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Supporting Network Stability

We have established a mature business continuity management (BCM) system that provides a contingency plan for ten typical scenarios (e.g., earthquakes and wars) and allows us to quickly restore customers’ networks and resume stable operations following critical emergencies, thus helping safeguard life and property. Even under extreme conditions, our employees will do their utmost to support network stability. This is the responsibility shouldered by each and every Huawei employee, and this obligation outweighs our own commercial interests.

Huawei invests heavily in network stability, striving to ensure that everyone is able to communicate, access data, and share information at anytime, anywhere. Specifically, we have established a comprehensive customer network support system that considers a range of factors, including organizational structures, designated personnel, processes, and IT tools. We have established three global and nine regional technical assistance centers. More than 3,900 Huawei technical support engineers provide services worldwide 24/7. In 2015, we ensured smooth communication for nearly 3 billion people worldwide, and supported the stable operations of over 1,500 networks in more than 170 countries and regions. We guaranteed network availability during 138 major events, natural disasters, and special occasions (e.g., the Nepal earthquake, the Asian-African Conference in Indonesia, China Victory Day Parade 2015, Copa America 2015, German Beerfest 2015, and the Hajj in Saudi Arabia).

Against All Odds: Restoring Networks After the Nepal Earthquake

On April 25, 2015, a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 rocked Nepal, causing severe damage and many casualties in local communities. Communications infrastructure in the worst-hit areas was badly damaged.

Despite the risk of aftershocks, engineers in our Nepal Representative Office ran all the way to the local carrier’s equipment room within 20 minutes after the earthquake. They knew they had to work with the customer to keep the network operational. Back at the office, Huawei launched a business continuity management mechanism and emergency response plan, set up a disaster recovery team, issued an earthquake alert, and began stocking medical supplies and other essential items. The supply chain and procurement departments swung into action to support our engineers in the field. Within 30 hours, the first shipment of emergency equipment arrived.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, voice traffic on local networks rose to four times its normal levels, and it remained high over the following week. This placed enormous strain on the already damaged networks. The power grid was down, and many base stations did not have enough diesel or other energies to keep their emergency generators running, so even key stations began failing. We swiftly coordinated all resources (diesel and satellite phones). A joint technicalsupport group with employees from our Shenzhen HQ, Southern-East Asia Region, India Representative Office,and Nepal Office worked closely with the customer to keep voice traffic flowing while we scrambled emergency repairs. As a result, we were able to restore the networks, help those in the earthquake zone to reach their families, enable rescuers to stay connected, and ensure that the media could report on the disaster and the relief efforts.

Twenty-four hours after the earthquake, Huawei and the customer had repaired 40 key base stations at hospitals, government agencies, disaster relief centers, and embassies. Over the next few days, we cut the number of non-functional base stations from 30% to below 6%. Some of our competitors were unable to organize effective disaster recovery efforts, so we helped our customer repair 260 non-Huawei base stations. In areas where the roads were blocked, our engineers were ferried by helicopter deep into the earthquake zone to restore communications.

Because of these comprehensive measures, local network equipment was able to perform stably with dramatically reduced congestion, even though voice traffic remained high one week after the earthquake. Once again, we lived up to our commitment with our actions.

Huawei engineers restoring communications networks inthe customer’s equipment room

Distributing supplies to victims

Guaranteeing Connectivity for the Asian-African Conference

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference, leaders from over 100 Asian and African countries and 25 international organizations attended the Asian-African Conference, which was covered by thousands of reporters. While many festive activities were underway, some involving tens of thousands of people and high demand for Internet access, network quality and stability were essential.

Starting two months before the conference, we began organizing resources to prepare for network stability assurance. Specifically, we established a network stability assurance team and assigned over 100 experts and engineers to take part in the extensive and intense preparatory work. This included predicting user behavior and traffic trends; network planning; inspections; developing an emergency response plan jointly with the customer; network deployment and equipment installation; and preparing emergency communications vehicles.

During the event, the conference hall in Jakarta saw a 70% increase in 3G traffic, and 4G traffic rose seven-fold above normal levels. The celebrations commemorating the Bandung Conference were the culmination of the event. On April 25, a huge celebration took place on a walking street near the former site of the Bandung Conference. The mayor and tens of thousands of citizens flocked to the site to witness the festivities and share the moments online or via phone calls. As a result, voice and data traffic peaked several times, putting great pressure on the local networks and base stations. It was quite difficult to guarantee network security and experience.

Our onsite network optimization experts worked with the customer team to continuously refine our work plan every day based on the developing situations. Through our joint efforts, the customer’s network operated stably during the conference and celebrations, recording zero network incidents and disruptions. Our efforts ensured a superior communication experience for the government officials and citizens participating in the celebrations.

      Huawei network stability assurance room during the Asian-Africa Conference

Rapidly Restoring Networks in the Aftermath of a Disaster to Honor Our Commitment

On August 3, 2014, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Ludian County in Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province, China. This deadly earthquake caused many casualties and dealt a heavy blow to property and communications networks in Ludian and neighboring areas.

Immediately after the earthquake, Huawei initiated an emergency plan to establish a communications support team and set up two coordination centers, one in Kunming (capital of Yunnan Province) and one in Longtoushan (the epicenter). Responsibilities were clearly defined in terms of communications recovery, network stability monitoring, and resource supply. The remote support team of Huawei's technical assistance center kept in constant contact with the field team in Kunming, and built an operation room to facilitate rapid network recovery in disaster-stricken areas.

Rapidly Building a "Lifeline" for Disaster Relief

The communications support team rushed to the scene with supplies such as emergency kits and satellite phones. Together with local carriers, the team formulated a network recovery plan, aiming to bring communications networks – the lifeline of disaster relief – up and running as quickly as possible.

Within the first 12 hours, Huawei restored communications in the Longtoushan-based coordination center by utilizing its microwave systems and super base stations. Then, Huawei deployed the eLTE solution to provide smooth communications for the local government and firefighting department. Relief efforts were impeded by strong aftershocks coupled with serious challenges such as steep mountains, blocked roads, and collapsed bridges. In spite of these difficulties, Huawei employees managed to bring vital supplies to the epicenter by carrying them by hand or driving bulldozers across torrential rivers. Thanks to these efforts, Huawei was able to activate equipment and migrate services within 48 hours of the disaster, thus laying the foundation for subsequent batch network recovery.

Huawei employees restoring the network

Ensuring Supplies for Network Recovery

After learning about the exact conditions in the disaster areas, Huawei quickly developed a resource plan and opened a special "green channel" for prompt transportation of resources. Within just 5 days, we delivered and quickly installed over 310 sets of equipment in Ludian to recover communications networks.

To keep communications stable, nearly 200 Huawei technical engineers worked around the clock to monitor equipment operations, resolve network faults, eliminate equipment problems, and launch emergency services. Their efforts contributed greatly to network stability.

Supporting Post-disaster Reconstruction to Fulfill Our Social Responsibilities

After working for seven days and nights, Huawei recovered communications in all disaster areas at around 8 p.m. on August 9. The three major local carriers thanked Huawei for its dedication, quick response, professional emergency support mechanisms, and effective response approaches.

In addition, Huawei donated 3,000 mobile phones and 1,500 mobile chargers to victims in disaster areas. Huawei's employees also provided financial support, donating uniforms to over 2,400 students and 120 faculty staff in Longquan Middle School in Ludian County.

Bulldozer transporting emergency equipment