Huawei has joined a global digital alliance led by the International Telecommunication Union to bring more than 120 million people living in unconnected rural areas to the Internet.
Known as Partner2Connect, the international digital alliance aims to deliver digital connectivity to more than 80 countries by 2025. It is designed to extend quality coverage to remote areas, enabling more people, community hospitals, schools, local governments, and small- and medium-sized enterprises to enjoy the same high-speed broadband connectivity experiences as those in cities. Huawei will deploy its RuralStar series solutions that are currently serving more than 60 million people in remote areas in more than 70 countries.
The construction of optical broadband networks offers another important route to realizing a universal service. Huawei will also set up its innovative AirPON solution for areas with low population density. This solution continuously reduces the footprint of equipment rooms, optical fiber installation costs, and network power consumption, while ensuring the rapid deployment of local communication networks.
Dr. Liang Hua, Chairman of Huawei, announced the decision at the company’s 2022 Sustainability Forum, Connectivity+: Innovate for Impact. In his keynote address, Dr Liang stressed that access to a stable network was a basic requirement and right in the digital age. For many who remain unconnected, access to reliable connectivity would mark the first step towards transforming their lives.
“Connectivity will be more than just a tool for convenient communications. Together with digital technologies like cloud and AI, connectivity will help bring everyone into the digital world, and provide them with access to more information and skills, better services, and wider business opportunities. This will, in turn, drive further social and economic development,” he said.
In his remarks, ITU Deputy Secretary General Malcolm Johnson noted that connectivity alone is not enough. It must be affordable, the content must be relevant and in the local language, and users must have the skills to make best use of it.
“We appreciate Huawei’s support of the Partner2Connect (P2C) Digital Coalition in the key areas of rural connectivity and digital skills.”
Other stakeholders attending the meeting included the United Nations whose Resident Coordinator in China Siddharth Chatterjee called for “multi-stakeholder partnerships” of policymakers, the private sector, academia, and civil society to close “the sobering reality” of a digital divide which excluded a third of the global population.
“Our dynamic world urgently needs improved digital cooperation to capitalize on the transformational potential of technology to create new jobs, boost financial inclusion, close the gender gap, spur a green recovery and redesign our world to be more prosperous and inclusive,” he said.