From upskilling digital talents to promoting the development of more sustainable and inclusive technologies, public-private sector partnerships are driving the digital transformation of nations at unprecedented levels.

At the ‘Unleash Digital, Accelerating Public Services Transformation’ session during Huawei Connect 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand, Huawei leaders explained how the ICT enterprise is supporting such digitalisation initiatives through the deployment of a digital infrastructure.

“It is necessary that national digital infrastructures be established, serving as the cornerstone for national digital transformation,” added Simon Zou, Vice President of Huawei’s Global Public Sector, at the session.

Koh Hong Eng, Chief Scientist of Huawei Global Public Sector highlighted that a common challenge surrounding the development of a digital infrastructure is siloed systems. This creates a waste of government resources and budget, as each department would have to develop and deploy their own digital services, Koh said.

It is also not people-centric, he added. He gave Singapore as an example – in the past, aspiring entrepreneurs who wanted to start a business would have to approach multiple government agencies to obtain the relevant business licenses and permits. Now, many of these services have since been streamlined through the nation’s GoBusiness platform.

“Having a single point of service is important,” Koh said.

Digitalising government, education, healthcare and emergency services

Huawei is supporting the digital transformation of critical services provided by the public sector, specifically in government, education, healthcare and emergency responses. Currently, the Global Public Sector of Huawei has served more than 700 cities in over 100 countries and regions, said Zou .

Governments, for a start, can benefit from solutions like Huawei’s government cloud offerings. Zou gives the example of the Government Data Center and Cloud service (GDCC) in Thailand, which Huawei is helping to deploy in order to promote better public services in the country.

The GDCC will help the Thai government develop and leverage on cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to improve the efficiency of government operations, said Vunnaporn Devahastin, Secretary-General, Office of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission at the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society in Thailand. She was speaking at the Mobile World Congress 2021, which was held in Shanghai, China.

Meanwhile in the education sector, Huawei delivers telecommunications services to support digital learning and teaching. For instance, Huawei’s converged campus network solution can provide wireless services for entire campuses, enabling rapid mobile access that allow teaching to happen anytime and anywhere, Zou highlighted.

During a media tour at Thailand’s Srinakharinwirot University, Huawei offered an inside look into the IdeaHub at work. Teachers can write on the IdeaHub like a normal blackboard, and students both in classrooms and remote can see a digital version of the blackboard in real time. The IdeaHub also allows teachers to project learning materials, and connects with other monitors in smart classrooms to allow students to present their own work easily.

Another industry in which Huawei is making an impact is healthcare. Zou shares the example of the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, the largest hospital in Brussels Belgium. As the hospital started digitalising its medical services, their old storage devices started to decline in performance due to limited storage space.

Huawei helped the hospital to implement a revised data storage solution that improved the speed of employee access to IT systems by 500 per cent while reducing total cost by over 50 per cent. This helped improve the efficiency of healthcare services, as doctors no longer had to wait for computers to load and could spend more time with their patients.

Finally, Huawei is also helping the emergency services sector improve their response speed and operations. They do so through providing ICT services that support central command centres in aggregating disaster-related data, including visualised rescue images, disaster warnings, and emergency rescue efforts.

Building a national digital infrastructure

Supporting these digital transformation initiatives is Huawei’s efforts to help governments create a national digital infrastructure. The ICT giant is helping countries do so through its two-pronged strategies of One Cloud and One Network, which provide cloud computing and network infrastructure capacities on a national scale.

The first refers to a unified cloud computing infrastructure that provides governments with data storage and computing services. Huawei provides these cloud services through four different cloud platforms.

Three of these cloud platforms focus on meeting basic computing power requirements in various service scenarios. For instance, the security cloud provides a high level of security infrastructure and can be used to store highly sensitive data, such as information on a nation’s defences. Meanwhile, the management cloud allows for interconnection across different departments; the public service cloud is a more citizen-facing platform that houses the public service applications of governments and allows governments to provide digital citizen services easily.

Finally, the intelligent cloud service focuses on future scenarios. It allows for research into cutting-edge tech like AI, which often requires processing large amounts of data at rapid speeds. This can allow governments to look into developing AI that can support smart city capabilities, like smart transport.

Huawei also provides the underlying infrastructure and connectivity needed to power all of these digitalisation initiatives through its One Network programme. The programme comprises a national network infrastructure that involves comprehensive coverage through a series of different networks.

The first is the e-Government private network – a dedicated office network for cross-agency or cross-department information transfer. This network can run as an intranet to ensure the highest level of security to protect sensitive information.

Other network services by Huawei include the national backbone network, a metropolitan area network, as well as an inclusive access network. The first transmits information and data across cities and countries; the second within cities or specific areas; while the inclusive access network ensures information can reach even the most rural and remote locations.

Together, these cloud and network services can help governments to achieve a unified and streamlined digital infrastructure, allowing them to provide more people-centric and personalised digital public services.