Future of Myanmar’s ICT Industry: an interview with Huawei Myanmar’s CEO

Myanmar as a fast developing nation is seeing rapid advancments in many fields, particular that of the ICT industry. With consecutive skyrocketing internet and digital consumption rates year after year, technological developments in the digital information and communication sector is key to sustaining Myanmar’s growth.

Below is the interview session by Eleven Media Group’s Editor-In-Chief Kyaw Zaw Linn with Huawei Myanmar’s CEO Mr. Ding Zhaoyi.

Q.Can you tell us of Huawei Myanmar’s latest updates on endeavors in Myanmar including how many employees, jobs created and other related information?

A. As Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, Huawei Technologies (Yangon)Co., LTD was registered in Myanmar in 2011. Our ICT products and services are deployed by local telecom carriers such as MPT, Telenor, Ooredoo, and MyTel. Along with global operation, we have four areas of business in Myanmar – Carrier business unit, enterprise business unit, consumer business unit and cloud business unit. Now our ICT network and services are serving the 1/3 Myanmar population. We will also keep fulfilling our commitment to enhance technical competencies of Myanmar people in the ICT sector. And created direct and indirect job positions over 10,000, including over 2000+ graduated college students.

With Myanmar’s telecommunications industry facing a high demand for ICT talent, Huawei initiated HAINA (Huawei Authorized Information and Network Academy), which annually conducts awards scholarships to 50 selected students from computer and technological universities across the country to support their education journey, the Seeds for the Future program and an internship program at Huawei Myanmar to offer valuable working experience to young talents at the world leading ICT company and develop more technical resources to support the Golden Land’s ICT scene.

As a responsible corporate and social citizen, Huawei also has been committed to the social charity campaign “Care Myanmar” as a way to give back to the community. In the past four years, Huawei has donated more than 1.5 million USD worth of goods and materials under this CSR program, benefiting thousands of people.

Q. Does Huawei Myanmar have any specific strategies to continue doing business in Myanmar?

A. Myanmar is very important to Huawei, and Huawei is also very important to Myanmar. The Myanmar telecom market started late. But developed very fast in the past few years. Huawei cooperated with operators such as MPT, Telenor, Ooredoo, and Mytel, with the rapid deployment of communications networks in Myanmar, it has brought Myanmar to the information society in a few years, greatly changing the development of various industries and people’s work and life. Huawei helps Myanmar rapidly and efficiently deploy information systems and services for various industries, such as finance, retail, logistics, transportation, education, media assets, and medical care. And fulfill the social responsibility of the enterprise to promote the sustainable development of society. In addition, Myanmar is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. It is expected to continue in the next few years and has a large population. It is an emerging market for the ICT industry.

Q. How has it (strategies, growth, goals) changed in light of the pandemic that may be present in the world indefinitely?

A. The pandemic does bring a lot of challenges to us, we are working hard to meet our annual plan which has not yet changed so far.

First, our business is driven by the growing demand for information access and connectivity. Second, our business is driven by the ICT industry plans, visions, and investments of governments and regulators. Providing better connectivity for the general public is our pursuit. The pandemic will not change this. In some scenarios during the pandemic, people’s need for connectivity will become more urgent.

After the pandemic, people will better understand the value of advanced information technologies for fighting against the pandemic. It’s likely that network rollout across Myanmar will speed up. We’re preparing to be able to better support our customers and partners.

Our financial performance ultimately depends on product quality, service quality, and customer trust. All of the employees at Huawei are working hard to create value for our customers, grow together with our partners, and serve the Myanmar people.

Q. How can the ICT, and Huawei, help Myanmar and other SEA countries cope/adjust to the “new normal”?

A. All over the world including Myanmar, Huawei is stepping forward to help, contributing with technologies such as its telemedicine practices which have developed on-ground use cases for four key scenarios in the fight against the coronavirus: live video streaming, remote collaboration, remote diagnosis, and remote protection, all in active use in live scenarios across nations in Asia Pacific.

In Myanmar, Huawei is providing technological services in artificial intelligence (AI) and video conferencing – more than 700lakhs MMK in contributions. Huawei’s Telemedicine Video Conference Solution deployed at University of Medicine(1) Yangon and the Central Institute of Civil Services (Phaung Gyi) which is a set-up hospital with the capacity to treat up to 2000 COVID-19 positive patients, and MOHS has enabled government and medical experts with epidemic prevention, multi-collaboration, online consultations and interactive training that not only enhances diagnosis efficiency but also significantly helps reduce risk of infection for the entire medical team. The Central Institute of Civil Services installed Huawei Cloud AI assisted diagnosis and treatment system, which equipped with reliable high speed connection and very low latency will greatly improve the country’s efficiency in fighting the pandemic.

We have a global action plan to help customers around the world to fight COVID-19 with cloud and AI services. In Myanmar, Global Wave Together with Huawei Cloud are planning to offer an online check-in function which will be beneficial for 200,000 local SME employees during COVID-19 pandemic.

Q. The COVID-19 pandemic proves that ICT, and technology in general, is one of the most (if not the most) important solutions for humanity as a whole. How can innovative technologies such as 5G help us defeat the hurdles?

A. During the pandemic, the social value of ICT applications has been greater than ever, and 5G has supported many valuable applications such as remote medicine, remote prevention and control, with the help of 5G + AI, it enable the application of drones and robots to reduce the workload of doctors and nurses, the remote diagnosis and treatment can help to improve the medical efficiency.

On the other hand, remote education, telework, and online entertainment. Such applications can have enabled people to continue the normal life as before at home. With the 5G+AI+Cloud help, smart logistic, delivery, remote control for heavy industries can help many industry continue their operation in normal.

Over the last three to four decades, the mobile industry has basically solved the problem of connecting people. Today, 5G is developing very rapidly. Like electricity 100 years ago, ICT is extending to every industry, becoming a key enabler of social development. This is ushering in a new era where all industries are benefiting from ICT.

Q. Huawei Myanmar had worked closely together with Myanmar’s government in the past. Are there any other projects coming up in the pipeline?

A. As a leading global ICT enterprise, we will continue to cooperate with governments and regulators in terms of industry planning, laws and regulations, and standards formulation to help the Myanmar ICT industry develop rapidly and healthily. For example, from 2016 to 2020 we jointly hold broadband forums, 5G forums, Indoor Digitalization Summit with the MOTC and Supervision of Myanmar, we participates the e-Government Conference & ICT Exhibition every year. Again, we abide by the laws of the State and the rules and regulations of the government, operate legally, fulfill the tax payment business, respond to the government’s call, carry out various CSR activities, and act as a responsible corporate citizen. As for the e-government, we are dedicated to bring the world leading technologies and solutions to support this initiative. Huawei hope to work together with all parties to improve the people’s lives and bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent Myanmar.

Q. How can Huawei Myanmar help Myanmar’s economy to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and do well in the post-pandemic era?

A. In addition to assisting the fight against the pandemic, our digital technologies have also been applied in other areas, such as helping businesses tackle their problems and safeguarding normal social activities.

The current crisis is accelerating the digitization of thousands of industries. Its impact on networks also allows global operators to consider and plan future-oriented network evolution from a new perspective. Network evolutions like 5G and gigabit optical networks can provide high-performance and widespread broadband services for individuals, families, and enterprises, and they support ubiquitous connections for everyone’s work and personal lives. They will foster the digital transformation of traditional industries for a more robust digital economy.

Simplifying network architecture, devices, and deployment can accelerate the expansion, upgrading, and deployment of networks such as 5G. We should learn from this coronavirus pandemic and improve the performance of the existing ICT infrastructure to address any possible future risks more effectively. Many governments and regulators are now developing policies and measures that facilitate rapid expansion of and upgrades to ICT infrastructure. Such as releasing new frequency spectrum, improving the network coverage especially the indoor coverage, promote the network speed, and help industries accelerate Digital Transformation.

Huawei is ready to help through developing different technologies. At Huawei, we do not only develop technical devices for communication and to support medical personnel during the coronavirus crisis. We are also building fast and reliable networks with all major operators to secure connections when pressure is high. It is our strong belief that we should all continue working together to build network technologies in a way that ensures trust, security, safety, and protection of fundamental rights. We put our confidence in connected technology to support Myanmar people and industries during and post crisis.

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Source : The Irrawaddy

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