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Saturday, December 2, 2023

‘5G will boost fintech operation with faster connections and secured processes’

Interview with Yuying Karl, Director, Public Affairs and Communications Department, Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Limited

Huawei continues to be a major player in the telecom landscape globally. The tech giant has made significant strides in 5G technology as well. In the wake of Bangladesh’s coming 5G launch, Fintech spoke to Huawei public affairs director Yuying Karl to know more about the company’s work in 5G and other related subjects.

Fintech: In partnership with the telecom operators, Huawei has demonstrated 5G technology throughout Bangladesh. Do you believe that the country’s telecom operators are ready to adopt 5G technology at a much larger scale? 

Compared to its predecessors, 5G technology is a hundred times faster with an expanded bandwidth and reduced latency. So far, the 5G deployment cases have represented that it will pose great changes towards the B2B, B2C, and B2H sectors in terms of eMMB (Enhanced Mobile Broadband), URLLC (Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications), and mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications). It will largely benefit mobile internet users, industrial users, and automation in public and private sectors such as production and manufacturing companies. The initial phase of 5G non-standalone deployments focuses on eMBB, which provides greater data bandwidth complemented by moderate latency improvements for both 5G NR and 4G LTE. This will assist the development of emerging AR/VR media and applications, UltraHD or 360-degree streaming video, and many more. It will also reduce the limitations of the current 4G network, like device capacity per site. And drastically improve the efficiency for the industries like manufacturing, transportation management, port management, remote medical service and etc. All of these advantages will definitely increase the demand in the market for operators to carry forward their plan to deploy 5G at a larger scale. But for that there is a requirement of some technical resources and we believe those will be solved step by step under close ICT eco-partner close collaboration.

Fintech: Previously, people had to wait for a long time to get the optimum level of services after the launch of 3G and 4G technology. What will be the scenario of 5G technology? Do you think it can ensure faster penetration?

3G technology was introduced in 2008, while 4G came ten years later in 2018. In four years, we have ensured 98 percent population coverage for 4G technology. Hence, it is great to know that 5G technology will be launched in less time than the previous one. The pandemic showed us the importance of having faster communication technologies. It also demonstrated that technologies like 5G have the potential to empower digitalized systems so that they can survive the situation and sustain our economy at the same time. I believe that with these advanced features, 5G will penetrate at a faster pace in our ecosystem in the necessary area, for widely launch it need further time. As to achieve the full potential of 5G technology, we need to create a connected and comprehensive system. A solid plan and road map to gain maturity in the 5G ecosystem will definitely catalyze the process. For example, when the network will be there, 5G handsets will be more available at a competitive price.  Most importantly, the government, stakeholders, operators, and vendors need to stay on the same page to ensure the stable penetration of 5G technology. 

Fintech: Industry experts have termed 5G as the ‘game-changer.’ What is so special about this particular technology? 

5G is the next-generation wireless network technology that is expected to change the way people live and work. Thus, ‘game-changer’ seems a fitting term to define this unique technology. Although much of the hype around 5G had to do with speed and capacity, there are other perks as well. It will have greater bandwidth, meaning it can handle more connected devices than previous networks. 5G will also reduce latency— the time it takes for a device to make a request from a server and get a response. What most significant is, massive machine-to-machine communication will open the door in industrial sectors, for instance, automation in production, port and transportation management, power sector regulation, and energy conservation in the power sector those are more crucial for the new normal situation. 

Fintech: Bangladesh is witnessing a rapid change in the fintech industry. How can 5G technology help this sector?

Digital banking can radically change the lives of people working in the informal sector. MFS and agent banking are considered key drivers in the financial inclusion strategy as they provide low-income groups and disadvantaged people access to financial services at affordable costs. MFS transactions increased by around 30 percent since last year, and till March, agent banking has seen 108.38 percent year-on-year growth in deposits. It comes with little surprise that Big Data, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence are driving many business decisions forward in the modern age. In many countries, financial services use big data to screen potential clients. The system can do extensive background checks in a flash. This can help reduce and prevent money loss for loaners who can assess the viability of a loan or investment. Therefore, the entire system is intuitive, smooth, easy to navigate, and gives accurate predictions. Technology is crucial for financial institutions in Bangladesh.  Especially, to optimize the percentage of bad and defaulted loans. Fintech assists in retrieving customer data and calculating expected loss digitally and can help reduce that percentage by a significant amount. They can reduce time and improve customer satisfaction remarkably. Under such circumstances, 5G will boost the fintech operation with faster connections and secured processes. I believe that cloud, AI, and IoT will complement the speed of 5G network and bring more stability and endurance for the Fintech industry.

Fintech: Why is Huawei termed as the market leader in bringing 5G technology across the world? How has the company gained this prestigious title?

As a responsible business entity, Huawei is committed to making 5G technology available throughout the world. We have been developing the 5G technology since 2009. Between 2009 and 2013, Huawei invested more than USD 600 million into the research of 5G technology. Subsequently, in 2017 and 2018, Huawei invested almost USD 1.4 billion into 5G product development. To date, Huawei has actively supplied 83 telecom operators to achieve 5G technology in 184 active projects. Altogether, we have more than 60% active patents in 5G technology in the globe. All of these stats illustrate our consistent effort and dedication towards the spread of this technology to the mass.

Saqib Sarker

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