HKT & Huawei Open Digital Transformation Practice Center in Hong Kong; Indoor 5G Whitepaper
Hong Kong network operator HKT and China IT powerhouse Huawei jointly inaugurated the Digital Transformation Practice Center (DTPC) yesterday in Hong Kong. The DTPC will share the experience and practices of HKT gained during its digital transformation journey, and help guide the digitalization process of other carriers in their development of digital transformation, HKT said.
The DTPC will provide on-site sharing of HKT’s experience and practices gained in its successful digital transformation journey.
At the DTPC, a project team will assess different transformational scenarios through the five stages of digital transformation: Envisioning, Ideating, Prototyping, Realizing and Scaling. The goal is to realize digital transformation in a more agile and low-cost manner. By connecting to Huawei Cloud Open Labs, visitors can also experience on-the-spot the transformed services.
The digital transformation practice facility aims to offer consultancy from half a day or a full day to chief executives, through to several weeks with specialist staff, said Derry Li, Huawei’s vice president of consulting and systems integration. “The center will support the construction of solutions. We will uncover user pain points,” Li said. The process will include prototyping of front-end and back-end solutions, he added.
By the end of this year, the facility will also advise on other technologies such as internet of things (IoT), the executive said. Li also said that Huawei and Hong Kong Telecom plan to extend the scope of the new facility to include 5G services in the first half of 2019.
HKT had previously worked with Huawei to carry out the end-to-end digital business transformation project, covering service and operation transformation as well as infrastructure cloudification for the realization of customer-centric “ROADS” (Real-time, On-demand, All-online, DIY, Social) experience.
During his keynote presentation at the opening of the event, Huawei’s board Chairman Liang Hua said that a full digitalization process can take at least 18 months to get through the toughest period of the implementation.
Separately, HKT, Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), and Huawei have jointly issued Indoor 5G Networks White Paper which explains the complexity of indoor 5G network deployment. It discusses 5G indoor service network requirements, the evolution of existing network, and challenges in target network deployment, and recommends appropriate construction strategies.
The white paper points out that more than 80% of service usage on 4G mobile networks occurs indoors. The industry predicts that a greater number of mobile services will take place indoors as 5G spurs service diversity and extends business boundaries. As a result, says the white paper, indoor mobile networks in the 5G era will become essential to operators’ competitiveness.
The white paper discusses key requirements and performance indicators for indoor 5G target networks based on the features of the three major types of 5G services (enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable low-latency communication and massive machine-type communication). The specific requirements of augmented reality (AR), VR, high-definition (HD) video, telemedicine, and smart manufacturing are elaborated.
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Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest telecom equipment vendor that has faced recent business setbacks on security concerns, believes a unified security standard for the next generation of mobile technology – 5G – that all global participants must comply with would help to resolve politicization of the technology’s roll-out.
All countries need to recognise the importance of setting better common standards, adopting industry best practice and implementing risk-mitigation procedures to ensure that there is an objective basis for choosing technology vendors, said Andy Purdy, chief security officer of Huawei USA, in a video interview from this week’s Singapore International Cyber event.
Taking politics out of the decision-making process is vital “so there’s an open, objective, and transparent basis for trust, so that the users can trust it, the government can trust it, and the vendors can know what the requirements are,” he said.
Shenzhen-based Huawei works with all of Australia’s major telecoms network operators and more than 50 per cent of Australians use a device from the Chinese company for some part of their daily communications needs, according to a description on its Twitter account. However, Huawei and ZTE Corp, Chinese telecommunications equipment providers that have both invested heavily in research and development of next-generation networks, were both excluded from building Australia’s 5G infrastructure after Canberra laid out new rules in August, citing national security concerns.
China expressed “serious concern” about the Australian government’s action, according to a statement from Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang. Meanwhile, amid an escalating trade war between the United States and China, the US government has identified Huawei and ZTE as security threats because of alleged ties to the Chinese government.
Unified objective security standards that are applicable to all markets and spread around the world could be “a very good thing,” said Purdy, who served as the director of the National Cyber Security Division of the US Government’s Department of Homeland Security between 2004 and 2006.
Following Canberra’s new guidelines, which bar the involvement of vendors “who are likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law”, Huawei said in a subsequent statement that the decision was made on “political grounds that undermine fair trade and hurt the interests of local consumers”.
Purdy said it’s important to sort out how to assess and address risk in relation to 5G in order to ensure that all vendors can meet objective functional, quality and security requirements.
“The more clarity we get, the more likely we’ll be able to say at some point that – these things are necessary and that we can do them, and that we can show that we can do them,” said Purdy, adding that all vendors need to be able to demonstrate they can meet the requirements objectively.
Frank Mademann, a Huawei employee who is also the Elected Chairman of Architecture Workgroup at 3GPP – the organisation that sets standards for the world’s telecommunications industry, said in the joint video interview that unlike the different types of standards adopted for past mobile networks – two for the 4G networks – 5G could be the first time the entire world has a single standard and a unified understanding from global participants about security needs.
“5G standards are designed (and will continue to be optimised) to make 5G safer than 4G,” said Mademann, who added that the next generation network offers more protections around subscriber identity, safeguards the interconnections between different carrier networks and will become even more difficult to crack as it adopts better encryption methods.
OPINION: Australia should reverse its Huawei 5G ban:
UK and Germany grow wary of Huawei as US turns up pressure-Delegation from Washington warns against using Chinese supplier for 5G networks. US, Australia and New Zealand have already blocked the use of Huawei 5G equipment on national security grounds.
The UK and Germany are growing wary of allowing Huawei, the Chinese telecoms company, to install 5G equipment in their countries after a US delegation visited Europe to urge heightened vigilance against national security threats.
UK security officials on Thursday issued a new public warning to Huawei, saying the Chinese company must fix problems in the equipment it provides to British networks or risk a further deterioration in what is an increasingly strained relationship.
The clear message delivered by the US delegation this month and in online communications is that Germany and the UK as key American allies must safeguard the security of their telecoms networks and supply chains, said people familiar with the situation.
The warnings come as Germany and the UK are preparing for auctions next year for 5G, a superfast service that will enable a new generation of digital products and services. Huawei is the world’s biggest telecoms equipment supplier and has been seen as a frontrunner to build the first networks in both countries, where it has conducted extensive 5G tests.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of the digital intelligence agency GCHQ, said Huawei must fix problems, highlighted in July, that pose “new risks in UK telecommunications networks”.
The issues came to a head in a tense meeting between the board set up to scrutinize Huawei equipment and the Chinese company earlier this month, said government officials and telecoms executives.
“As you might imagine there are some strains in the relationship as we deal with the issues set out in the latest oversight board report,” the spokesperson said. “But we remain committed to working with the company to put it right.”
Banning Huawei outright from providing 5G equipment to UK providers or removing them from existing telecoms networks remains unlikely, officials said. But the message to the Chinese company is clear.
“They are slowing down Huawei to allow the rest of the market to catch up,” said one former intelligence official. “If I was part of oversight board or government, I would be putting the boot in right now.”
UK security officials rejected the suggestion they are hardening their stance in response to growing pressure from the US, insisting the concerns are not based on Huawei’s Chinese origins as a company but on the way the company manufactures software and equipment which makes critical telecoms networks vulnerable to cyber attack.
A spokesperson for Huawei said: “We are grateful for this feedback and committed to addressing these issues. Cyber security remains Huawei’s top priority, and we will continue to actively improve our engineering processes and risk management systems.”
New Zealand this week became the latest country to take action against Huawei, blocking one of its biggest telecoms operators from using Huawei’s 5G equipment. The US and Australia have already blocked the company on national security grounds.
In Germany, officials said the mood in government was growing increasingly wary of Huawei’s potential involvement in building the country’s 5G network. While it is too early to say if Berlin will ban the Chinese company from participating, concerns in some parts of the government, including the foreign and interior ministries, is deepening, officials said.
“The US influence on this has really intensified recently,” said one German official, who requested anonymity.
Cui Haifeng, vice-president of Huawei in west Europe, told the Financial Times in Hamburg that the company was doing everything possible to allay concerns over security. Asked if Germany was set to issue a ban, he said: “So far, I never heard about this kind of thing.”
“[For] every technology for us at Huawei we always try to put the security and safety as top priorities so all the design, products and services will be safe,” Mr Cui said.
Raffaello Pantucci, director of international securities studies at UK think-tank RUSI
“The NCSC has concerns around a range of technical issues and has set out improvements the company must make,” a government spokesperson said. “In the UK, the conversation with regard to China has definitely shifted with the hawks becoming kind of dominant,” Mr Pantucci added.
The main US concern over Huawei equipment is that the company’s ties to the Chinese government could enable snooping or interference. Huawei has strongly denied such charges.
More generally, the US is worried about the potential application of China’s National Intelligence Law, approved in 2017, which states that Chinese “organisations and citizens shall . . . support, co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work”. The risk, said US officials, is that this could mean that Chinese companies overseas are called upon to engage in espionage.
https://www.ft.com/content/6719b6b2-f33d-11e8-9623-d7f9881e729f (on line sub required)
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