In a world that’s been reshaped by COVID-19, digitalization is set to become the new normal. ICT has already demonstrated unprecedented socioeconomic value, with online education, work from home, and digital entertainment helping people cope with lockdown and stay safe at home.
Emergency field hospitals have connected medical specialists remotely, solving temporary shortages in healthcare resources. And specialist applications like taking temperature and tracking the pandemic have assisted with prevention and control.
But it would be a mistake to think of these examples as special scenarios for extraordinary times. The global pandemic has both accelerated the pace of digital transformation for industries and society and also unlocked new development opportunities for the digital economy. By 2025, the total value of the digital economy is projected to grow from today’s US$17 trillion to US$23 trillion, at which time it will account for about 25 percent of global GDP. The digital economy will help the global economy rebound, with key technologies like 5G, cloud, AI, IoT, and machine reasoning (MR) becoming integrated into varied industries, bringing new thinking, models, and practices.
Already, 81 commercial 5G networks have been deployed globally, attracting more than 90 million subscribers. 5G is driving the dramatic acceleration of digital transformation across industries. F5G (fifth-generation fixed network technology) is supporting 100G to the campus, 10G to the building, and gigabit to the home in a range of use cases, including private leased lines, data centers, smart cities, and smart homes.
The coordinated development of 5G + F5G will unleash new momentum in the digital economy and fixed-mobile convergence will provide a foundation for high-quality interconnectivity. But, the COVID-19 outbreak has also made the digital divide more apparent in areas like education and access to edtech resources. Building a more inclusive digital world in the post-pandemic era is an issue that will require the attention of the whole of society.
Like electricity 100 years ago, ICT will permeate every aspect of industry and society. Harnessing its capabilities in networks, cloud, AI, and devices, Huawei will continue working with industry partners to drive digital transformation and intelligent upgrades across all sectors to help develop the digital economy.
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