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Huawei integrates AI to differentiate cloud for Africa offering

Huawei integrates AI to differentiate cloud for Africa offering

Multinational ICT firm Huawei has officially launched its AI-integrated public Cloud offering for Africa at AfricaCom 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa and confirmed the datacentre will be located in Johannesburg to offer comprehensive cloud services in early 2019.

In early November 2018 Huawei issued a statement announcing its intention to launch its first public cloud data centre in Africa.

According to Huawei, globally its cloud business unit Huawei Cloud has introduced over 120 cloud services in 18 categories and cover 60+ general solutions including SAP, high-performance computing (HPC), Internet of Things (IOT), security and DevOps.

Huawei Cloud in Africa has now materialised.

Edward Deng, Vice President, Huawei Cloud, confirmed the immediate strategy is to focus on increasing regional presence in South Africa before moving on to other countries in Africa – with Nigeria firmly on the short-term radar.

Deng said Huawei's strategy is to positioning cloud to help Africa build a fully connected, digital Africa, and specifically offer cloud with AI "to make Africa's cities and industries more intelligent".

Huawei Cloud will offer a full stack of AII solutions and the company believes its offering is differentiated from competition by being "ultra-fast and ultra-simple."

However, executives stressed that the company's focus is on the customer and "not on market competition."

Deng said that like it did with mobile technology, the continent has another opportunity to leapfrog with cloud services.

The company predicts that globally, 85% of enterprise applications will be deployed to the cloud by 2025.

"It's a great opportunity for us here in Africa," said Deng, highlighting that cloud will offer a new way for enterprises to adopt applications and leverage a model that offers cost saving, speed to market and security.

If cloud is the 'aircraft runway', technologies like AI, IOT and 5G represents the engine, he added.

Robert Nkuna, Director General at South Africa's Department of Telecommunications & Postal Services (DTPS), said Huawei's Africa cloud launch is a timely contribution to South Africa's digital transformation process.

Nkuna cited several current and scheduled projects that the country's government has prioritised, including the release- and licensing of high demand radio frequency spectrum (in 600MHz, 700MHz and 800MHz frequencies) and this process is "at an advanced stage" and will likely be concluded at the beginning of 2019.

In addition to infrastructure roll out, the DTPS has earmarked the country's 5G readiness and the development of this ecosystem, as well as preparation for the 5G Symposium planned for next year.

Along with South Africa's participation at the World Radio Conference, the country will press ahead with the formation of a Digital Industrial Revolution Commission, incorporating the private sector and civil society, to take advantage of advances in ICT, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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