction rate.
  • The real-time marketing triggering capabilities and user segmentation capabilities are embedded in the marketing processes and customer lifecycle management processes to improve the marketing success rate and prolong the subscriber lifecycle.

Digital Transformation, the Key to Enabling Agile Development of Diversified Digital Services

The rapid development of fintech services in the emerging markets of the Middle East is evident to all. Pakistan, as an example, is one of the carriers in the country that provides fintech service with 41.5 million registered users and 15 million monthly active users in 2021; the annual transaction volume exceeds US$1.7 billion, which is about 6.5% of the country's GDP. The carrier has promoted the digitalization of people's lives (digital inclusion) and made a significant social contribution to enhancing women's financial inclusion. According to market analysis, 22% of mobile finance users are women (out of 15 million monthly active users). Female merchants account for 10% of the total number of merchants (more than 200,000 merchants). The carrier received the GSMA Glomo Award for its efforts and contributions to Women's Financial Inclusion.

In the GCC market, there are unique development conditions for the mobile finance field — a field that consists of an expatriate-dominated population, of which more than 22% are unbanked and have remittance requirements. According to the World Bank, only one service, i.e., BNPL (Buy now, Pay later), has a market of $89 billion.

To help mobile operators develop mobile finance services, Huawei provides comprehensive network coverage, an E2E fintech platform, a super APP and extensive business capabilities. Huawei can help carriers develop subscribers, increase transaction volume and enable diversified monetization. They provide diversified monetization methods and digital marketing, including merchant bill payment, coupons, membership cards, advertisements for merchants, credit scoring, BNPL, etc., enabling both 2C and 2B business monetization.

“Huawei believes that improving cross-department O&M capabilities, data-driven business decision-making capabilities and continuous innovation of new digital services are the direction of carriers' digital transformation. We will continue to invest in digital capabilities,” added An Jian. “To date, we have established five R&D service organizations worldwide, with more than 4,000 service R&D experts and more than 21,000 ecosystem developers. Huawei will continue to explore the path of digital transformation and help regional carriers realize the value of digital transformation,” concluded An Jian.

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