ICT development crucial to support Brunei’s digital transformation

|     Danial Norjidi     |

NATIONAL ICT development is critical to support Brunei Darussalam’s digital transformation journey, ensuring industrial progress beyond the nation’s borders through the identifying and addressing of technological gaps to realise a digital economy, according to Huawei.

The telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics manufacturer highlighted this during the Smart Future Forum at The Empire Hotel & Country Club from January 30 – 31.

Huawei was among the 200 government and industry players participating in the forum, organised by the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI).

In a press release, Huawei stated that with the government and its key agencies informed on key technology and global trends, all stakeholders in the field should synchronise their efforts and work together to bring about the realisation of ‘Smart National Goals’ for sustainable development in Brunei Darussalam.

Key insights on a number of topics during the forum were shared by Huawei representatives in keeping with the conference theme ‘Innovation through Emerging Technologies’.

Director of Industry Ecosystem Engagements, Marketing, Southern Pacific Region for Huawei Konesh Kochhal, Director of Solution Marketing, Southern Pacific Region for Huawei Dr Abdul Memon and Senior Solution Manager of Wireless Network Marketing & Solution Sales, Southern Pacific Region for Huawei Chong Wai Cheong in a group photo with CEO of Huawei Technologies (B) Sdn Bhd Charles Cheng Hao and Deputy CEO of Huawei Technologies (B) Sdn Bhd. – DANIAL NORJIDI

In a keynote on the first day of the forum, Director of Industry Ecosystem Engagements, Marketing, Southern Pacific Region for Huawei Konesh Kochhal spoke on ‘Global Landscape for Smart Nation, Digital Economy and Industry 4.0’.

The session covered key insights on urbanisation challenging nations globally and how addressing “People, Enterprise and Industrial” demands by strengthening national ICT infrastructure is increasingly a top priority.

Kochhal noted that with “Digital” and “Intelligence” as the key paradigm shifts, driving a digital economy environment requires all technology, skilled workforce development, and collaborative industry engagement initiatives to be integrated in national policies and plans to realise a ‘Smart Brunei’.

On the second day of the forum, Director of Solution Marketing, Southern Pacific Region for Huawei Dr Abdul Memon presented the topic ‘SMART Nation: Operational and Cost efficiency’.

The talk covered how Internet of Things (IoT) enablement is fundamental while planning programmes, initiatives and addressing the key challenges in building Smart Nations by focussing on urban management services which ensure operational and cost efficiencies.

Dr Abdul Memon shared that utility services like water and electricity can benefit through IoT solutions, which enable measurements of consumption, identification and reduction of leakages or failures, as well as real-time quality and control measures that ensure service continuity and reliability.

IoT-based smart street lighting, he added, helps reduce power consumption between 60-80 per cent by switching on/off or even controlling the brightness of lamps during day and night time and cloudy or rainy weather, while also ensuring safer roads.

As for “smart cities”, Dubai Silicon Oasis was singled out during the event as one of the examples of these special urban areas where a smart pole is designed to provide the various intelligent services that enable future-ready state-of-the-art infrastructure, including street lights, wireless 5G small cells, Wifi for consumers,

LED panels for travellers or the display of news and information – including bus arrival time and ads, security surveillance cameras, environment sensors, emergency alarm buttons, and more.

Industry 4.0-focussed solutions are being realised in various industrial sectors, including healthcare, safe city, oil and gas, mining, manufacturing, and others.

Safe city solutions are helping improve public safety in urban environments by analysing data received through intelligence, enabling centralised and coordinated responses.

Agriculture and aquamarine solutions can enhance the production of products from the industry’s development stage right up to commercialisation.

IoT also has uses in the oil and gas sector, where it helps enhance data communication with oil rigs, and also improves production and creates a safer working environment by enabling real-time remote control.

Huawei’s IoT and 5G global and local partner eco-system strategy, it was also highlighted, is bringing partner solutions from various industries digitally through a cloud platform, opening up a wide selection of solutions for Brunei.

Senior Solution Manager of Wireless Network Marketing & Solution Sales, Southern Pacific Region for Huawei Chong Wai Cheong presented ‘Bringing 5G to Reality’, highlighted that 5G is the fundamental technology step for realising a sustainable future smart city.

“With the 3GPP Release 15 standards in place and fast maturing device ecosystem, the journey to embrace 5G begins now,” Chong said.

To bring 5G to reality in Brunei, Chong recommended looking into the C-Band 3.5GHz as the primary spectrum band for 5G.

To fully realise the 5G potential, he also encouraged telecoms operators, government agencies and industry partners to take a more collaborative approach to jointly explore and incubate meaningful new services for Bruneians.

Huawei stated its readiness to offer advanced end-to-end products and solutions to support large-scale 5G network commercialisation in Brunei, with the company recently launching the 5G CPE Pro with support of gigabit wireless broadband access.

Huawei, a 5G pioneer, began research and development in 5G as early as 2009, and is currently the industry leader in terms of providing end-to-end 5G systems.

Huawei has more than 5,700 engineers dedicated to 5G research and development, including over 500 5G experts.

The firm has established 11 joint innovation centres for testing and realising 5G solutions worldwide, and maintains 30 commercial 5G contracts and has shipped over 25,000 5G base stations globally to date.

“The key thing is we think 5G is important technology moving forward,” Chong said in an interview.

“We believe that with everything ready – standards, devices, technology, products, solutions and the spectrum – Brunei could be one of the first few countries, at least in the region, to deliver 5G.”