Huawei: Using the age-old scientific method to revolutionize the way wireless carriers do business

There is a virtual place on earth where you can witness how far the human progress goes; it is the Huawei’s Galileo Exhibition Virtual Tour. A place where your mind starts raising questions.

What do you get when you unite a team of 10k researchers, 700 mathematicians, 800 physicists, and 120 chemists, and give them a few billion dollars to work with? Approximately 3000 patents’ worth of unparalleled technological breakthroughs that make you a leader in your sector. If you’re Huawei, that means dominating the 5G landscape.

You might even go further.

After analyzing how your customers use technology, you discover that the base station of a 5G type active array unit (5G AAU) can become even lighter. In turn, this enables technicians to install it with minimal effort and saves the costs of installation and maintenance across the entire 5G radio network. You could even go on to discover a small device that, when placed in a home’s windowsill, allows a family’s internet to perform at the same level as fiber optic, but without all the cable cluttering up their living space.

It’s called 5G CPE Win, and it has fundamentally changed how wireless carriers create value for their customers.

These were but a sample of the breakthroughs I witnessed during Huawei’s Galileo 5G Virtual Tour. While there was no shortage of remarkable technology, I was perhaps most struck by the fact that it was all made possible thanks to the scientific method.

It’s worth pausing to reflect on the sheer number of incredible things that we can do today in the name of technology. Recently, I was invited to view autonomous cranes at work. Without any human intervention, they were able to take containers from a hold and unload them onto transport vehicles, which, without the need for a driver, sent them to their final storage location. This entire process, however sophisticated and intricate, was managed by a few operators in a control center located miles away.

Soon after, I saw an autonomous mechanical mole digging tunnels in a mine. With no operator at the helm, it was controlled entirely from a remote location via 5G. (You read that correctly; the team installed 5G antennas in a mine.)

Huawei image

None of this progress would have been possible without the scientific method, which relies on careful observation, relentless skepticism, and ultimately allows researchers to work towards an objective and verifiable understanding of reality. That same method marries the principles that Galileo affirmed hundreds of years ago, namely: intuition, experiment, and demonstration.

Returning to Huawei, the thing that most fascinated me during the virtual tour was the fact that the executives were focused not only on making progress by bootstrapping themselves to a team of scientists. They were equally focused on creating new business opportunities for their telecommunications customers by exploiting their own progress.

Of course, wireless carriers are not only saddled with the challenge of innovating everything from the radio to the core network. They have to contend with the most insidious challenge of all, which sees new players emerge with a slew of over-the-top content to invade our homes and companies with virtual reality and streaming services. (I’ve discussed this in a previous article here, where I offered advice for carriers to differentiate themselves in the market.)

As I see it, it is far better to face this challenge with a partner of excellence, who is able to provide a suite of cutting-edge products and services that allow you to focus on the changes taking place in the sector. When the time is right, you can intervene with appropriate strategies and effectively fight the competition. After all, the market is concrete, selective, and unforgiving.

In a word, I’m suggesting that wireless carriers exploit Huawei’s methods to capitalize on digitization, and seize every opportunity to attract and retain their customers while opening new revenue streams.

If, as Galileo said, the scientific method involves “sensible experience and necessary demonstrations,” we would do well to remember that we are actors and beneficiaries of technological progress. More than that, we are changing our very human nature and sense of what is possible.