Today's ‘ROADS to New Growth’ summit at HUAWEI CONNECT 2017 highlighted the latest progress by telecom carriers in finding new growth areas in the industry. Industry thought leaders, leading carriers, Huawei and its partners, also discussed how cloud and network synergies can help carriers play to their strengths and support the digital transformation of vertical industries.
"To succeed in B2B, carriers must first transform their business model from helping enterprise customers own assets to offering them services, and from one-off resale to delivering continuous services." said Yue Kun, Vice President of Global Marketing and Solution Sales, Huawei Carrier BG. Cloud will be the platform and portal for carrier B2B services. Via the cloud, carriers will be able to develop entirely new blue ocean markets in industry, government, and enterprises with services like IoT, video, communications, computing, and storage.
Before service transformation comes network transformation. Ma Hongbing, Deputy General Manager of China Unicom's Network Construction Department, said, "The advance of technologies like artificial intelligence is driving change across chipsets, devices, content, networks, platforms, and the cloud. The development of new services is becoming faster and more agile, the deployment of new services more flexible. Carrier networks must evolve in the direction of the cloud: become more intelligent, more agile, with a service-oriented architecture. This is the first priority for carriers. "
Unlike OTT service providers, carriers have the unique advantage of being able to coordinate cloud and network when they develop B2B services. Chang Wenzhuo, General Manager of Product Development Center, and Deputy General Manager of Marketing, Guangdong Branch, China Unicom, said, "Cloud and network are one and the same. China Telecom will leverage cloud-and-network synergy as we enter the cloud services space, and will work with our partners to build an ecosystem for smart cloud-network services."
In IoT, carriers' core strengths lie in their superior connectivity, platforms and ecosystems. Carrier NB-IoT networks have been used for smart metering, smart parking, smart street lamps, smart agriculture, and bicycle sharing. Looking forward, carriers will create more growth by making use of their advantages of ubiquitous networks and platforms to deliver a diverse range of services based on data analytics.
Video is already a core service for telecom carriers, and their video business for entertainment, communication, and industrial purposes is growing fast. Dr. Sangchul Lee, Standing Advisor of LG Uplus & LG Group, said: “Video is next voice. Beyond Video, what will be the fourth apple promoting human civilization: IoT, AI, IoB, or any combination?"
Carriers are developing one-stop, converged cloud services that will satisfy company demand for cloudification, private lines, and communication services. Cloud services will help improve the service experience and cut down the capital outlays required of customers, so that carriers can expand into new markets. Hiroki Taketsuna, Senior Director of SoftBank's ICT Innovation and Network Service Division, said: "SoftBank's next-generation enterprise networking solution, based on SD-WAN, supports traffic optimization, robust service deployment, and end-to-end security. Our solution can help enterprises go digital seamlessly."
Developing cloud, IoT, and video services presents not only technological hurdles, but also industry and ecosystem concerns. HUAWEI CONNECT 2017 is also a conference for the industry and ecosystem. At the event, Eric Owen, Group Vice President of IDC, Telecommunications, IDC EMEA, said, "The need to be agile and have the right skillset is the top two capabilities carriers believe they need in the digital age." At the summit, other carriers also discussed how they hoped that they could find ways to work with partners to build a healthy and harmonious ecosystem. They aim to use their strengths in ICT infrastructure to support the digitization of other industries, and embark on new roads to growth.