Authored by: Zac Chow, Vice President of Carrier Network Business Group at Huawei Malaysia
AS utilisation of the latest generation for broadband cellular networks grows and more of its potential is discovered, many are today looking at advanced connectivity as an enabler for widespread digital transformation – powering platforms to add greater value to a broader set of services.
Advancements in information and communication technologies (ICT) are destined to be the game changer that offers a myriad of possibilities. These advancements are expected to accelerate innovation, connect communities, and help build a safer, more secure, and inclusive world.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shining a spotlight on the need for accelerated digital transformation, we see more and more segments of the economy and society – from manufacturing and transportation to financial services, healthcare, and education – becoming increasingly dependent on high-speed broadband.
Accelerating technology development
State-of-the-art connectivity in itself is not a magic bullet that will make everything fast. Rather, its real potential will be demonstrated in how it can be used to advance and develop other technologies.
High-speed connectivity will drive development and maturity of AI technologies by offering, among others, a low latency rate – very minimal delay between the sending and receiving of information. This will lead to advancements in real-time machine translation and responses.
As a result, this will then enhance factory floor operations and replace traditional processes.
Ultimately, operators that can offer the creation and management of an end-to-end service ecosystem – which refines and transforms data from IoT platforms into smart data in real time, will be the ones to benefit the most and see significant growth.
Advanced ICT will help optimise the management of millions of connected devices and drive potential to scale up.
Socio-economic value unlocked
Advancements in ICT have the potential to change how we look at connectivity and how we apply technology to our homes, businesses, and communities.
In other words, they have the potential to transform our world as we know it. Here are some examples:
Hospitals will not only be able to remotely diagnose patients, but they will also have the ability to remotely perform surgeries and other hands-on procedures using digital avatars, via video conferencing using high-speed internet.
Unmanned robots to streamline supply delivery and disinfection will afford medical personnel more time to provide direct attention to patients.
Connected devices will provide data on weather conditions, plant and crop health, moisture, mineral and chemical levels, pest presence and more.
This will in turn improve labour allocation, cost management, waste reduction and yield.
For instance, Huawei together with the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (“SMA”), the Forest Department Sarawak, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (“SFC”) and Rainforest Connection (A US-based non-profit organisation) are collaborating on a project that leverages technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Enterprise Intelligence (EI) to protect Sarawak’s rainforests, which are some of the oldest rainforests in the world.
The latest generation mobile network will provide the necessary bandwidth capacity to deploy high-tech content from anywhere, anytime.
This interactivity and virtual capability will change learning traditions across the board, paving the way for smarter classrooms based on mixed reality learning platforms. IoT, powered by high-speed internet, will promote the inclusion of robotics in a classroom as teaching material.
China Mobile Group, Huawei Technologies and the Beijing Normal University recently joined hands to build a 5G Smart Campus within the university to promote the use of new advanced technologies in education.
The smart campus has seen the deployment of multimedia materials to remote classrooms, as well as the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The application of advanced ICT has also ramped up campus security through real-time facial identification and the use of data analytics to authenticate personnel verification.
IoT sensors powered by high-speed internet will monitor and collect data on everything -- from air quality to energy use, to traffic patterns.
Huawei is also working together with the Sarawak State Government on the Kuching Smart City Master Plan.
Supporting Malaysia’s digital transformation
As Malaysia moves rapidly forward towards achieving its goals of digital transformation, Huawei is honoured to support the country’s vision.
As the main technology provider in the Malaysian telecom market in the 4G era, we have always introduced industry leading technologies to Malaysian operators to support them in building the best experience networks for end users.
Huawei supported the first massively deployed FDD Massive MIMO on 4G, and introduced multi-sector solutions for high capacity network scenarios. Huawei also launched the world’s first Smart-8T8R solution to support flexible capacity requirements that also have 5G evolution capability.
Together with CyberSecurity Malaysia and Celcom Axiata Bhd Huawei is also involved in establishing Southeast Asia’s first Cyber Security 5G Test Lab, My5G, in Malaysia, which aims to be Network Equipment Security Assurance Scheme (NESAS) certified.
In the optical transport field, Huawei was the first provider to introduce the Quick-ODN technology in 2020 which to a large extent sped up the fibre coverage in the FTTH access part, which also contributed to speeding up the delivery of fibre deployment to support the national Jendela targets.
In the DWDM network part, Huawei was the first provider to help deploy the single port 200G to minimise the consumption of trunk fibre in 2019. In 2020, Huawei introduced the regional first Optical Cross-Connection technology in Malaysia to support the construction of the most compact multi-directional DWDM equipment to greatly reduce the cost of equipment room space.
The way forward
Digital transformation is already impacting economies across the globe in a positive manner, and it is certainly Huawei’s mission to be one of the leading enablers in driving Malaysia’s digital economy forward.
Nevertheless, the journey forward for Malaysia’s digital agenda requires a collective effort. In order for us to reach our destination, there are requisites to be met and fulfilled.
To maximise the tremendous potential of digitalisation, we need to constantly work together to continuously improve Malaysia’s infrastructure.
In this context, we need to look at enhancing telecommunications infrastructure which would boost Internet accessibility nationwide, including rural areas.
After all, establishing a fully connected, intelligent world – a motto we at Huawei hold fast to -- requires a digital inclusion strategy to be in place with everyone in mind.
Further to this, both the public and private sectors must collaborate to support and expedite Malaysia’s digital transformation journey.
Bearing this in mind, I wish to reiterate the need to promote, create and embrace a digital culture across government agencies and private organisations, which is crucial in order for us to obtain the buy-in from the general public.
Equally important for Malaysia and world economies in general is for us to nurture digitally savvy talent as well as upskill and reskill our existing workforce, to prepare them to be participants and stakeholders in the ongoing fourth industrial revolution.
By having a highly competent workforce, we can expect to see higher investments, which will in turn prosper businesses and industries, leading to a positive impact on the economy.
As a wise person once said, “There can be no triumph without trials.”
All of us, individuals and organisations alike, will need to embrace disruptions of some measure on this digital transformation journey.
So let us gear up, keep an open mind and enjoy the ride towards appreciating and embracing the full benefits digitalisation has to offer.