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Communications for All

According to the ITU, more than 87% of the world's population is now within the range of a mobile signal (55% for 3G networks). Among the world's poorest 20% of households, nearly 7 out of 10 have a mobile phone – more households in developing countries own a mobile phone than have access to electricity or clean water. However, there are still up to half a billion people unconnected to any form of telecommunications services and they are disproportionately located in developing countries. Huawei understands this challenge. Our technologies can enable the widest possible coverage through higher power and more targeted transmission. We also integrate multiple technologies such as cellular, Wi-Fi, and microwave to make their deployment both faster and cheaper. Affordability is critical if we are to overcome the digital divide.

To minimize network costs, Huawei provides end-to-end services and works closely with its customers to reduce their expenses, and consequently the costs for the end consumer. We continuously innovate network technologies to adapt to the needs of emerging economies and demanding geographies. One example is our renewable energy power supply solution, which is suitable for base stations in remote and sparsely populated areas. This solution also removes the need for highly polluting diesel generators.

In 2016, Huawei continued to deploy these technologies in remote regions that were connected for the first time. Every day thousands of Huawei staff work in tough conditions like these throughout the world to extend network coverage, with the aim of bringing everyone within range of a mobile signal.

Connecting Myanmar for the First Time

Myanmar's challenging geographical landscape contains dense forests and hard-to-reach communities. Because of difficult weather conditions (e.g., a seven-month rainy season) and other challenges such as flooded roads and patchy energy supplies, Myanmar is perhaps one of the last great telecom "green fields" in Asia. These factors present enormous challenges for network deployment and pose exacting requirements on network quality and efficiency.

To meet our customer's needs, Huawei's design included fixed and mobile network technologies, energy generation facilities, 7,000-plus base stations, and advanced cable engineering and network protection technology used for over 2,000 km coverage. We utilized 20 different base station tower designs, seven different wireless solutions, 18 different types of power generation units, and 26 different microwave solutions. Huawei completed the network project after 26 months of extraordinary work. For the first time, 13 million people (one fifth of the country's population) now have access to an advanced telecommunications system.

Our commitment doesn't stop there. Huawei continues to invest resources in Myanmar to improve digital inclusion. For example, Huawei inaugurated its first Huawei Authorized Information Network Academy (HAINA) in Myanmar with Thanlyin University of Science and Technology in Yangon, which is our 147th academy worldwide. The objective of HAINA is to help grow urgently needed technical knowledge and expertise in Myanmar, and ultimately to ensure the benefits of connectivity are shared by local people.

Base station under construction

Myanmar children enjoying access to the Internet for the first time

Enabling Visually Impaired Users to Conveniently Use Smartphones

Data shows that there are approximately 13 million visually impaired people in China. Using a mobile phone to communicate and obtain information is a major hurdle that they face in everyday life. Huawei initiated its Information Accessibility Project based on insights into the intense desire of the visually impaired to use a mobile phone normally.

Since the Emotion User Interface 5.1 (EMUI5.1) system, Huawei has partnered with the influential industry organization Information Accessibility Research Association. Throughout the development of the Information Accessibility Project, Huawei leveraged its expertise in technology to enable accessibility functionality to better meet the needs of target users.

Huawei's text-to-speech (TTS) functionality comes by default in new devices, enabling visually impaired users to configure a new phone independently after turning it on. When a new Huawei smartphone is powered on for the first time, the TTS functionality can be enabled simply by placing two fingers anywhere on the screen. With the assistance of Chinese language TTS, the entire process of phone setup becomes easy. The user can hear phone numbers by tapping the dial pad, thus avoiding unintended commands being made by double-taps during calls. This feature makes phone calls much easier. Huawei also added differentiation between the Chinese words for "he" and "she", which sound the same in spoken Chinese, helping users to more accurately express and obtain information.

The Huawei EMUI 5.1 system provides more than 50 standard accessibility options, which have made more user-friendly for the visually impaired. Its accessibility enables users to live, travel, shop, and seek out entertainment independently. By making the phones "accessible right out of the box", Huawei is bridging the digital divide for visually impaired people.

A visual impaired person is using a mobile phone to communicate and obtain information

Connecting Rural Zambia

The mobile penetration rate is low in Zambia's remote areas. According to ITU, over 25% of Zambians are unable to access the Internet on their mobile phones. The Zambian people have a strong desire for mobile connectivity. They want to be able to promptly connect with their family and relatives, receive holiday greetings via calls or text messages, and reach distant buyers to sell their agricultural products via mobile phones.

Since 2013, Huawei has worked with the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority and local carriers to implement the Universal Access Project, an initiative designed to deliver network coverage to remote areas. As one of the most important welfare programs launched by the Zambian government, the Universal Access Project is aimed at deploying base stations in remote regions, which in turn can stimulate local economic growth, promote cultural development, and bridge the digital divide.

In 2014, Huawei successfully installed 169 base stations in remote areas of all 10 provinces in Zambia. These base stations connected over 500 villages for the first time and allowed tens of thousands of people to reach the outside world using their mobile phones. Huawei also donated 100 mobile phones to local villagers so that they could instantly enjoy convenient mobile services.

Zambian Vice President Dr. Guy Scott made the first call from the first tower delivered by the project at Matanda in Luapula Province. He urged women and young people in particular to seize the opportunities created by mobile communications to get involved in business.


Zambian Vice President making the first phone call

"Through our dedicated effort and commitment to the Zambian market, we endeavor to work with local partners towards improved network quality, affordable rates, and more value-added services for the benefit of the people of Zambia."

——Huawei Zambia managing director

In addition to deploying communications networks, Huawei employed local people to construct the base stations, creating job opportunities and increasing their income. Through this, Huawei has contributed to local economic growth.

Huawei Connects 8 Million People of the "Mountain Kingdom" with the Rest of the World

Nepal is located among the Himalayas. It is called the "Mountain Kingdom", with many mountains standing over 6,000 meters above sea level. There are 14 mountains in the world which stand over 8,000 meters, and 8 of them can be found in the Himalayas. Nepal is rich in hydroelectricity, accounting for 2.3% of the world's total. The available hydroelectricity ready to be exploited is estimated to be 27 million kilowatts.

The Mountain Kingdom

Nepal is located among the Himalayas. It is called the "Mountain Kingdom", with many mountains standing over 6,000 meters above sea level. There are 14 mountains in the world which stand over 8,000 meters, and 8 of them can be found in the Himalayas. Nepal is rich in hydroelectricity, accounting for 2.3% of the world's total. The available hydroelectricity ready to be exploited is estimated to be 27 million kilowatts.

Highly remote

Nepal is still a developing country. The transport infrastructure in the mountainous regions of the country is quite undeveloped, with residents relying mainly on humans, cattle haulers, and even helicopters for transporting goods. Power shortages had been plaguing the country for many years, with some remote regions often experiencing power outages of 16 hours each day during the winter. These problems made the deployment of base stations difficult, time-consuming, and extremely costly. As a result, local carriers could not provide network coverage nationwide and many Nepalese could not enjoy communication with the outside world through telephone or any other means.

Huawei helps to deploy integrated base stations

After gaining a deep understanding of the conditions in Nepal, Huawei helped local carriers deploy integrated base stations in rural areas using the Huawei SingleSite solution. The deployment of energy-efficient outdoor base stations powered by solar energy significantly helped carriers lower their site construction costs, effectively reduce the dependency of base stations on electric power, and quickly achieve signal coverage in the relevant areas.

The benefits of being connected

Advancements in communications also have boosted the country's tourism industry. For the first time, people in mountainous areas can make calls as well as send and receive text messages anytime they choose. This not only facilitates communications with the outside world, it also enhances the safety of tourists. As a result, more and more tourists are attracted to this country. In addition, the global information exchange has improved the investment environment in Nepal and accelerated Nepal's economic development pace.


The Huawei SingleSite solution makes communications convenient for Nepalese in mountainous areas

The Mountain Kingdom can connect to the World

By the end of 2013, Huawei rolled out 2G networks in mid-west, western, and far west Nepal, the country's three remote mountainous areas, and began using 2G+3G solutions to replace equipment in the central and eastern Nepal, providing coverage for over 8 million people. Convenient communications have made the lives of the Nepalese much easier and given them access to full connectivity. The charm of the “Mountain Kingdom” has now gone global.