Developing 5G, hand in hand with Europe or Green 5G the European way
Welcome Address by Dr Hui Cao, Head of Strategy and Policy, Huawei EU
The Brussels 5G Assembly
20 November 2019, 10.00 - 10.15
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Good Morning, everyone; Distinguished Guests, Partners, Members of the Press, Colleagues:
It’s an honour for me to welcome you to this event - Huawei’s first 5G Assembly - here in Brussels. But why Brussels, you are probably wondering?
Because, dear friends, Brussels is where some of the brightest and most determined minds of the continent gather together with a common goal: to shape a better future for Europe – a smarter, fairer and more integrated future.
And Huawei shares this goal. So that is why today we are tackling the first of these issues: “Choose a Smarter Future”.
But what do I mean when I say this? I mean that 5G is the key to the smarter future we are all striving for. Now, the question is: How can we harness the potential of 5G to tackle global problems like climate change, while also driving forward industry, cities and rural communities across the continent?
Let me be clear: 5G is going to have huge effects on the way we work, do business, socialize and communicate with each other. And Huawei is ready to partner with governments and policymakers to ensure that this new technology is deployed wisely – for the benefit of society as a whole.
Huawei first started operating in Europe 20 years ago. During these two decades, we have created jobs, reduced the urban-rural divide, and boosted Europe’s research and innovation ecosystem; to the point that we now employ over thirteen thousand people, have 23 research facilities and are partnering with leading universities across the continent. Just a couple of weeks ago, Oxford Economics published a report showing that Huawei contributed 12.8 billion euros to Europe’s GDP in 2018 – adding 5.6 billion in tax revenues. But Europe is more than just one of our most important markets – it is truly our second home.
Huawei’s commitment to a stronger Europe is not only a matter of the past and the present: it’s also its future. We are committed! This year alone, we announced bold investments in Germany, Romania, France, Spain, and the UK; plus a 70 million euro Research and Development investment in Ireland.
Over the next 20 years, industrial digitalisation will become the biggest driving force for economic growth. New technologies such as 5G, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and “the internet of things” will bring new opportunities to strengthen competitiveness and foster job creation. But more than this, thanks to 5G technology, it’s estimated that Europe could have the highest GDP growth in the world – 2.9 percent – by 2034. So let’s lead the global 5G agenda together!
Europe has done well - so far. In many respects, it has lead the way. The introduction of its General Data Protection Regulation is a perfect example of global governance, and of a regulatory framework that can be adopted and enforced by all. Plus European values on fairness and citizens’ rights are the gold standard when it comes to cyber security and data protection.
But are we confident to say that Europe is currently leading the way when it comes to 5G? Europe has a large number of influential companies, but the advantages of most lie mainly in traditional industries. Now that we are entering the digital era, the question is: How can we turn European companies into digital leaders?
The answer, dear friends, lies in 5G. The good thing about the current stage is that there is still room for Europe to drive the 5G agenda. Even more: Europe has a unique opportunity to do so. Unique, because of the values that underpin the European way of life, and the Treaties that bind Europeans together. These values speak of openness, fairness and inclusiveness – and are fully shared by Huawei.
That’s why we want to be verified by any Government, and are willing to address any concerns that may arise. We want open, fair, and evidence-based checks for all, on a level playing field. Germany is showing that this approach can work. Don’t just trust us – verify us.
At the same time, there needs to be a recognition of the global supply chain connecting all vendors that exists. In other words: let’s acknowledge the fact that all vendors’ equipment contains parts made in China. This is why Huawei advocates the rapid adoption of measures that address the challenges of cyber-security and to put governments’ and consumers’ minds at ease.
Another one of the areas where Europe clearly leads is in the fight against climate change. Thanks to its cutting-edge solutions, Huawei is already leading the way in the drive for a greener Europe. Building on innovations like integrated chips and AI-enabled software, 5G technology is much more energy efficient.
For example, Huawei developed the world's first hybrid fan, which reduces power consumption of each bit by half. One hybrid fan saves 6000 kilowatt/hour per year – equivalent to the annual power consumption of 200 domestic coffee machines in Brussels.
Huawei has pledged to slash per-connection carbon emissions by 80% by 2025. If achieved, this would make ICT one of the world's most energy-efficient industries. But not only is Huawei’s 5G technology green in itself: it will also lead to solutions which will reduce CO2 emissions. For example: an Airbus A320 has signalling cables that weigh about 17 tons. If wireless networks were used instead, the airplane would be far lighter and would need far less fuel. That would create tremendous value, for passengers, for the airlines… and it would improve the air we all breathe.
The beneficial impact of 5G can already be felt in rural areas. Huawei has just joined forces with the Swiss research centre Agroscope, and with Switzerland’s 5G operator Sunrise, to develop smart agricultural applications.
Typical smart agriculture applications include the use of drones to survey crops, and irrigation solutions to make the best possible use of water – every drop counts. At the same time, predictive AI and other digital tools can help farmers grow quality-produce without putting extra pressure on the environment. 5G drones, for example, can now use 4K video, helping farmers to better plan the use of fertilizers.
Now that we are on the cusp of a 4th industrial revolution, the possibilities are endless – and so are the advantages for consumers, businesses and the Union as a whole. Huawei is committed to providing the latest innovation platforms and resources – including AI – to European companies. If harnessed, our solutions can truly help Europe lead this next industrial revolution, and gain its true Digital Sovereignty.
Regardless of the changing winds blowing from the other side of the Atlantic, I can promise you one thing: Huawei is focused on developing the best possible 5G products, and on providing the best possible services to our customers. Strong business continuality is our core value: Huawei is and always will be ready to work with partners in Europe and the rest of the world.
To sum up, I would like to stress that Europe is the natural 5G leader: it has the most advanced operators and a world–leading industrial base. This, married with the best 5G innovators – with Huawei as a full partner – means that Europe can shape the world’s 5G landscape. And we both want that to happen.
To achieve this goal, Europe can – and MUST – be a leader, not a follower on the road to a digital future. We are at a crossroads of geo-political contests. Those who embrace the potential of 5G will be in charge not only of their digital future, but also of the world’s. 5G has the capability to help tackle many of the challenges ahead – and with Europe in the driving seat, 5G will certainly be a force for good.
Thank you for listening, and I hope you feel inspired by our speakers. Enjoy the rest of the day!