September 19, 2021

ICT technologies & COVID recovery

Case Study By

Ms. Sun Yafang

Member of Core Elite Group, Huawei Technologies

State of Broadband 2021

The ideas and opinions expressed in this insight are those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect those of ITU and UNESCO or the Broadband Commission. The mention of specific companies, products or services does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by ITU or UNESCO or Broadband Commission in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

In 2020, COVID-19 spread across the globe, significantly impacting work, life, the global economy, and society at large. Public sectors, private sectors, and NGOs, among others, have taken many actions to mitigate the impact.

At Huawei, we actively apply ICT technologies to fight the pandemic. Drawing on our experience in China and Europe, we have developed a nine-step approach for fighting the pandemic: (1) building temporary hospital networks; (2) remote consultation; (3) pandemic control; (4) drug R&D; (5) 5G-powered healthcare; (6) online education; (7) quantitative medical analyses; (8) helping reopen government services; and, (9) assisting enterprises’ work resumption.

Following the outbreak, we worked with telecom carriers in China, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa to build ICT facilities for field and designated hospitals. We even deployed a network for one field hospital in 24 hours, allowing doctors to diagnose symptoms and treat patients over long distances. Despite the pandemic and conflicts in Cameroon, we worked with MTN to ensure normal network operation.

In early 2020, 50 million students in China attended classes online through Huawei cloud. Connectivity technologies, like 5G, have become crucial to AI-assisted diagnoses, remote consultations, and contactless medical services during the pandemic.

We have taken many measures to bridge the digital divide, laying the foundation to resume learning and work in underdeveloped regions. China has 2.5 million villages and 700 million farmers. By the end of 2020, 99% of China’s villages had network coverage, enabling a quick return to normal life. Digital infrastructure was also key for China to eliminate poverty by the end of 2020.

As part of the ICT industry, Huawei has aligned its sustainability efforts with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, while continuing to focus on its own four sustainability strategies: digital inclusion, security and trustworthiness, environmental protection, and healthy and harmonious ecosystem.

Huawei proposed the TECH4ALL initiative to ensure no one is left behind in the digital world. Huawei has worked with over 20 global partners, including the UNESCO, to make progress in four crucial domains: equity and quality in education, environmental protection, inclusion and equity in health, and balanced development. For example, Huawei has partnered with over 1,500 universities worldwide via its ICT academies, and nearly 57,000 students have received Huawei certifications.

We call for enhanced global, cross-industry cooperation in e-health and online education.