Hu Houkun, Vice Chairman of Huawei: Crossing the Commercial Rift to Create New Value of 5G

During the 2020 Global Mobile Broadband Forum, Hu Houkun, Vice Chairman of Huawei, delivered a keynote speech at the conference on “Crossing the Commercial Rift to Create New Value of 5G”.

“Society’s expectations for 5G have never been limited to the consumer sector. What everyone expects is that 5G can change society and create more new value for society. Such changes are happening in all walks of life.” Hu Houkun appealed: “Innovation is often not readily available. Guide, we need to find the rigid needs in the scene, temper the ability by meeting the needs, improve the positioning by the ability, and work with ecological partners to develop new value of 5G together.”

Hu Houkun, Vice Chairman of Huawei: Crossing the Commercial Rift to Create New Value of 5G

 The following is the full text of the speech:

Dear friends and guests,

Welcome to Huawei’s 11th Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF). This is the second time it has been held in Shanghai. The last time was in 2014, when China had just started the construction of 4G. This year, 5G networks have been widely deployed in China, and services have begun to be put into full use. We are very pleased to witness the rapid development of the mobile communication industry in the past few years.

 5G network construction enters the fast lane

China leads the global business process

There is no doubt that 5G network construction has entered the fast lane in the world. There are already 101 commercial networks in the world, and more than 400 5G terminals. In the process of global 5G development, China is a beautiful landscape. China has deployed more than 600,000 base stations, covering more than 300 cities, achieving 160 million connections in less than a year.

China has the best 5G network in the world. As a consumer, the most intuitive feeling is that it is faster. For example, in Shanghai, you can experience a downlink rate of more than gigabit, which is 10 to 20 times that of 4G.

  5G is changing society

However, does 5G bring us just a faster user experience? Of course not, in fact,5G is changing society.

During the epidemic this year, it took Wuhan only ten days to build the Leishenshan and Huoshenshan hospitals. It took Huawei and the operator only 72 hours to build a 5G network covering the entire hospital. With 5G connection, remote consultation, remote B-ultrasound, and multi-functional medical robots can be applied, which provides important support for the prevention and control of the epidemic.

Here I want to share a case with you. The most urgent need our team received at Huoshenshan Hospital was not to go online, but to help medical staff wear protective clothing. The wearing process of protective clothing is very strict, and the vast majority of doctors and nurses have not worn such tight protective equipment in the past. What’s more challenging is that in order to prevent cross-infection, the changing of protective clothing is carried out in an isolation area, and only one person can operate at a time, which means that no one can help them on site. Therefore, many medical staff spend half an hour or even an hour wearing protective clothing.

5G comes in handy here. We helped the hospital deploy 5G CPE and high-definition cameras in this workspace, and guided medical staff to wear protective clothing correctly through remote video interaction to check whether the operation was standardized. This not only helps medical staff improve their work efficiency, but also provides them with better protection.

  Smart port, from sauna room to air-conditioned room

In June this year, I visited Ningbo Smart Port. Gantry cranes are the most common equipment in ports, and 5G has revolutionized the operation mode of gantry cranes.

In the past, the driver of the gantry crane had to climb to the control room more than 20 meters high and work continuously for 8 hours. During work, they need to bow their heads for a long time, keep staring at the container under their feet, and operate with both hands. It takes 8 hours for a shift. After getting off, the back pain and neck pain, dizziness, cervical spondylosis and lumbar spondylosis are common occupational diseases.

Today, with the enablement of 5G, Ningbo Port has successfully realized the remote control of gantry cranes. Today, the driver can sit in an air-conditioned office and control it remotely, high-definition cameras show the exact location of the container on a monitor, and the operator controls the crane to drop the container firmly onto the truck.

The remote control of the gantry crane has improved the loading and unloading efficiency by 20%. After large-scale use, the comprehensive labor cost can be reduced by more than 50%. At the same time, the unmanned level of the port is greatly improved and higher safety is achieved. More importantly, the working conditions of drivers have improved, occupational diseases have decreased, and it has become easier to recruit drivers.

The application of 5G in the industry is not only in ports, from steel to power grid, from mining to manufacturing, 5G has been applied to more industries. We know that,As of September this year, 5G has enabled more than 20 industries in China, with a total of more than 5,000 innovative projects and more than 1,000 commercial 5G service contracts with operators.

 There is no ready-made path to 5G ToB

China has a complete industrial structure and a massive industrial scale. Compared to these, what we have achieved in the 5G industry today is only the first step. How to turn this blue ocean into commercial value is believed to be the common expectation of all. However, there is no ready-made path in front of us, because the needs of the industry vary widely.

Everyone is more or less confused about the development of 5G in the industry. I believe you can find your questions in this picture. Today, I would like to share our thoughts on these issues on behalf of Huawei.

Find what you need from the scene

There is no doubt that the current willingness of various industries to embrace 5G is very strong. However, we need to go deep into different application scenarios, find some standards, filter these requirements, and find the rigid needs that are really worthy of our great investment.

  Huawei proposes to select rigid needs from four criteria: technical relevance, commercial potential, industry chain maturity, and enterprise standardization.

Technical relevance refers to whether 5G is the optimal choice compared to other connection technologies in a specific application scenario. For example, in the remote control scenario of a port gantry crane, the optical fiber cannot meet the mobility requirements of the gantry crane, and the cost of reconstruction is high. WiFi can meet the mobility requirements within a certain range, but there is no way to meet the large upstream bandwidth requirements for high-definition video backhaul. And 5G can solve all these problems, so in such a scenario, it is possible to give full play to the advantages of 5G technology to meet the rigid needs.

Business potential refers to the demand brought by a specific scenario, whether it can be replicated on a large scale in different industries, and whether it can form a business model that is beneficial to all parties around these application scenarios, and encourage everyone to continue to invest.

In industries with relatively mature industry integration capabilities and application developers, 5G, as a key connection capability, can be easily and quickly embedded, which is more conducive to the rapid promotion of 5G technology.

The degree of normalization is easily overlooked in scenario and requirement screening, but it is very important. For industries and scenarios with a high degree of standardization, 5G technology is more likely to achieve a multiplier effect. For example, the port industry already has mature corporate standards. At the end of this year, the smart port communication corporate standards jointly formulated by us and our customers and partners will be released. With the guarantee of standards, it is very easy to use and promote 5G technology in various other ports.

 After screening based on these dimensions, we have identified some typical scenarios, such as remote control, video backhaul, machine vision, personnel and equipment positioning, which are common in the industry and are worthy of our in-depth investment.

  The network must be able to adapt to different application scenarios

The network is the foundation of 5G business. However, in the face of the different requirements of ToB and ToC, the requirements to be met by the network are also different. The ability of network equipment and networks to “plan, build, maintain, and optimize” needs to match the needs of diversified scenarios in the industry. This requires manufacturers and operators to work together to go deep into the realities of the industry and continue to innovate. Huawei is ready for this. In the subsequent speeches of this forum, my colleagues will share with you their thinking and practice in this regard.

 5G industry terminal:

More variety and lower cost

In my opinion, in the development of 5G industry applications, the terminal is a problem that cannot be ignored and cannot become a bottleneck.To solve the problem of terminal ecological prosperity, it is necessary to increase the types of modules on the one hand, and reduce the price of modules on the other hand.

Since the release of the first 5G module, in more than two years, more than 20 suppliers around the world have provided more than 60 5G modules and more than 140 industry terminals, including 5G AGV, 5G camera, 5G wireless Human-machine and 5G inspection robot, etc.

There are currently more than 1,400 4G modules on the market. I believe that as the application scale of 5G becomes larger and the application scenarios become more and more abundant, the number of 5G modules will soon reach or even exceed the level of 4G modules.

Reducing costs is also the key to enriching the 5G terminal ecosystem. This graph predicts the price curve of 5G modules, which will continue to decrease in the future.

During the Double Eleven this year, China Mobile provided the market with 5G modules for 799 yuan, which is a very positive sign. Huawei predicts that by the end of 2020, the price of 5G modules will be reduced to around US$100, and further reduced to around US$40 by the end of 2022.

  5G ToB requires new capabilities

  5G ToB is not just about selling connections. In fact, more and more 5G ToB has been combined with the needs of enterprises’ digital transformation. 5G is the means of connection, but the digital transformation of ToB requires attention to applications and architectures. Therefore, it is necessary to look at the capability of 5G ToB from the perspective of enterprise users, not only from the perspective of operators providing connections.

From an industry perspective, 5G ToB needs to provide a 5G core connection capability that includes bottom-up connectivity and communication, the cloud in the middle, and an architecture for multiple industry applications at the upper layer. This architecture must be able to realize CT, IT , OT integration.

To realize such an architecture, new capabilities are required, including: the ability to provide connectivity, which operators are working on and can do well; cloud operation capabilities, industry application development capabilities, and end-to-end integration capabilities , the latter three capabilities need to be strengthened urgently. current,In the cases of 5G ToB in different industries, especially when comprehensive enterprise digital transformation solutions are required, we see that these capabilities are either seriously lacking, or the existing capabilities are seriously unable to meet the requirements of enterprise digital transformation. Taking system integration as an example, the integration work around the digital transformation of enterprises often covers architecture planning, solution design, verification, integration delivery, operation and maintenance, operation, and continuous iteration. This is a new integration capability, which is widely used in various industries. Most integrators of the past did not have this capability.

So, who will fill these gaps, provide new capabilities, and take on new roles? I believe that answering these questions will provide new momentum for the development of 5G ToB.

  The bigger the ability, the stronger the character

In the process of developing 5G ToB, operators can choose from multiple roles: they can focus on connectivity capabilities and play the role of connectivity providers; they can also develop cloud capabilities and even integration capabilities on top of connectivity and become connectivity+ Cloud + integrated service provider. However, different roles have different capability requirements, and Huawei is willing to actively help willing operators in their transformation.

The era of 5G creating value

everything means change

In the next ten years, 5G will play a greater role in all walks of life, and we will usher in another golden development period. On the road from today to the future, we have to overcome many difficulties, and every step forward means making changes.

However, the harder things are worth doing, and the more successful they are, the more value they bring.

Huawei is willing to work hand in hand with operators, enterprise customers, and industry partners to explore, think boldly, act proactively, and openly cooperate to achieve win-win results and move forward together.


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