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Huawei’s “Global Industry Vision” shows how ICT will shape an intelligent future
Intelligent information and communications technology (ICT) is making its way into almost every decision we make, from buying books and plane tickets online to managing our health. It is also gaining a foothold in the workplace, changing the way that we communicate, collaborate, and create.
Soon, every object and every person we interact with will be augmented by ambient artificial intelligence (AI). Industries will no longer compete on the basis of resources alone; they will be armed with data and intelligent systems. The physical and digital worlds will merge, creating new dynamics between human and machine.
The ICT industry is the driving force behind this process, paving the way to a world where all things can sense, all things are connected, and all things are intelligent.
An ICT leader with a strong focus on innovation, Huawei has created the Global Industry Vision (GIV) to better understand the implications of this intelligent world.
“An industry blueprint that delves deeply into connectivity, smart devices, AI applications, and data consumption, the GIV will provide predictive insight that guides the development of the ICT ecosystem,” said [David Wang, the head of Marketing Insight Dept,] at Huawei. “It’s an exciting glimpse of a future where ubiquitous, efficient, and intelligent connections inform nearly every aspect of our lives.”
Strongly committed to collaboration with a variety of industries, Huawei works closely with its ecosystem partners to help push back the boundaries of current technology.
Huawei will further explore the findings of its forthcoming Global Industry Vision report later this year at HUAWEI CONNECT, a conference for the global ICT ecosystem.
HUAWEI CONNECT lets industry leaders share ideas, explore digital technology, and join forces to achieve shared growth. This year’s event, "Grow with the Cloud,” presents a chance to discuss collaborative strategies for driving new growth in a digital, cloud-based world.
Here are some highlights of the GIV’s initial findings, focused on the year 2025.
Ubiquitous connectivity will lay the foundation for the future intelligent world.
The GIV forecasts that by 2025, there will be 100 billion connections worldwide, 530% more than in 2015. Connectivity will become the driving force behind national economic growth, as well as a basic factor of production for all businesses, as indispensable as electricity itself.
Ubiquitous connectivity will also speed up the process of social change.
By 2025, 77% of the global population – or 6.2 billion people – will be connected. Connectivity will be a basic human right and a necessity for survival.
Miles above the earth, out in the ocean, and across vast deserts, connections will be everywhere, enabling unrestricted communications and real-time exchange of ideas.
Smart devices will be everywhere, and they will become the basic platforms for life and business.
Smart devices will emerge in massive numbers and take countless forms. They will weave their way into every aspect of our lives, from clothing and consumption to shelter and transport. They will go from being tools to being personal assistants, and over the next 20 years, they will eventually become an integral part of the human body.
The GIV predicts that by 2025, there will be 40 billion smart devices worldwide, up 470% compared to 2015. This means that every person will have five smart devices on average, and 20% of the global population will own more than 10 smart devices.
Smart devices will become a key component of digital life. By 2025, there will be 8 billion smartphones, 20 billion smart home devices, 8 billion wearables, and 3 billion tablets and PCs. By this time, smart devices will see far wider and more frequent application, becoming core platforms for commercial activity and significantly boosting economic efficiency.
Home broadband coverage will soar and transcend geographic restrictions.
Rollout of ultra-broadband networks will accelerate worldwide, and 5G applications will come into widespread use. According to GIV forecasts, by 2025 worldwide penetration of home broadband will reach 75% (fixed broadband: 55%; mobile broadband: 20%), with Gigabit speeds available to 30% of households. Around 100 million households will have access to one Gbps mobile broadband networks, marking the beginning of the ultra-broadband era. With one Gbps connections, people will be able to download a 4GB 1080p HD video in just 30 seconds. High-quality gigabit networks will provide seamless coverage to every room of a house through Wi-Fi connections. They will also support smart home applications such as household AI assistants and remote healthcare.
Huawei believes that broadband networks will become basic household infrastructure, just like gas pipelines. Small home offices will become the norm. Broadband networks will dramatically change the way people live and work by enabling unhampered communications, interaction, and collaboration across all geographic locations including remote islands, mountainous regions, and densely populated urban areas. These broadband networks will significantly boost economic growth.
Efficient Connections
Cloud will be the natural choice for all industries as they go digital.

Cloud computing will lower the barrier to innovation and deliver efficiency gains. More and more enterprises will migrate to the cloud. In 2025, the majority of business processes will be reconfigured around digital technology. All IT solutions will be cloud-based, and more than 85% of enterprise applications will run on the cloud. As cloud computing becomes pervasive, it will raise the bar for network bandwidth and latency, both for the internet and intranets alike. By then, all enterprises will be digital businesses.
Cloud services will boost operating efficiency and slash application rollout times by as much as 90%, leading to more rapid innovation. Cloud services will also help enterprises get the most of their IT resources. According to the Cloud Energy and Emissions Research (CLEER) model, moving productivity and CRM applications to the cloud can reduce energy consumption by as much as 87%.
The ICT industry will pioneer new forms of environmentalism and facilitate green living.
If the ICT industry continues to consume energy at its current rate, ICT carbon emissions over the next 50 years will ultimately cause sea levels to rise, submerging tens of thousands of square kilometers of land. Fortunately, the industry is adopting greener practices. As green energy technology continues to advance, photovoltaic (solar) energy will account for 10% of all electricity generated, up from the 2% that it generates today. Energy conservation and emissions reduction technology will also mature. For example, energy-efficient routers will be able to intelligently distribute energy and reduce consumption during non-peak hours. Base stations will integrate solar power generation with storage functions, and lower-power connectivity devices will see wider adoption. The average energy efficiency of wireless base stations will grow from 60% to 80%.
According to GIV projections, in 2025, the average carbon emissions per ICT connection will drop to 15kg, a decrease of 80% from 2015 levels. The amount of power saved by the global ICT industry in 2025 alone will be worth trillions of US dollars, freeing up enough energy to power New York for 10 years.
Data consumption per person and mobile video traffic will experience explosive growth.
Data consumption will soar, driven by three major factors: constant network access, a growing array of high-quality content, and higher bandwidth. According to the GIV, data consumption will grow to four gigabytes per person per day in 2025, a nearly tenfold increase over 2015. That is equivalent to downloading one 1080p HD movie per day. The percentage of mobile data consumption will grow more than threefold, from 7% in 2015 to 25% in 2025. By then, every mobile user will consume an average of one gigabyte of data each day, which is 30 times greater than consumption levels in 2015.
In the ultra-broadband era, HD, virtual reality, augmented reality, and holographic video applications will grow in diversity and popularity across a number of different scenarios (such as videos for entertainment, monitoring, and social media). In 2025, video will account for more than 90% of all internet traffic, becoming the primary means of communication. Explosive growth in data traffic will contribute to a more prosperous information-flow economy.
Intelligent Connections
Data volumes will surge and provide endless streams of input for machine learning.

Storage costs will continue to drop, and digital transformation will sweep through all industries. Devices that generate constant streams of data (such as cameras) will increase substantially. The GIV estimates that, in 2025, the annual amount of data generated and stored globally will reach 180 zettabytes (180 billion terabytes), a 20-fold increase over 2015.
At that time, the amount of data generated and stored every second will be equivalent to 140 years' worth of 1080p HD video. The volume of new data will go far beyond what humans can process manually. To cope with the volume, machines will take over the majority of data processing work and provide insights for intelligence-based decisions.
Smart personal assistants will grow in popularity and become portals to online services.
Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information, apps, and services, users will find it increasingly difficult to find what they need in an accurate and timely manner. This is where smart personal assistants will come into play, helping users work more effectively and live better lives. Smart personal assistants will take off with advancements in machine learning, which will become the primary method of information processing, and intuitive voice interaction, which will become the primary form of man-machine interface.
According to GIV forecasts, by 2025, 90% of smart device users will employ the help of smart personal assistants. This will bring the majority of people into the AI era, where the AI-enabled smart device market will be worth hundreds of billions of US dollars.
Smart personal assistants will connect with the cloud (which will serve as a digital brain of sorts) under an AI-as-a-Service (AIaaS) model. In this way, assistants will serve as the portals that connect users to a vast array of tailor-made online services for both work and life – anytime, anywhere, on any device. By talking to their smart assistants, users will be able to access information more quickly and make more informed decisions.
Smart home robots will gain popularity and change the way people live.
As AI and home service applications mature, smart home robots will become increasingly affordable. By 2025, 12% of households will have smart home robots. This market will be worth hundreds of billions of US dollars, and will change the service models for a number of different industries, including healthcare services for communities with aging populations.
Certain types of smart home robots will become the core source of smart home services, improving living standards and reshaping our day-to-day lives. Similar to the automotive sector, the smart robot industry will drive modernization and gradually change the fundamentals of economy and society.
In 2025, all industries, businesses, and individuals will be more closely connected than ever before. Boundaries will dissolve and structures will reform. Ubiquitous, efficient, and intelligent connections are driving the digital transformation process. Soon, they will usher humankind into a Better Connected World.
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