5G is creating incredible opportunities to operators across the world to grow their revenue and profits by going beyond providing conventional and commoditized connectivity services.

"Industrial digital transformation creates a huge number of opportunities for carriers. But first, carriers will have to focus on accelerating their own digital transformation," said David Wang, Executive Director of the Board, Chairman of ICT Infrastructure Managing Board, Huawei, in his speech at Mobile World Congress 2022.

5G enables several use cases, like Industry 4.0, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and robotics, which are particularly relevant for enterprises. However, the operators will need to modernize their IT infrastructure to be able to grab these opportunities. 

At the same time, the world is recording a massive increase in data consumption, as Wang explains: "Data volume is also increasing exponentially. Business support system data will grow 7.5 times over, and B2C high-definition video services will see a 1,000% traffic surge. Big data analytics volume will increase five-fold. All of these will increase the requirements carriers must meet in terms of service data storage, analytics, and processing." 

Huawei’s Global Industry Vision report released last year also found that the global connections will grow from 10 billion people to 200 billion things by 2030, generating one yottabyte of data annually – 22 times more than in 2020. All these factors point to the fact that the present-day IT infrastructure of the telcos is woefully inadequate to address these demands. 

Why do operators need to transform their IT systems? 
Operators will only be able to capitalize on these trends by quickly rolling out new services, including business-to-consumer and B2H services, and by supporting rapid network rollout and business innovation. All this is possible only if they digitally transform their IT infrastructure to modernize their operations and processes. 
"In China alone, industrial cloudification will create a market space worth $460 billion. This can be further broken down into a roughly $200 billion market for connectivity and a $260 billion tangible market space for carriers to continue exploring and expanding cloud networks. According to the latest figures, DICT services have become a new engine of growth for China’s top three carriers, with a CAGR of 40%," said Wang while explaining the market. 
Our current IT infrastructure was not built to address these new emerging market requirements. Cloud-native development architecture and process will be needed to ensure shorter time-to-market for new services. Maximizing the higher data resource utilization and effective flow is possible only with unified data pools. 
Furthermore, the scale of these opportunities demands greater management efficiency and faster fault resolution – both of which are only possible with unified multi-cloud management. The siloed way carriers currently operate their networks will not allow telcos to capture the upcoming market opportunities created by 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing.  
How can telcos modernize their IT infrastructure? 
David Wang explained two ways in which the operators can digitalize their IT infrastructure. They will also be crucial to accelerating the digital transformation of various industries. 
"The first is multi-cloud collaboration. Carriers will need the ability to deploy different types of clouds, including on-premise clouds, public clouds, and edge clouds. This will allow them to address the wide array of reliability, data protection, and latency requirements customers from different industries have. 
"The second way is by securing quick wins for the industry. Carriers should prioritize solutions and experience for mature scenarios that will help industry customers move production management systems and innovation services onto the cloud. This will greatly speed up the transformation process."  
To expedite this digital transformation, HUAWEI Cloud has created the industry’s first cloud-native solution, which allows operators to provide guaranteed experiences for app users unlimited by geography, multi-cloud collaboration, and data traffic. It offers both data and media Platforms-as-a-Service for the operators. 
With more than 120 operators currently using HUAWEI Cloud, it is quickly becoming the solution of choice for operators seeking to transform their networks. Wang emphasizes, "Creating an all-scenario data pool makes it possible for carriers to run data faster, maximize data resource utilization, and manage data more easily." 
The company also supports over 300 operators with its storage solution. Huawei’s OceanStor Dorado Solution has been named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for six consecutive years and has helped at least one European operator address a surge in storage demand from video services by reducing equipment room space by about 44% and energy consumption by about 50%. The company is expected to launch a new storage product during MWC 2022. 
Reliable, scalable, agile and intelligent IT infrastructure is critical for operators to digitally transform their IT infrastructure so they are better positioned to capture the massive market opportunities.