September 19, 2021

The need for advanced and effective information infrastructure to achieve universal connectivity

Case Study By

Mr. Ziyang Xu

Chief Executive Officer, ZTE

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.

First of all, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the leadership of the Broadband Commission and all Commissioner colleagues for the superb attitude, impeccable professionalism, coupled with incomparable passion in handling the responsibilities. All of this directly contributed to the achievement of significantly meaningful milestones in the way to push forward digital inclusion, implement Sustainable Development 2025 targets and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It was observed that one crucial common driving factor underpins both the 2025 targets and 2030 SDGs, which came from the urgent need to accomplish a couple of goals, e.g., entry-level broadband services should be made affordable in developing countries by 2025, broadband/ Internet user penetration worldwide, developing countries and the least developed countries should reach certain level by 2025, build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

The common driving factor that underpins the above goals, from my perspective, is the unprecedented need for information infrastructure at more advanced, more effective and more reliable level based on the revolutionary convergence of Information Technology (IT), Communication Technology (CT) and Operation Technology (OT).

None of the above goals will be achievable in the absence of the foundational capacities. For instance, thanks to the commercial deployment of more than 819,000 5G base stations by May 2021 along with the promising practice of diversified Cloud, Net and Edge ecosystems, China effectively brought 280 million 5G handset connections in 1.41 billion population. All of this was achieved while keeping the monthly mobile ARPU to as little as USD 5.94 which is the price of a cup of entry-level coffee in many nations. The 5G+ Industrial Internet which is strongly believed to be one the forces to revolutionize industries through paving the path for the digital economy will harness the OICT capabilities like never before. I am pleased to propose a few ways forward to continue the success of implementing the agenda of the 2025 targets and 2030 SDGS in Broadband Commission by using the power of example.

  • Advocate the benign and rule-based OICT ecosystem under the framework of the United Nations with international consent aiming for safeguarding a fair, non-discriminatory and reliable global industrial supply chain which is the key to ensuring sustainable development in all nations.
  • Harness the strength of best practices which demonstrate the conducive changes that enable progress in terms of facilitating the accomplishment of the missions under the agenda of the 2025 targets and 2030 SDGs.
  • Work closely with more international stakeholders of various organizations, sectors, countries and regions to identify and apply the paradigm of implementing the 2025 targets and 2030 SDGs in the world.