It’s difficult to categorise a company like Huawei, the business extends into so many different parts of the mobile industry that one overall label doesn’t work. From a UK perspective, much has been made of its attempts to crack the consumer smartphone market, but the company’s real power lies in its infrastructure and enterprise activities.
The brand is attempting to harness the breadth of its different business units with a singular vision known as ‘Open ROADS’, a plan to harness the business potential in the growth in the number of connected devices in the market. This plan extends from the consumer space through to the world of enterprise and everything in between.
‘All of our new products and solutions fit with each other; they are part of the strategy for a better-connected world’ says Patrick Zhang Shunmao, Huawei’s president, marketing and solutions. ‘As a business we expect there to be 100 million connections in the future as consumers demand to be connected more and more - this is what we describe as the ROADS experience. We decided that Huawei needs to focus on the ICT infrastructure to support the demands of the modern user.
‘Huawei has three business groups all working on the different aspects that the company covers. When one unit overlaps with the other we try to synergise what the two units are doing so as not to waste energy.
‘We have a lot of partners in the UK and they come from a diverse range of industries including carriers and enterprise. The carriers include partners we have worked with for more than 20 years, including BT, Vodafone and EE. We have also collaborated with a huge number of partners in the enterprise space in areas such as banking and logistics.’
The UK market is undergoing some major changes at the moment, with some of Huawei’s biggest customers involved in some serious consolidation. Huawei believes that this change could be beneficial for them - Zhang Shunmao told Mobile that he thinks the changes will help the development of the UK’s infrastructure: ‘We think it is a good direction, it will be good for the UK’s infrastructure.’
Supporting the road
The smartphone is a critical part of Huawei’s plans to exploit the more connected world, as Zhang Shunmao explains, it is a crucial driver in developing the connected space: ‘Mobile is fundamental to supporting ROADS - to give an example, we have mentioned an “always mobile”, where the user is demanding connectivity the whole time. The R in ROADS stands for “Real time” and that means taking away latency from the customer’s experience. A dramatic decrease in latency time will benefit the whole industry.
Despite the smartphone being a key driver for Huawei’s connected world vision the company sees the majority of connections coming outside this space, Zhang Shunmao continues: ‘Smartphone connections will take up around 10% of the future 100 billion connections, this means that 90% of the connections will come from other industries and connections.
‘When we look at the enterprise users, we see that the growth potential is much higher. As the number of connections increases, the majority of them will be in the enterprise space. Around the world enterprises are upgrading their ICT systems; in Germany this is known as “Industry 4.0”, in the US it is called the “Industry Network”, and in China we call it “Industry IOT”.
‘The biggest advantage Huawei has is that it places a great deal of importance on the technology acceleration and how it applies to different industries today. To fully utilise the advantage, we need to find the right partners to work with in this range of industries. It’s about open collaborative external collaboration.’
What’s on Huawei’s ROADS?
Huawei’s ROADS acronym describes the new user behaviour patterns that define the optimum experience: