Event Preview: Huawei Innovation Week

Following the GSMA’s decision to postpone MWC Shanghai because of the city’s evolving pandemic situation, Chinese network solutions provider Huawei has plugged this gap in the events calendar with its Win-Win Huawei Innovation Week, from 18 to 21 July.

The event will take place in person and online, is scheduled over four days and covers a range of topics affecting the telecom and IT industries. These include green development, digital transformation, cloud networking and the intersection of 5G and edge computing. It also features launches throughout wireless, IT and network product lines.

Let’s take a look at how the event is structured, and what we might expect from each session.

Day 1: Product and Solution Launches

The opening day of the event includes a line-up of high-level speakers, introducing new additions to Huawei’s portfolios and delivering presentations about Huawei’s wireless and cloud core networks, as well as its optical, data communications, storage and digital power domains.

To start proceedings Wang Tao, Huawei’s executive director, will present a vision of the industry “Towards the 5.5G Era” and what this means for operators. The 5G era is well underway, but stands at a pivotal juncture as networks begin to transition to standalone 5G, potentially enabling a host of new uses. It will be interesting to hear how Huawei views this evolution.

There will be presentations by Yang Chaobin, vice president of the wireless product line, who’ll showcase what’s new in Huawei’s 5G product line-up, and Jin Yuzhi, president of the optical product line, who’ll highlight the optical capabilities and solutions coming to market. Other launches from the cloud core networks and data communication portfolios will cover 5G virtual private networks and what the company calls “intelligent cloud network 2.0”, looking at how synergy between clouds and networks can pave the way for digital transformation.

Day 2: Green Development Solution Launch

The second day of the event focusses on green technology. This is a subject Huawei has put under the spotlight consistently over the past couple of years; the company talked at length about sustainable networking practices and building eco-friendly networks — with particular emphasis on 5G — in its 2021 series of Better World Summit events in Dubai. It also held its Green Development Summit at MWC Barcelona in February 2022.

Huawei now incorporates green development into all its products, from network infrastructure to devices, with an emphasis on helping operators with their carbon-neutral goals by offering solutions that will help them cut emissions and make their networks more energy efficient. I’ve been tracking green networking solutions for some time; some of Huawei’s energy-saving capabilities have piqued my interest, such as its extremely large antenna array architecture, on-site renewable energy and use of big data and machine learning in the cloud to reduce energy consumption by turning elements on and off pre-emptively. I’m curious to see what else it brings to the table on this front.

I also expect we’ll hear more from Huawei about how using 5G and other technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing, will better enable other industries to cut emissions and accelerate their journey to carbon neutrality.

Day 3: Digital Transformation Summit: Carrier Cloud Transformation

With the growth of operators’ conventional services slowing down, new services are rolling out powered by new technologies such as 5G, cloud computing, AI, big data and edge computing to accelerate revenue growth. In different regions operators will develop new services based on their own strengths and characteristics. For example: mobile video services being offered in the Asia–Pacific region, and cloud, Internet of things (IoT) and data centre services being offered by operators in China’s business-to-business market.

But there are major difficulties for operators in pursuing a cloud journey, mainly because of the complexity of existing network and service architectures. This means operators need to develop a strategy that plays to their advantages, choose a pathway that ensures data security, system stability and business agility during and after the cloud migration, as well as identify an experienced and competent partner to help them navigate the journey.

Huawei has built a narrative about its role in digital transformation for telecom operators and the way it mixes emerging technologies with gigabit connectivity from 5G and fibre networks. To increase agility in adding new services, cloud networking is shifting further out to the edge of the network; it will be interesting to see how Huawei articulates its position on networks architected for the cloud, rather than just being in the cloud, as being the most effective way for operators to fully unlock this potential.

Day 4: 5G MEC Industry Summit

The combination of AI and 5G is potentially a powerful one, enabling new, smart uses in smart cities, transportation, manufacturing, utilities and so on, and reshaping industrial processes and enterprise operations. These examples are building up as use of intelligent devices rises and industrial environments become better connected.

But smart devices need to be managed and orchestrated. IoT applications create huge volumes of data. The ability to exploit data quickly and effectively can drive operational efficiencies and competitive advantages; the key to this is multi-access edge computing, a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the data source, improving response times and saving bandwidth while reducing storage and transmission costs. The “intelligent edge” refers to the combination of edge computing power, AI, data analytics and advanced connectivity.

A vital aspect of the intelligent edge is the network itself; here, 5G is set to have a transformational impact. I look forward to hearing more about how future telecom value depends on 5G networks combined with the intelligent edge, and what this means for smart industry.

There will be particular focus on public network-integrated non-public networks as a means of accelerating large-scale deployment of 5G private networks — in other words, using the public network in slices to deliver private mobile services that have the scale to reach multiple locations, or that include roaming on the public network.

At CCS Insight, we’re always interested in what’s new for connected technologies, so the packed schedule and range of topics suggests that Huawei Innovation Week is an event well worth attending. I’ll be joining online and reporting on the details of new products launches and central messages featured in the daily sessions. Stay tuned!