MWC SHANGHAI 2021: How innovation opens a window of hope post pandemic

“Innovation isn’t just about solving the challenges we face today,” but also about “lighting up tomorrow.”

The opening ceremony of Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2021, began with a challenge for innovation and a message of hope as Huawei’s Deputy Chairman Ken Hu spoke about the huge impact that COVID-19 has had on countries, enterprises, and people around the world, and how a Huawei app could create opportunities post pandemic. 

In his keynote speech Huawei’s Deputy chairman said “As we look towards recovery,  we need to ensure that innovation isn’t just about today. It’s about lighting up tomorrow and creating greater social value.”

While pivoting to address the pandemic, Hu warned that the world faces a real risk of K-shaped economic recovery once COVID-19 is brought under control. He predicts an increasingly wide divide between organizations and people who actively benefit from digital technology and those who do not. 

He also pointed out that, while unequal access to digital technology and digital skills has widened the digital divide, the pandemic has made the situation significantly worse. 

In order to avoid unbalanced development, bridge the digital divide, and promote inclusive growth, Hu emphasized that the focus of innovation needs to shift to producing greater social value.

“We have to focus innovation on bridging the gap between the haves and have-nots, and on driving digital inclusion”.

Hu said that once the pandemic under control, we need to think hard about how we can innovate to improve quality of life, make businesses smarter, and create a more inclusive world.” 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Huawei has worked closely with carriers to ensure the stable operations of more than 300 networks across 170 countries. In Indonesia, Huawei employed a new digital delivery technology to rapidly deploy over 50,000 base stations. In Ningxia, China, Huawei’s integrated routers enable multi-cloud access for enterprise users, helping them move to cloud more rapidly – and at lower cost.

Huawei Cyberverse App

One of these innovations, is the Huawei Cyberverse App.

The Cyberverse app is an advanced AR application that demonstrates how 5G networks, 5G devices, and AR technology can converge to create a more immersive virtual experience, whether it be a lifelike forest or a simulation in outer space. 

The new app makes it possible to seamlessly integrate virtual and physical realities with high-precision, centimeter-level positioning capabilities, massive computing power, and high-bandwidth transmission through 5G. 

Huawei expects Cyberverse to create many new growth opportunities in multiple sectors, including education, entertainment, tourism, transportation, and navigation.


Hu’s speech also talked about the important role of technologies such as 5G, cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) have begun to play in manufacturing, accelerating the transition to more intelligent and flexible operations. 

Huawei’s own Dongguan South Factory, Hu said,  is currently using 5G networks with cloud-based AI applications in its 5G smartphone production lines to drive huge productivity gains.

He described how Huawei’s own Dongguan South Factory was currently using 5G networks with cloud-based AI applications in its 5G smartphone production lines to drive huge productivity gains.

Hu revealed that, overall, in collaboration with its partners and regional carriers, Huawei had signed more than 1,000 contracts for industrial 5G applications in more than 20 industries.

He said he was confident that opportunities abound in the digital transformation space. Huawei predicts that, by 2025, 97% of all large companies will use AI. Other estimates for 2025 include that 55% of China’s entire GDP will be driven by the digital economy, and 60% of global carrier revenue will be derived from industry customers. To  achieve these projections, he said “all industries should focus on improving their capabilities, building out the ecosystem, and creating value with digital technology.”


Huawei has been focusing heavily on 5G innovation to help drive the digital transformation of all industries. Hu noted that Huawei’s innovation is focused on three areas: technology, products, and applications.

•          Technology: Huawei’s new 5G Super Uplink solution delivers unmatched uplink speeds, helping companies break through a major bottleneck in industrial Internet.

•          Products: Huawei’s fully converged 5G edge computing products have sped up deployment of edge computing sites by a factor of 10.

•          Applications: Huawei’s Wireless X Labs incubates 5G applications with partners across a wide range of domains like manufacturing, healthcare, finance, and transportation. With these partners, Huawei is exploring how 5G can help different industries go digital more effectively.

Huawei is also working closely with customers and partners to drive innovation in 5G. The company is currently working with ecosystem partners to develop devices targeted at meeting specific industry needs. Through joint innovation and strategic partnerships with its customers, Huawei aims to drive 1 to N expansion of 5G applications for business. The company is also working to coordinate 5G communication and industry standards to more rapidly scale up 5GtoB applications.

Hu reported that, in collaboration with its partners and regional carriers, Huawei has signed more than 1,000 contracts for industrial 5G applications in more than 20 industries.

Huawei has partnered with Ghanaian operators on a rural network infrastructure project, Huawei currently plans to deploy more than 2,000 RuralStar base stations in remote regions around the country. This will help increase mobile coverage in Ghana from 83% to 95% and bring previously unconnected communities online for the first time.

Similarly, new AI services deployed on HUAWEI CLOUD are being used to help a small company in Malaysia double its production capacity without increasing headcount during the pandemic.

Hu also shared how 5G networks have been used to enable remote ultrasounds and CT scans that help address imbalanced distribution and shortages of medical resources.

Closing out his speech, Hu stressed that, while the pandemic closed many doors, innovation has opened new windows of hope. He concluded that, through ongoing innovation, Huawei will continue to pursue open partnerships with its customers and partners to help industries go digital and make life better, businesses smarter, and the world more inclusive.

At this year’s MWC Shanghai, Huawei is showcasing in Hall N1 seven new ICT network concepts, including Wireless 1+N, Home+, All-optical Bases, and Cloud-network Smart Connections, as well as nine new products and solutions, including ultra-simplified sites, gigabit home broadband, premium private lines, and intelligent cloud networks.MWC Shanghai 2021 runs from February 23 to February 25 in Shanghai, China. 

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