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Why searches of the near future will be button-free

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In future, searching will be almost entirely button-free, according to Huawei’s new Global Industry Vision (GIV) report, which offers predictions for technology and industry development up to 2025.

Drawing from Huawei’s own quantitative data and real-world use cases of how intelligent technology is permeating every industry, this year’s report identifies 10 megatrends currently shaping how we live and work. GIV also predicts technology trends up until 2025, including 5G coverage, AI deployment, home robot adoption, and smart assistant use rates.

The 10 trends and examples of GIV’s key predictions for 2025 are as follows:

1. Living with Bots: Advances in material science, perceptual AI, and network technologies are powering the uptake of robotics in a variety of home and personal scenarios. GIV predicts a 14% global penetration rate of home robots.

2. Super Sight:  The convergence of 5G, VR/AR, machine learning, and other emerging technologies will let us see beyond distance, distortion, surface, and history, opening up new vistas for people, business, and culture. GIV predicts that the percentage of companies using AR/VR will increase to 10%.

3. Zero Search: As data-driven and sensor-equipped appliances and devices begin anticipating our needs, information will find us. Future searches will be button-free, personal social networks will be created effortlessly, and industry will benefit from “zero-search maintenance”. GIV predicts that 90% of smart device owners will use intelligent personal assistants.

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4. Tailored Streets: Intelligent transport systems will connect people, vehicles, and infrastructure, creating zero congestion, rapid emergency response, and other functions that will make life smoother. GIV predicts that 15% of vehicles will have Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything  technology.

5. Working with Bots: Already transforming many industries, smart automation will take on more hazardous, repetitive, and high-precision tasks – a boon for safety and productivity.

GIV predicts that there will be 103 robots in industry for every 10,000 employees.

6. Augmented Creativity: Cloud AI will cut the cost and barrier of entry to scientific experimentation, innovation, and art, opening up a goldmine of creative potential that’s available to all. GIV predicts that 97% of large companies will have deployed AI.

7. Frictionless Communication: AI and big data analytics will create seamless communication between companies and customers and break down language barriers. Accuracy, understanding, and trust will underpin tomorrow’s communications. GIV predicts that enterprises will fully use of 86% of the data that they produce.

8. Symbiotic Economy: Companies across the planet are adopting digital tech and smart applications on unified access platforms – that means greater collaboration, resource-sharing, stronger global ecosystems, and higher productivity. GIV predicts that every company everywhere will be using cloud technology and 85% of business applications will be cloud-based.

9. 5G’s rapid rollout: 5G is here and it’s landing far faster than any previous wireless generation – the potential for individuals, businesses, and society is enormous. GIV predicts that 58% of the world’s population will have access to 5G.

10. Global Digital Governance: Advancements in digital tech must be balanced by shared data standards and principles for data use. GIV predicts that the annual volume of global data will reach 180 ZB (1 ZB = 1 trillion GB).

According to the CMO of Huawei ICT Infrastructure Kevin Zhang, “Human exploration will never stop. We should set our sights beyond what we see now and look to the future, shifting from innovation to invention. We’re seeing rapid changes to life, work, and society as every industry adopts AI, 5G, cloud computing, and other emerging technologies. Huawei is committed to building digital platforms, user experiences, and intelligent technology that power ubiquitous connectivity in every scenario. It’s our mission to offer every person, home, and organization an intelligent future and the benefits of entirely new opportunities for growth.”

With the first report released in 2018, GIV @2025 is designed to analyze industry development trends and serve as a strategic guide for ICT deployment.

For more information about GIV@2025, please visit: www.huawei.com/minisite/giv/en

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Liquid, IS, partner for 5G roll-out to corporate SA

Liquid Telecom has teamed up with Internet Solutions to develop an ultra-fast wholesale connectivity service for enterprises – including telcos

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Liquid Telecom South Africa has partnered with Internet Solutions (IS) to provide wholesale 5G connectivity targeted at delivering enterprise services to their existing and potential new customer bases.  

The 5G service will provide operators and internet service providers with faster speeds, lower latency and greater capacity, ultimately enabling businesses to deliver richer experiences to their customers.

“Providing IS with 5G wholesale services as an alternative to fibre connectivity, Liquid Telecom South Africa is highlighting how we are delivering on our commitment to the market to continue being the best business network in South Africa,” says Reshaad Sha, CEO of Liquid Telecom South Africa. “Local businesses are adopting technologies like SD-WAN, IoT, and cloud computing, However, these technologies need network connectivity that provides high quality, increased capacity, and greater reliability to ensure optimum performance.” 

IS managing executive Dr Setumo Mohapisays the company has evolved its networking model to provide a high-performance hybrid network that aggregates multiple WAN transport services. 

“This enables clients to fully utilise all available bandwidth for high availability and total application performance,” he says. “The innovation, flexibility and range of 5G use cases that this offers for different industries such as agriculture, retail, manufacturing, and logistics is boundless. 5G is a core component of our hybrid network and we are extremely excited about the extended capability this partnership with Liquid enables us to offer our clients.

Liquid Telecom is the first to launch a 5G wholesale network service, which it says will “accelerate the building of Africa’s digital future and the  digital revolution in South Africa”.

Liquid Telecom is a leading communications solutions provider across 13 countries, primarily in Eastern, Southern and South Africa. It serves mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media and content companies and retail customers with high-speed, reliable connectivity, hosting and co-location and digital services. This means that it can provide the basis for its clients to offer 5G services to end-users.

Liquid has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, approaching 70,000km, and operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi.

IS, which pioneered Internet connectivity in South Africa, is a subsidiary of the Dimension Data Group and part of Japanese telecoms giant NTT. It now leverages its infrastructure and global footprint to support organisations with the rapid deployment of emerging technologies. Still headquartered in South Africa, it has operating offices in Mozambique, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. It has 82 Points of Presence (PoPs) in 19 African countries and four international PoPs in London, Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore. The company has over 10 000 square metres of data centre space across Africa.

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So you think you need a Blockchain?

By CAYLE SHARROCK, Head of Engineering at Tari Labs

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It’s 2020, and we’re still in hype overdrive about blockchain. If conventional wisdom is to be believed, blockchain is going revolutionise and disrupt every industry known to humankind.

But does every industry actually need a blockchain? Let’s take an objective look at two of the most aggressively touted use cases for Blockchain to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

Before we do this, let’s remind ourselves about the four pillars of Blockchain technology and what they give you: tamper-evident logs (the blockchain); cryptographic proof of ownership (digital signatures); public accountability (the distributed public ledger); and corruption resistance (proof of work).

If we use these four features as a checklist, we can evaluate any proposed use case of blockchain technology and decide whether the potential is genuine, or whether it’s just buzzword bingo.

Banking

There have been hundreds of headlines over the past four years proclaiming how Bank Y will use Blockchain to disrupt the industry. Usually, what they claim is that they can perform interbank settlements at a fraction of the cost of what the incumbent monopoly, SWIFT, provides.

So does Blockchain work for the banking sector? Clearly, tamper detection of the transaction history is a must-have here. What about digital signatures and proof of ownership? Without a doubt. Multiple signatures? The more the merrier.

Bitcoin was conceived as trustless money – and with banks, we have a fairly small community that is heavily regulated, and that do actually trust each other to some degree. Essentially, banks use governments’ big stick instead of proof-of-work to keep everyone honest. This works most of the time. Except when it doesn’t. The 2008 crisis and the 2012 Cypriot haircuts are just two examples.

How about Public Accountability from distributed public records? No, public accountability has never been the banking sector’s strong suit. That means the banks’ ideal “blockchain” is just tamper detection, plus digital signatures. This sounds like a bunch of databases that have tightly controlled access along with strong cryptographic signatures.

The banks actually gave this non-Blockchain blockchain a name: Distributed Ledger Technology. And it’s pretty much what SWIFT already does.

Verdict: Do banks need Blockchain? Nah. They want a cheaper alternative to SWIFT.

Supply-chain management

Blockchain technology is going to revolutionise the supply-chain management (SCM) industry, we’re told. BHP Billiton was one of the first large companies to announce in 2016 that they were implementing Blockchain for their core sample supply chain. We’ve heard similar stories about the diamond industry.

Whether you think a proof-of-work Blockchain makes sense for SCM is really secondary to the challenge of The Oracle problem: blockchains are brilliant at letting you know when data in the system has been compromised. But they have zero sense whether that data is true or not.

The Oracle problem arises whenever you need to bring the concept of truth, or providence from the real world into a trustless system like Blockchain. How does the core sample data get onto the blockchain ledger? Does a guy type it in? Does he never make mistakes? Can he be bribed to type in something else? If it’s a totally automated system, can it fail? Be hacked?

Maybe we solve this by having two systems running and we compare the results. Or three. Or four. Now we have the problem of having to ship our samples to different labs around the world and be sure they weren’t tampered with in transit. If only we had a blockchain-based SCM system to secure our blockchain-based SCM system …

Verdict: The Oracle problem is really hard, and torpedos a lot of tangible good-based blockchain proposals.

So, back to our original question: do you need a blockchain? Ultimately, the future of blockchain applications (beyond money) lies in whether the benefits of having a decentralised, public record secured by proof-of-work outweighs its costs. There are plenty of really encouraging use cases emerging – think ticketing, for example, or trading in any digital assets. But for most industries, the jury’s still out.

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