Huawei’s UBB Forum 2023 sparks discussions for an intelligent Gigabit Society

Huawei launched 10 Gbps City Initiative, boosting digital economy growth
Huawei’s UBB Forum 2023 sparks discussions for an intelligent Gigabit Society
A session during the Global Ultra-Broadband Forum 2023. (Image Courtesy: Huawei)

At the Global Ultra-Broadband Forum (UBBF) 2023, organized by Huawei in Dubai with the support of the UN Broadband Commission, global carriers, partners, standards organizations, regulators, and vertical industry leaders gathered to discuss how to build productivity-centric UBB target networks in the era of intelligent connectivity of everything. The discussions also covered ways to comprehensively improve UBB network performance to fully unleash the network potential.

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With the theme of “Connecting Intelligence for New Growth,” the forum united industry experts and insiders to exchange insights on technological advancements, gain practical experience with innovations, and engage in profound discussions with industry stakeholders. The main objective was to establish UBB target networks that expedite the transition towards an intelligent world.

Notable advancements

In the past year, the UBB industry has achieved notable advancements in formulating standards and conducting crucial research and verification of key technologies. However, with the growing integration of AI into our work and daily lives, immersive and intelligent services are steadily emerging as a significant driving force for enhancing societal productivity. This presents increasingly elevated demands on UBB networks. The Ultra-Broadband Forum (UBBF) serves as an annual thought leadership event within the fixed network industry.

The forum featured presentations of regional visions by esteemed regional leaders, including Mr. Bocar BA, CEO & board member of SAMENA Telecommunications Council, Eng. Mohamed Ben Amor, director general of AICTO, and other prominent industry organizations and regional leaders.

Advancing the region’s digital economy

Senior industry leaders convened in a panel discussion under the theme “10 Giga Digital Infrastructure for Accelerating a Robust & Sustainable Digital Economy.” The objective was to explore policies and actions required to expedite the development of ultra-broadband, specifically the 10-Gigabit network, throughout the Middle East & Central Asia region. The panel addressed the necessary policy measures, key stakeholders, methods to enhance open collaboration, and the importance of joint efforts in the realm of ultra-broadband. Furthermore, it emphasized the benefits of a 10-gigabit digital infrastructure in advancing the region’s digital economy and achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). The leadership panel discussion took place alongside the 9th Ultra-Broadband Forum (UBBF 2023), co-hosted with the SAMENA Council, in Dubai, UAE.

The panelists comprised Cevat Yerli, CEO of TMRW Foundation; Alex Lee, managing director UAE at China Mobile International; Mohammed Bin Ali, acting director of the Telecommunications Directorate at the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunication, Bahrain; and Lin Yanqing, principal consultant of Industry Policy Public & Government Affairs at Huawei Technologies. The discussion was skillfully moderated by Mr. Erik Almqvist, CEO of Sense Strategy.


Natural evolution

Lin Yanqing, principal consultant of Government Affairs at Huawei, expressed, “5.5G is the natural evolution of the 5G ecosystem, and one of the significant advantages of 5.5G is its ability to upgrade network capabilities by 10X and support a 10 Gbps experience, enabling 100 billion connections and native intelligence for numerous services. Huawei’s concept of the ‘Gigabit Society’ leveraging technology across multiple domains to provide an era of ubiquitous connectivity and intelligence, unlocking new opportunities for growth and innovation across various industries in the Middle East and Central Asia.”

Top priority

Bocar A. Ba, CEO and board member, Samena Telecommunications Council, stated: “Maximizing the true potential of 5G and implementing real-life use-cases through sustainable advancements is now a top priority. As the 5G journey continues and 5G evolves toward 5G-Advanced (5.5G), it would be critical to unlock access to new capital to support new network transformation leading to 5G-Advanced, which is expected to help mitigate connectivity gaps for underserved areas and communities. The recently concluded SAMENA LEAD awards recognized, appreciated, and encouraged those who are playing a critical role in 5G development in the region, paving the path for evolutionary 5G advancements that can bring benefit to both businesses and societies.”

Fundamental infrastructure

Huawei firmly believes that ultra-broadband networks serve as the fundamental infrastructure for communities and businesses in the era of intelligence. The company’s goal is to create a transformative impact that goes beyond simple internet connectivity, aiming to build an intelligent world based on enhanced connectivity. Achieving this vision necessitates the widespread availability of digital infrastructure, including fiber and cloud, as well as a vast digital space to accommodate the billions of new connections.

A 10Gbps network forms a robust foundation for a 10-Gigabit city, and high-quality 10Gbps enterprise campus networks effectively connect various enterprise offices, production units, and business branches. By utilizing Wi-Fi 7 technologies to offer 10GE wireless access to access points (APs) and 10GE wired access to rooms, enterprises can truly unlock their productivity potential.

UBB networks

The UBBF brought attention to the rapid pace of intelligent transformation and emphasized the need for UBB networks, as the foundation of connectivity in the intelligent world, to keep up with the evolving landscape through accelerated iteration and innovation. As a result, the next stride is towards the UBB5.5G era, characterized by intelligent connectivity across all aspects of life.

Vital role

Certain countries in the Middle East are leading the way in the Gigabit era and are actively paving the path towards the 10 Giga era. To expedite this progress, governments will play a vital role by releasing guidelines and industrial standards for telecom infrastructure, including wiring, fiber to the premises, fiber to the telecom infrastructure, and fiber to the rooms. In addition, they should foster enhanced collaboration among telecom providers, infrastructure providers, developers, and municipalities.

Advanced concepts

During the keynote speeches, speakers presented advanced concepts related to the implementation of the 10 Gbps City. Eng. Saif Bin Ghelaita, executive director for Technology Development Affairs of the TDRA, emphasized the crucial role of governments in constructing ultra-broadband infrastructure. Their leadership is essential to ensure inclusive and universal digital services and bridge the digital divide in the intelligent world. Local governments and regulators can expedite the development of supportive policies for pilot projects focused on the 10 Gbps City.


Richard Mahony, vice president of Omdia, highlighted that the 10 Gbps City represents a critical form of infrastructure for implementing national digital strategies and fostering the growth of the digital economy. Building a 10 Gbps City involves providing 10 Gbps connectivity to individuals, homes, enterprises, and campuses. It also entails developing 400GE/800GE converged transport networks and AI DCNs (Artificial Intelligence Data Center Networks) that support the aforementioned 10 Gbps access scenarios.

Unlocking new potential

Numerous cities worldwide have released their digital economy strategies for the year 2030. Cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Riyadh are actively exploring ways to implement the 10 Gbps City and 10 Gbps Society, unlocking new potential for the digital economy.

Furthermore, the forum served as a significant milestone, facilitating open discussions on the importance of shifting to digital infrastructure to support the region’s digital economy and align with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) endorsed by regional governments.

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