Interview with: Zou Zhilei

Zou Zhilei is the President of Huawei’s Carrier Network business group. In this role oversees the group’s strategic direction, operations and development roadmap, leading the business group as it strives to become a leading strategic partner for telecom carriers. 

Prior to this position, Mr. Zou held various leadership roles within Huawei. From July 2013 to early 2014, he served as President for Global Sales and Service at Huawei’s Enterprise BG. From 2010 to 2013, he was the President of Huawei North Africa, supervising the company’s business across 22 countries in the region. Since he joined Huawei in 1998, Mr. Zou has overseen the management of multiple Huawei offices across China and international markets, including Shenyang, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Xi’An, Guangzhou, and Indonesia. 

Mr. Zou Zhilei holds a Bachelor’s degree in Microelectronics from Hefei University of Technology in China.

What is Huawei’s global vision on the digital life nowadays?

Is a global ICT industry leader, Huawei showcases its vision of enabling better and more convenient lifestyles, demonstrates cutting-edge technologies such as national broadband, Gigabit wireless spectrum, ubiquitous broadband connectivity, smart homes, safe cities, and smart devices, and predicts that a better connected world enabled by ICT will emerge hereafter. In the future, we will continue our efforts in technological innovation and open cooperation, serve customers with our leading products and solutions, help countries with their ICT construction, and build a better connected world. We will continue to create value for social progress and economic development to enrich people’s lives.

What role does the ICT infrastructure in all this?

In the 21st century, ICT infrastructure and networks are essential to achieving and maintaining higher living standards and stronger economies in the same way as power and roads. ICT infrastructure is vital to enabling social transformation, bridging the digital divide, promoting innovation, and boosting national competitiveness. ICT infrastructure has become an engine driving the world economic recovery and sustainable growth. Most countries have added ICT investment to their national strategies. By doing so, developed countries can maintain their competitive vitality and developing countries can enjoy faster growth. During this process, telecom operators should take responsibility for national ICT planning and construction, contributing to higher living standards and stronger economies. Industry development requires support from all stakeholders. With solid infrastructure in place and great content and applications developed, we can create an open and dynamic ecosystem.

What are the main changes do you observe in recent years?

Mobile networks have developed rapidly. As broadband becomes ubiquitous, video will be everywhere (Video Everywhere). 70% of the information we receive comes from our eyes. Information delivery through video is thousands of times more efficient than by voice and words. Thus, many smart applications used in vertical industries such as education and healthcare are based on video. That means: more ‘things’ need ‘vision’ as Internet of Things (IoT) evolves, more than human-to-human communication. For instance, self-driving cars need various cameras to collect and process the information for cruising control real-time. The media, content providers, and app developers are willing to innovate with operators. To make this happen, I believe that governments and regulators should create a sound business environment and formulate favorable policies. 

What telecom operators are facing right now?

In this brand-new digital era, the Internet has influenced every country and economy, and industries are undergoing a digital transformation. According to a study, mobile broadband, cloud computing, Big Data and the IoT are the four cornerstones that enable enterprise transformations. Against this backdrop, telecom operators should accelerate their own transformation, propel the digitization process forward, promote social innovation, and boost national economic development.

Why is so important the FMC*?

The mobile network has made rapid progress these years but it should be noted that 80% of the mobile data traffic emerges indoor, and the amount of the traffic data on the transmission network increases rapidly at an annual rate of 50%. Otherwise, the data rate will reach 20 Tbit/s by 2020. The various devices and the end users’ multiple demands for access have kept the fixed network and the mobile network close, and FMC has become an important trend.

What are the problems with FMC to be solved?

Specially the differences of the experiences and the business model between FBB and MBB**. FBB network construction is rather difficult and requires a long payback period. To solve these issues, governments and telecoms regulators should provide support in areas such as non-communications infrastructure sharing, keeping the right-of-way open, and spectrum release, planning, and utilization. In remote areas, governments should fund broadband deployment to improve local infrastructure. In addition, it’s difficult to construct the fixed broadband network, and the ROI (Return On Investment) is long; and the mobile spectrums will become rare resources gradually.

What determines the implementation of the FMC?

The realization of FMC depends on the encouragement and support of governments and telecom regulators worldwide. And the development of some areas needs to be promoted and improved by the governments, such as the non-communication infrastructure coordination, the right-of-way openness, the releasing of spectrum resources and the convenient use of the spectrum planning and etc. Some remote areas need the capital subsidy to realize the broadband coverage, aiming to improve the basic local environment.

How important is the spectrums on the ICT?

The spectrums are the motor which pushes the national economic development. Additional spectrums can not only accelerate the popularization of personal and household broadband, but also support the development of IoT and smart city, therefore promote the innovation of the entire ICT. We call on the reasonable regulation on the spectrum tariff by providing additional spectrums.

“Huawei will continue to create value for social progress and economic development to enrich people’s lives”

*FMC: Fixed–Mobile Convergence (FMC) is a change in telecommunications that removes differences between fixed and mobile networks. Moreover, FMC is a transition point in the telecommunications industry that will finally remove the distinctions between fixed and mobile networks, providing a superior experience to customers by creating seamless services using a combination of fixed broadband and local access wireless technologies to meet their needs in homes, offices, other buildings and on the go. In other words, this new definition of FMC included neither local access wireless nor fixed broadband technology. The only defining characteristic it shared with the previous definition was seamless services, albeit without seamless handover.

** FBB & MBB: FBB is a free and open source bulletin board system for packet transmissions of radio amateurs. Written in C programming language, it allows to transmit messages over the AX.25 packet radio network by VHF, PACTOR on HF and Internet. MBB or Mobile broadband is the marketing term for wireless Internet access through a portable modem, mobile phone, USB wireless modem, tablet or other mobile devices. The first wireless Internet access became available in 1991 as part of the second generation (2G) of mobile phone technology. Mobile broadband uses the spectrum of 225 MHz to 3700 MHz. The crucial problem of comparing MBB and FBB is the different units of measurement. Also, the potential of avoiding regulation by service providers is discussed since the market participants in FBB and MBB services are the same players. 


During the ITU Telecom World 2015 in Budapest, Hungary, Huawei and ITU held jointly the Broader Way Forum on the subject of “Accelerating ICT transformation, Enriching digital life”. About 200 government officials, regulators, executives of the telecom operators and industry experts from 35 countries and areas attended the forum. Huawei held the first Broader Way Forum in Barcelona, Spain on Feb 27, 2012. Since then, the Broader Way Forum appeared at ITU Telecom World, which donated by Huawei initially and held by the countries afterwards one after another in all continents, enhancing its fame and the influence as the world’s leading ICT service provider.

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