5G, AI, cloud technologies crucial to growth in the Middle East, improving people’s lives: Huawei

Doaa A.Moneim , Monday 25 Oct 2021

Technologies such as 5G, the cloud, and artificial intelligence (AI) will greatly benefit the Middle East in expanding the digital economy and improving the quality of people's lives, said Steven Yi, the recently appointed President of Huawei Middle East and Africa.

Steven Yi
Steven Yi (M), President of Huawei Middle East and Africa during a press conference. Photo courtesy of Huawei.

Yi made his comments during a meeting with a number of journalists worldwide on the sidelines of the GITEX Global 2021 summit held recently in Dubai.

He noted that adopting such technologies in the Middle East has helped Huawei grow in the region as it has openly collaborated with government entities to contribute to their national visions and enable the development of their ICT ecosystems.

Touching on 5G specifically, Yi reaffirmed that 5G deployments have been quite successful in the Middle East to date, with the number of 5G subscribers in GCC countries estimated to exceed 10 million by the end of 2021.

“Traffic is growing rapidly in the Middle East. Since the pandemic, industry digitisation and online business have gained strong momentum. The next important step in 5G development is 5GtoB — applying 5G technologies to all industries,” Yi expounded.

“As more industries across the Middle East embrace digital transformation, a focus on collaborative development will be pivotal to extending the gains achieved to date.”

He referred to many governments and enterprises in the Middle East today have benefited greatly from being at the forefront of emerging technologies — be it 5G commercial deployments, adopting cloud capabilities, designing intelligent city infrastructure, and more.

He explained that approximately 81 percent of enterprises globally now use cloud-based applications, adding that Huawei plans to extend these benefits to countries in the Middle East.

Huawei recently announced that it is investing $15 million to support cloud-oriented ecosystem development, talent cultivation, and start-ups in the region.

“In the past two years, the development of new technologies and the new normal under the pandemic has accelerated the advent of a digital world. The collaboration in the ICT domain can open new windows of socio-economic progress in line with countries’ national development agendas. Yet it will also take a concerted effort to drive digitalisation in ways that will create value for all.” Yi illustrated.

He added that talent is the cornerstone for a digital economy and that talent cultivation must be a long-term strategy for the region.

Yi also demonstrated that sustainable development of the sector would require the advancement of open, transparent, and secure networks.

“We call on all parties to cooperate in fields such as governance architecture, standards, verification, and sharing successful practices to enhance the trust and confidence of society as a whole. Cybersecurity is really a technical issue, and it needs technical solutions based on verifiable facts and objective methods.”

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