Middle East cloud market to reach $9.8b by 2027

Senior Huawei official talks about company's initiatives in the 5G and cloud computing sectors


Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


The Huawei flagship store in Shenzhen, China - AFP file
The Huawei flagship store in Shenzhen, China - AFP file

Published: Fri 13 Jan 2023, 5:39 PM

Last updated: Fri 13 Jan 2023, 6:42 PM

As we veer towards an increasingly connected world, cloud technolgies are emerging as a key cornerstone of future societies. Adoption of 5G, the next generation network, is rapidly advancing across the planet, as we steadily move beyond merely faster smartphones towards smart homes, smart appliances and others.

Khaleej Times spoke to Shunli Wang, Vice President of Huawei Middle East and Central Asia, to get a glimpse of how our connected future would look like.

Excerpts from the interview:

How has 2022 fared for cloud technologies?

Cloud adoption continued to accelerate across the region, increasing flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness for public and private organisations. According to Blueweave Consulting, the cloud market in the Middle East is estimated to reach $9.8 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 21 per cent.

To enable digital transformation within vertical industries, Huawei has made significant investments in cloud computing for over ten years, leading to rapid growth in our services and customer base. Our efforts have earned broad recognition from multiple sectors, such as the government and finance sectors, for innovations in Cloud technologies.

Huawei Cloud’s strategy is built around the everything-as-a-service model geared towards creating an intelligent, connected world encompassing the whole cloud ecosystem, including devices, infrastructure, applications, and sensors. In 2022, Huawei Cloud launched ten new services in Dubai.

Through solutions such as Huawei’s Network-as-a-Service (NaaS), regional enterprises have availed the agility and visibility demanded by customers. Additionally, Huawei’s Intelligent Cloud-Network solution implements a new type of service network capable of both cloud-based network migration and cloud-network-security integration. This solution serves multiple industries, including E-Government, smart healthcare, smart education, smart mine, smart port, and smart manufacturing.

Cloud also supports our ongoing efforts to innovate in the intelligence field and demonstrate AI’s value and potential for scientific purposes, production, and everyday life. In this regard, we built over 70 Availability zones (AZs) in 27 regions worldwide and rolled out 92 cloud services in the Middle East.

Huawei remains committed to accelerating the region’s capabilities; our recent MoU in Saudi Arabia to enhance cloud computing and build high-tech complexes in Saudi cities is a testament to that. To empower SMEs in the Middle East, Huawei Cloud also launched the cloud startup programme to elevate businesses through exclusive mentoring sessions, technical training, networking support, and leveraging Huawei’s expertise.

How has 2022 fared for 5G adoption around the globe?

According to the 2022 Mobile Economy Report by GSMA, the number of 5G global connections is predicted to double to 2 billion by 2025. 5G has grown faster than any previous generation of mobile technology; in just three years, we have seen remarkable progress in network deployment, consumer services, and industry applications.

Huawei is one of the first telecommunication vendors to have its 5G equipment audited, tested, and certified under GSMA’s NESAS/SCAS. Moreover, Huawei is an active member of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation – Computer Emergency Response Team (OIC-CERT) and has been an active contributor to the organisation’s 5G Security Framework.

Shunli Wang, Vice President of Huawei Middle East and Central Asia. - Supplied photo
Shunli Wang, Vice President of Huawei Middle East and Central Asia. - Supplied photo

By now, it is evident that 5G is a crucial driver of the region’s digital transformation. At Huawei, we are committed to contributing to the Middle East countries’ digital agendas. In 2022 alone, Huawei collaborated with carriers and partners to sign more than 5000 commercial contracts for industrial 5G applications.

The digital economy is growing faster than ever. As the digital economy’s foundation, ICT infrastructure will play an increasingly crucial role. Against this backdrop, Huawei has defined its approach as “Embracing the 5.5G Era: Striding Towards the Intelligent World”, creating an innovation roadmap for the future. Carriers need new digital capabilities, including infrastructure, services, and operations. In response, Huawei has developed a GUIDE business blueprint based on its years of experience with carriers worldwide. This business blueprint will be a valuable reference for carriers’ business and target network planning.

Ultimately, there’s undeniable progress made in 5G; however, we can do more to increase its value. In this regard, we must collaborate to fully utilise 5G’s potential and expand into cloud and system integration services. We can spur growth in the industry, applications, and 5G networks when we work together.

5G is supposed to be more about smart living and not just faster phones. How far have we progressed on this and how will this move forward next year?

There is no doubt that 5G technology is a clear boost for our society, while IoT powered by 5G networks has proved to be life-enhancing for individuals, families, and organisations. We work closely with our customers and partners to focus on innovative 5G applications, nurture the 5G ecosystem, and accelerate 5G commercial success.

To help unlock the full potential of 5G in the region and drive success, we have collaborated with partners such as Emaar Creek Harbour to support its Digital Media, Broadcast Music, Wi-Fi backhaul, and BMS vision with the Huawei 10GPON solution.

The rapid changes now imminent will all be accompanied by rising demands on digital infrastructure as the intelligent world draws closer. 5.5G, which will support hundreds of billions of connections, delivers 10 Gbit/s experiences and is key to achieving native intelligence, the next step to an intelligent world.

The telco industry has made significant progress and is now gearing up for 5.5G. To reach this point, Huawei encourages all industry players to prepare on all fronts to move faster toward the 5.5G era and eventually forge a better, more intelligent world. Our mission going forward is to focus on the following five new areas to accelerate the transition process: products, ecosystems, applications, standards, and spectrum.

Which sectors will be in focus for cloud services?

Cloud is the foundation of digital transformation and the driver of a dynamic digital world. To reinforce our Everything-as-a-Service strategy, Huawei Cloud will continue expanding its global presence during 2023 and remain a preferred technology provider among local and international customers. As part of our commitment to building a global network, we will continue meeting our goals of deploying green and intelligent cloud data centres around the globe.

In the digital economy, computing power is the driver of value creation. The cloud and artificial intelligence are the new productivity tools, and data is a critical asset. In the future, AI computing will take up more than 80 per cent of a computing centre’s capacity, making it possible to use AI in everyday life. We will therefore need to provide the most powerful computing power to make cloud and intelligence available everywhere.

Presently, 81 per cent of businesses worldwide are utilizing cloud-based applications, indicating that companies are accelerating their digital transformation. Huawei leverages cloud innovations to strengthen carriers’ frameworks while utilising intelligent cloud-network solutions. We are honoured to be the partner of choice for over 38,000 allies and 3 million developers worldwide. We look forward to continuing to empower our customers, partners, and developers, expand our global presence and build a thriving digital ecosystem.

Since the introduction of Huawei Cloud, we have released 6,100 marketplace products, attracting 2.6 million developers, 28,000 consulting partners, and 9,000 technical partners. In the Middle East alone, Huawei Cloud offers more than 220 cloud services, 210 solutions, 19 data centers, over 200 local partners, and a growing list of more than 80 marketplace offerings.

The future is all about intelligence, and digitalisation is the path for enterprises to get there. The key to successful digitalisation is to think cloud native and act cloud native. Here at Huawei Cloud, our approach is all digital, all cloud, AI-driven, and providing everything as a service. Huawei Cloud works with customers, partners, and developers, continuously innovating and bringing reality to our vision of building the cloud foundation for an intelligent world with ubiquitous cloud and pervasive intelligence.

More news from Business