Opening Session – Houkun Hu

Houkun Hu, Deputy Chairman of Huawei’s Board of Directors.


Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It is been a great pleasure to be here to join this very important discussion about Next Generation Internet. VP Ansip and other panellists just shared with us that there is an exciting future around a head office(?) where we can expect the emergent technology and the next generation of Internet will tremendously change our lives.
But at the same time, obviously we are going to have some realistic worries and concerns.
From my point of view, the Internet has been the vast powerful force in the human history that disrupt our lives, business and the whole society and I am quite confident that the Next generation of internet will eventually help us to converge the digital world and the physical world. I think it is important for us to have this kind of discussion to jointly explore how we are going to make sure that the next generation of internet will bring us a better life, a safer world.

Let me give you a little introduction of Huawei, because probably some of you are not familiar with this company. We are a global supplier of OCT technology and products. If you are here, in Europe, using the mobile phone, you are most probably using the technology and networks provided by Huawei. Because globally we have provided the global network for 450 telecom operators and we delivered more than 100 million smart phones every year, you are getting more and more chance to use the mobile phone produced by Huawei.
We have been here in Europe for 17 years and we have established 18 research centres on different countries, we invested a lot into a research and development here in to an ICT technology and in the past ten or more years, we actively work with telco operators in all the countries in the Europe to deploy the digital infrastructure like the 3G or 4G wireless technology and we are now ready for the pilot of the 5G technology in the market. We are also closely working with industry peers to participate the ongoing digitalisation process in all vertical industry because we observed that the industry of digitalisation has been a global chance(?) and it is speeding up very, very fast.
We have been a very important stakeholders of the ICT eco system here in Europe. From our perspective, we do have some observation and recommendations on how we are going to speed up the progress of the digital transformation here in Europe.
We are happy to see that EU has already established very visionary strategy and solid framework policies for its digital agenda.
For example: The Digital Single Market Strategy, the Horizon 2020 action plan, the Industry 4.0 and as well Next generation initiatives. All this has already given us a clear guidance from business perspective, on where we should focus our investment, from the research and development and where we should spend more effort to promote the application of the emerging ICT technologies and that is very helpful.
In the same time, we believe there are still some room to improve for the digital transformation including building the strongest digital infrastructure and invest more on not only technology but people and skills.
Today we will focus on the specific area. I will take this opportunity to talk about the broadband network, because I believe that the broadband network here in Europe will be a key enabler for any digital innovation in the future. EU has achieved a tremendous progress on broadband network development.
However, there is still room to improve. Particularly in terms of the network performance and network coverage. For example, according to the EU report on digital progress the 30 Mbps broadband network coverage is around 76% in Europe. However, the number in the rural area is just of 40 %. This is a big gap. This is a problem for further digital transformation.

In Huawei, we have identified some key actions that need to be taken to better develop the broadband network here in Europe:

  • The first is to greatly enhance the broadband coverage, in particular in the rural area because we believe that eventually the broadband network will provide us a ubiquitous platform. Ubiquitous platform for the whole society to help us to get everything and every people connected. Because the broadband network will be foundation for us to build a fully connected world.
  • The second action is that we believe the development of the broadband should be an application driven process. So, the future broadband network should be able to meet the requirements for those emerging consumer applications and emerging industrial applications. For example, the high technician video 4K or 8K and automatic control. That means the future broadband network should be much, much faster than today. From our calculation, the future broadband network should be hundred times faster and fifty times more responsive than todays’ network. There is still a long way to go.
  • The third is that we believe that broadband development should be driven by the technology. Here in Europe we identify the 5G the all optical network and the Internet of Things the IoT, as a top rate enabling technology for the further digital transformation, because those technologies will be able to meet the requirements for faster speed, lower latency and massive connectivity.

The last point I would like to raise is about the policy. The broadband requires massive investment. From the report on the Eu, the Eu needs a total investment of 500 billion euros to meet this objective for connectivity for the year of 2025. However, there is still a short of 155 billion euros and this is a big gap. We believe that supportive policies will help you achieve a more long-term investment from the power sectors. For example, if the policies can encourage content and application providers to share the benefit of success with the infrastructure operators. That will be a big step forward to achieve a more long-term investment.

In summary, the broadband will be a key enabler for the digital agenda here in Europe and a key enabler for the digital transformation in the future.
Better network performance, bigger network coverage, innovative technologies and supportive policies will be very much helpful to make the broadband as a solid foundation for the development of the next generation of Internet and at Huawei I say as a stakeholder of the whole ICT system here in Europe, we are very excited to be part of this progress.
Thank you very much.

Day 1