Huawei’s Global Industry Vision (GIV) 2025: The Industry Blueprint of an Intelligent World

From a technology standpoint, what do you think our world will be like in 2025? I mean, what will it reeeeally be like?

How will our daily lives be different than they are now? Will we still be using smartphones? Will there ever be a need to leave our homes? Will we all live in little pods with wires and electrodes attached to our brains? Will everyone have a personal robot by then?

If I painted a picture of 2025 based on the tweets in my Twitter feed, we’ll all be riding in autonomous cars in the sky and reading each other’s minds.

(Spoiler alert — Although we won’t all be riding autonomous cars in the sky by 2025, traffic patterns will start moving from the earth to the sky. Jump to this section to read about the “digital sky.”)

I was recently invited to an online event exclusively for Huawei’s International KOLs. It was a fascinating look ahead into 2025— and since it’s based on actual data, it’s the most real look into our near future that I’ve seen.

Walter Jennings, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Huawei, interviewed Greg Fox, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Huawei about Huawei’s Global Industry Vision (GIV) 2025.

The GIV 2025 report is the culmination and collaboration of data and research from Huawei, IDC, Goldman Sachs, GSMA, World Bank and others. This lively interview will give you a glimpse into what we can expect in seven short years.

Download your own copy of the Global Industry Vision (GIV) 2025 Report Here

  1. You’ll always get front row seats to every concert, World Cup and Super Bowl.
  2. You’re going to own several more smart devices than you own now.
  3. Your city is likely going to be much safer (and smarter).
  4. AR and VR capabilities will completely reshape how we view our environment (and how we learn).
  5. And best of all…A LOT more people will finally have access to the internet.

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.

Greg Fox (left) — Huawei Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Walter Jennings (right) — Huawei Vice President of Corporate Communications

Mr. Walter Jennings: This is Walter Jennings, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Huawei. I’m here in Hong Kong with Greg Fox, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Huawei.

Mr. Greg Fox: Hi Walter, it’s great to be with you.

Mr. Walter Jennings: Great to be with you too. Let’s talk about Huawei’s Global Industry Vision (GIV) 2025. This report looks at where the world will be in 2025. Let’s dive straight into the action. Can you give us a synopsis of the GIV 2025, and what it’s trying to achieve?

Mr. Greg Fox: Absolutely. The GIV 2025 is Huawei’s view of the intelligent world and how it will impact every person, home and organization. We view it as a blueprint for how society will develop into an intelligent world by 2025.

Mr. Walter Jennings: One of the nice things about Huawei is we’re building many of the networks that connect the world, so we kind of have a good idea about where the world will be technologically by 2025.

What are some of the cornerstone technologies that we can anticipate in seven years time that will be a bit more ubiquitous than today?

Mr. Greg Fox: Artificial intelligence, as we know, is a big buzzword in society today. But artificial intelligence is more than that. It will be a core enabling technology in our near future society.

In the GIV 2025 intelligent world, all things will be sensing, connected and intelligent. AI is the enabling technology for all of this. The “intelligence plus intelligence” is what we call the soil around how things develop and emerge — and how innovation and breakthroughs are going to take place.

We see AI, IoT, 5G, and big data analytics as all being core enabling technologies that will be prominent.

Mr. Walter Jennings: And I think all those technologies feed off of each other. The more senses you have, the more data you have, and the more data you have, the more cloud you need in order to receive, and then the more analytic requirements you have to understand the data. We talk about connecting…intelligent…sensing — can you give me a few examples?

Mr. Greg Fox: Yes. So, if we look at sensing — more and more connections will bring everyone into society together.

For example, let’s say you want to attend a sporting event, but you can’t physically be there. With VR and AR technology, you can still have a fully immersive experience. You’ll be able to attend the event, in the front row and follow/interact with your favorite player on the field.

Let’s say you have a favorite band or a concert that you want to attend. But again, you can’t physically be there. With sensing capabilities and VR/AR you’ll be able to attend the concert and experience it up close and personal. Through these immersive experiences, it will be as if you are there, in the room.

Mr. Walter Jennings: Yes, reading about those types of immersive experiences was a neat part of the GIV 2025 report. The GIV 2025 (Global Industry Vision) report is different than Huawei’s GCI (Global Connectivity Index) report.

How do they come together to form the big picture?

Mr. Greg Fox: We view the digital economy value to be about 23 trillion dollars. The Global Connectivity Index looks at how we can make use of digital assets in combination with ICT technologies to create this 23 trillion dollar digital economy opportunity.

We’re finding that countries that make productive use of ICT technologies and digital assets are experiencing higher GDP growth than countries that don’t.

In fact, these countries are experiencing up to almost seven times the ROI when compared to countries that don’t take advantage of ICT technologies.

The GCI looks at what we call the digital assets plus digital spillover, which means that there’s an incremental value that’s created through the productive use of ICT. Countries that are able to take advantage of that digital spillover are able to incrementally grow at an accelerated rate compared to countries that don’t.

Based on this, we put countries into three different categories: starters, accelerators and frontrunners.

Mr. Walter Jennings: What are some of the indicators or predictions in the GIV 2025 that you personally found the most interesting?

Mr. Greg Fox: There is a specific case study in the GIV 2025 that is interesting to me. There is a ceramic factory in China that has a traditional method of doing ceramics. This is a method that has been handed down from generation to generation. It’s a dying practice and breed because the younger generation doesn’t want to use it.

But with the use of VR and AR, they’re able to show how the ceramics are made up close and personal. It’s creating a whole new generation of followers and interest because of VR and AR capabilities. From the comfort of my own home, I can now see how these ceramics are made through high definition cameras and a fully immersive experience.

If I wanted to take a class in person to learn how to do these ceramics, it would be about 10,000 RMB.

Mr. Walter Jennings: That’s about 1,500 US dollars.

Mr. Greg Fox: Yes, but instead of doing that, I can now log in online and experience it through VR. It’s only about 100 RMB (15 US dollars). Now the tradition continues because there is such great renewed interest in it.

Download your own copy of the Global Industry Vision (GIV) 2025 Report Here

Mr. Walter Jennings: I read in the GIV 2025 that the VR Live market will have about 95 million subscribers creating 4.1 billion in revenue. Also in the GIV 2025, there’s talk about an innovative coming together of all of these technologies to support the blind. Tell us about that case.

Mr. Greg Fox: Absolutely. There’s about 39 million visually impaired people on earth. It can be challenging for them in terms of everyday life. With the use of smart guide headsets for the blind, they can experience life more like you and I do.

Mr. Walter Jennings: We have a short video from XLABS that shows this in use. These headsets provide the visually impaired information about location, paths, barriers — but also adds to that facial recognition, object recognition and categorization of images.

The headsets provide a lot more information that allows people independence to walk wherever, meet people and recognize them (which prior hadn’t been available).

Mr. Greg Fox: Yes. IoT, VR and AR are the enabling technologies in those smart guide handsets for the blind. It makes life a more positive experience for the visually impaired.

Mr. Walter Jennings: It provides more information in senses that are impaired, which allows them to enhance their life experiences.

Mr. Greg Fox: Like you said, we have a great video that showcases this case study. I encourage you to watch it.

Mr. Greg Fox: There are probably questions about how the numbers in the GIV 2025 were created. There was a lot of qualitative data and quantitative analysis that went into the numbers. This report is full of numbers. For some, it might be a little overwhelming — especially when we are talking about a hundred billion connections.

We expect 440 million VR, AR users. 95% of applications will be on the cloud in 2025.

If you’re not on the cloud in 2025 providing apps, services and connectivity, then you’ll be irrelevant as a business.

We used a lot of third-party resources and also a lot of our own analysis to determine the numbers and the values in the GIV 2025. We interviewed consulting partners, and we looked at market intelligence. We looked at industry partners, analysts and customers. We think a lot of the numbers we see are valid from a qualitative and a quantitative perspective.

Mr. Walter Jennings: In other words, it’s not just Huawei speaking. There’s a lot of industry analysis and a lot of consultants and others who have helped form this information.

Mr. Greg Fox: Yes, name brand companies like IDC, Goldman Sachs, GSMA and World Bank. Those and other organizations contributed to helping us (at Huawei) understand what this industry blueprint is all about.

Mr. Walter Jennings: We are also very confident to predict that by 2025, 100% of enterprises will be on the cloud.

Mr. Greg Fox: Absolutely, yes.

Mr. Walter Jennings: What are the ramifications of having that much information available in that form?

Mr. Greg Fox: Well, let’s use a manufacturing environment on the cloud for example. If a factory floor is producing passenger cars, SUVs, and trucks — in an instant, I can easily go through the cloud and with one-click, change that production line to produce motorcycles and bicycles. This is what cloud computing and AI is able to do. It can reshape the way things are manufactured in real time based on customer requirements. The factory floor is smart and able to adapt to the needs of what needs to be produced.

Download your own copy of the Global Industry Vision (GIV) 2025 Report Here

Mr. Walter Jennings: We’ve talked about cloud — now talk to me a little bit about the role of artificial intelligence in the future.

Mr. Greg Fox: Artificial intelligence is embedded in everything this intelligent world is all about. Let’s use farms for this example. There are about 520 million farms on the earth. In 2000, none of these farms were connected to the internet. Now there’s about the same number of farms, and almost all of them can be connected through IoT and AI.

This means farmers can look at crop yields and monitor the well-being of their cows. Through sensors and AI, they can look at each cow in the herd and monitor its well-being and milk production. If a cow gets sick, the farmer can isolate that cow and quarantine it so it doesn’t infect the overall herd.

They can also look at crop yields. They can see the way crops are harvested and how they are then replenished, and how that supply chain works. All of this is made possible through artificial intelligence, and it works quite well.

Mr. Walter Jennings: We also have a case study where we’ve connected close to 1 million cows in northern China. The profitability for the farmer increased 25% because they have healthier animals that are treated for illnesses specific to that animal.

The sensors are not a burden at all to the cow or the environment. They monitor the health and well-being, the location, the milk production, etc. of each cow. This helps the farmer make more productive use of the cow.

Mr. Walter Jennings: Now let’s talk about global data. Currently, we’re looking at 8ZB.

Mr. Greg Fox: That’s 8 zettabytes.

Mr. Walter Jennings: And that will increase to 180 zettabytes which is 180 billion terabytes of data in 2025. According to the GIV 2025, most of that data is unstructured. Tell me about the data explosion.

Mr. Greg Fox: The data explosion is incredible because 90% of the data that has been produced, has been produced over the last two to three years. There’s this massive data explosion. It can be hard to process this data in a way that gives it some structured meaning so it can be used effectively. With global data analytics and AI (and other enabling technologies), data can become structured and useful. So, we can make intelligent decisions using the data.

Instead of just sitting idle in a storage device somewhere, now we can use the data to make meaningful decisions that are profitable and meaningful to society.

Mr. Walter Jennings: Basically, one zettabyte is one billion terabytes. Instead of having that data locked away, it’s going to become more accessible, useful and powered by crunching and using artificial intelligence, global data analytics and big data.

Mr. Greg Fox: Yes, all these things that Huawei provides will make the data useful and intelligent. You’ll be able to make better choices. It will make governments smarter and make society smarter.

Mr. Walter Jennings: Now let’s talk about other industries. We’ve talked about agriculture and manufacturing. What about healthcare, transportation and other industries?

Mr. Greg Fox: There’s so many industries. Let’s look at smart cities and smart governments. There’s a lot of innovation happening in governments around the world.

For example, in the Huanggang District in Shenzhen (which is the largest population zone in Shenzhen), they’re trying to improve the government services they provide to their residences. They’ve had a lot of complaints about the services they provide.

For example, the residences want to get a visa between Shenzhen and Macau. They’ve been able to cut the time down from seven weeks to minutes. Through a smart government, they’re able to provide better services to their local residences.

Now let’s take a look at Nairobi, Kenya. This was an environment with a lot of crime. Tourism was way down. People didn’t want to visit because of the challenges there. Through the use of high definition cameras and smart security, now crime is down and tourism is up. The Pope recently visited there.

Mr. Walter Jennings: The time for prosecution dropped from an average of 10 days to 2 days because it became easier to identify the people who had committed the crimes.

Mr. Greg Fox: Absolutely. They started surveillance and are now able to monitor and prevent crime.

Mr. Walter Jennings: Even in smart cities, there are smart trash cans that can tell the garbage collection when they’re full. Through analysis, it allows them to better understand where to place the trash cans for cleaner and more convenient cities.

Mr. Greg Fox: It reminds me of smart transportation. The GIV 2025 talks a lot about the “digital sky.” It’s where the sky becomes populated with other things. There’s a lot of drones now, and there will be a lot of other traffic too, like passenger cars (autonomous vehicles).

The traffic patterns will move from the street (or from the earth) into the skies.

Traffic congestion on the earth will drop, and transportation costs will drop. We’ll be able to put a park for greenery in the places where parking lots previously existed. It’s kind of interesting.

Mr. Walter Jennings: I was reading that the ownership of cars in cities will plummet. We just won’t require it. You’ll be able to get an autonomous vehicle connected to either an app (or whatever replaces apps) and have it there and available instantly.

One of the side jobs I have at Huawei is communicating our corporate social responsibility (CSR) vision. I love what we’ve talked about in our city life and urban centers. But tell us about the unconnected world. How far does broadband penetrate worldwide?

Mr. Greg Fox: Yes, definitely there’s a lot of people who aren’t connected. The idea around GIV 2025 is — How do we connect the unconnected? How do we bring them along into the intelligent world (intelligent society)? Broadband will continue to grow and flourish.

The previously unconnected will become connected and be able to experience the benefits that intelligent society will offer them.

Mr. Walter Jennings: Fantastic.

Mr. Greg Fox: There’s a lot of stats in the GIV 2025 that talk about the number of broadband users that will develop and so forth. It’s quite fascinating.

Mr. Walter Jennings: One in five people will own ten or more smart devices. Each person on average will have five smart devices. So, I’m feeling pretty stupid asking you this, but what is a smart device?

Mr. Greg Fox: A smart device is a watch, a phone, any kind of wearable, a laptop, smart glasses, etc.

Mr. Walter Jennings: KOL Bay McLaughlin is a big fan of the quantified self, which is the ability to measure and monitor your heart rate, your food, your consumption, and see how all of these variables change over time. For example, we were talking about having reached our step goal.

Mr. Greg Fox: We have smart devices in the home like appliances, lights and smart alarms. We have smart water devices that will monitor your water usage, and so forth. There will be an increasing number of devices connected through IoT, through narrowband IoT and through our connectivity gateways where all these things will be connected.

The number of devices will continue to grow and the number of devices per person will increase, all for the benefit of human experience.

Mr. Walter Jennings: At Huawei, we talk a lot about partnerships and alliances. In the GIV 2025, we talk about the ecosystem. How does that all come together?

Mr. Greg Fox: Huawei can’t do all this alone. In our traditional business and the carrier business, we were able to do things more soup-to-nuts (beginning-to-end) all the way through delivery — including the entire stack and solution to the carrier.

But now with the enterprise business we’re in, it requires an ecosystem. Our ecosystem is a portfolio of best-of-breed partners that we can work with. This includes ISVs, consulting partners and technology partners. It creates a whole ecosystem effect that we need to engage and provide benefits to. We integrate their solutions with ours to be able to bring about this intelligent society. Ecosystem partnerships and alliances will be core to our success and our customers’ success.

Mr. Walter Jennings: It’s all about partnerships for Huawei. We’re not keen to create everything.

Mr. Ren, our founder, said that Huawei doesn’t want a bigger piece of the cake. We want to make the cake larger.

Looking at these new technologies and insights into what’s going to drive the future of technology allows us all to be better. We all have a role in developing and delivering that future. It may not all be Huawei branded material, but there will be Huawei technology behind it.

Mr. Greg Fox: Absolutely. It’ll be integrated and seamless and will work to make sure the customer experience is phenomenal. That’s really the value of an ecosystem and what it brings.

Download your own copy of the Global Industry Vision (GIV) 2025 Report Here

Mr. Walter Jennings: What is the role of 5G in this new intelligent society?

Mr. Greg Fox: 5G, as we know, brings lower latency and higher bandwidth. Think about all the devices that need to be connected through IoT. Let’s just take video for example.

By 2025, 85% of internet traffic will be video. If it’s not running on a 5G network with high bandwidth, the video experience is not going to be good.

That’s where you see 5G coming into play — it’s not just about data acceleration and lower latency, but also use cases for immersive video, AR, VR and IoT connectivity. The number of devices that need to be connected and interact with each other requires high broadband, and 5G will be able to do that.

Mr. Walter Jennings: The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is going to be the first Olympics broadcast in 8K.

Mr. Greg Fox: Yes, 8K video.

Mr. Walter Jennings: What about 2024? Will I finally be able to go to the Olympics?

Mr. Greg Fox: I hope so because you can get a front-row seat without having to spend the time or the hassle of going there personally.

Mr. Walter Jennings: Yes, so that is what we call VR Live.

Mr. Greg Fox: Absolutely! With VR Live, you will be able to experience the Olympics up close and personal. You’ll be right there at the event you want to see, next to the athletes you want to monitor and be engaged with. Then you can go (with the click of a button) to the next event that may even be simultaneous — and you’ll be able to experience that as well.

Mr. Walter Jennings: Let’s talk about monetizing 2025. What kinds of ROI, financial benefits or predictions are embedded in the GIV 2025 report?

Mr. Greg Fox: The report doesn’t talk a lot about the monetization. It talks more about the predictions of society in the intelligent world. I think this goes back to the tie-in with Huawei’s Global Connectivity Index (GCI).

We value the digital economy of 23 trillion dollars (which is the size of the UK, Japan, and Germany in terms of their GDP). That’s where the use of digital assets and the effective use of ICT technologies will bring about this greater GDP explosion in the coming years.

Those who deploy it in the right way, in an effective manner, will see greater ROI and create GDP as a result. That’s where I see the monetization happening. It’s through the effective use of the ICT enabling technologies that are part of GIV 2025 that we forecast, and how they apply them in their governments.

Mr. Walter Jennings: When we start talking about financial benefits, I want to mention that in our separate Global Connectivity Index (GCI) report, we do look at how nations can and should invest in ICT technologies to accelerate the economic benefits and return on GDP.

There are quite large dollar figures in the GIV 2025 report and the GCI report that look at the size of the digital economy and the opportunities (like VR Live being a four billion dollar industry). I’m signing up for the 2024 Olympics in VR so that way I can finally be at the opening ceremony.

Mr. Greg Fox: Yes, there are good ROI numbers in the GIV 2025 by industry as well. If you look at transportation, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, etc.

Mr. Walter Jennings: I know autonomous vehicles are really dependent on 5G, which starts commercial installation by about 2020. By 2025, we won’t be fully dependent on autonomous vehicles, but will they be a lot more pervasive?

Mr. Greg Fox: I think so. That’s what the prediction says — more autonomous vehicles, more connected through 5G, there will be enabling and allowing that to happen, so yes.

Mr. Walter Jennings: I read a simple but astonishing stat which said that 100% percent of vehicles will be internet connected. With vehicle data, sometimes it’s simple, like mapping or your radio and entertainment. But when we start looking at the amounts of information created by autonomous vehicles, we’re looking at terabytes of data created every minute they’re on the road.

Mr. Greg Fox: Absolutely, and they will be connected to the internet in real time. Software updates will come instantaneously without having to do a software download. A lot of it will be software-oriented in terms of how these autonomous vehicles will run and self-driving. I think software will be core.

Mr. Walter Jennings: We’re coming towards the conclusion of our time today, but tell me about one prediction you hope to benefit from.

Mr. Greg Fox: Well, we have a big family, so we’re kind of spread across many different states. We can’t always be together, like for a family reunion. I want to have a family reunion through immersive technology and through high quality video. I want to experience the interaction with my family up close and personal. That’s really what I would like to see. That’s the prediction I’m making. We have our first grandson (nine months old).

As our family expands and grows in different places, I want to be able to have a family reunion through video, AR and VR. I want to be up close and personal, and interactive, as if I were there in person.

Mr. Walter Jennings: I’m an avid traveler, and we’re currently booking a family holiday to southern Italy in July. I get a sense on booking.com of what the hotels are like, but it would be so much easier if I could literally just walk the grounds, come in and see what it looks like, and get a sense of the place.

When it comes to hotels for vacations, many times you make a decision months in advance for a major holiday, and you spend a lot of money. You don’t know for sure if it’s going to be good. There’s an art to looking through the photos on booking.com.

Mr. Walter Jennings: In education, you think about heart surgeons being able to walk through the interior of a heart with the VR experience.

Mr. Greg Fox: Yes, and remote surgeries — you’ll be able to remotely have a surgery take place, and connect with your doctor online (through immersive video).

And retail — you’ll be able to go to your favorite retail shops around the world, where you’ll browse the goods without having to physically be there. There’s so many use cases related to AR and VR which are amazing.

Mr. Walter Jennings: We talked about the use currently underway in Shanghai where you can look at an app to see if a parking space is available. The app will guide you directly to that space in downtown, and it will save it for you. You only pay for the amount of time you are there. It knows when you’re there, and when you leave. It charges you that amount of money. It’s very good!

Are there any things that you see interrupting this vision? Things that are kind of the black swans that could stop the vision of GIV 2025 from occurring?

Mr. Greg Fox: I think if countries and enterprises don’t make effective use of ICT technologies and capabilities, they’re going to fall short of the vision or the blueprint that’s really possible to bring about an intelligent society and intelligent world.

At Huawei, our mission is to bring digital to every person, home, and organization for a fully connected intelligent world.

ICT plays a central role in that. If countries and people aren’t investing in ICT and digital assets, then we’ll fall short of the vision that GIV 2025 outlines.

Mr. Walter Jennings: One of the things we do at a national level is work with countries to help them work through their own national broadband policies in the future.

I would suggest if countries have FOMO, the GIV 2025 is a great place to look and start charting the future to see where the industry is going.

I want to thank also Marsha Collier. When she was at the Huawei Analyst Summit, she did a great interview with Greg.

In 2017, Huawei spent 14 billion US dollars on research and development. The GIV 2025 is a small fraction of that investment, but we do look beyond traditional technologies to ask, “What are the ramifications for society, and how is this going to change the world we know?

One of the things Greg has helped us with is personalizing that and helping us begin to see what our world will look like in 2025. On behalf of the international KOLs, I want to thank you.

Mr. Greg Fox: Thank you so much, Walter. And, thank you KOLs for taking the time out of your morning and evening to be with us.

Mr. Walter Jennings: It’s 9:45pm and 87% humidity outside, so we are going off into the sticky evening in Hong Kong. Thank you all, bye.

Mr. Greg Fox: Thank you. Take care!

Download your own copy of the Global Industry Vision (GIV) 2025 Report Here

Tech journalist, Apple ACN, Digital Transformation, IoT, 5G, AI and the future of tech.

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