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Business Transformation

CEO Chat With Huawei's David Wang

One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home page. While all of the interviewees I select qualify as "interesting," my chat with David Wang, the president of network solutions at Huawei Technologies, delivered exceptional insights.

There are a few reasons. First, his level of responsibility: Wang is in charge of end-to-end strategy in R&D, marketing and business and operations management of the entire Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. network product portfolio, including the access network, optical transmission network and carrier IP and enterprise network. In other words, pretty much everything that matters to Light Reading's audience.

Passionate Believer in Transformation
David Wang, president of network solutions for Huawei, says the business the Chinese vendor is in now extends far beyond building networks.
David Wang, president of network solutions for Huawei, says the business the Chinese vendor is in now extends far beyond building networks.

Then there's the fact that Wang works for Huawei, which has not just been rocking the boat in our industry -- it's utterly torpedoed the lazy status quo enjoyed by Western incumbent suppliers through the end of the last century, delivering unprecedented levels of growth and margin, and acting as a true industry disruptor. (See CEO Interview: Huawei's Eric Xu, Huawei's Sales Soar but Profit Growth Grinds to a Halt, Huawei's Network Sales Up Around 32% in 2016 and Is There No Stopping Huawei?)

Then there's Wang himself -- someone who shares my views about the significance of next-generation communications infrastructure; we are both passionate believers that the business Huawei and others are in now extends far beyond building "networks" to providing a ubiquitous global infrastructure that can have a transformative effect on industries, societies and the individuals that live in them.

Finally, Wang is also remarkably free-spoken. Senior executives at Chinese companies tend to be reserved, non-committal. Wang, in contrast, is an enthusiastic, candid and spirited interviewee. Read on for our discussion of the key issues faced by the next-gen communications industry today -- topics on which we found ourselves, for the most part, in violent agreement.

Next page: The concrete cloud

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spc_mlparker 8/3/2017 | 12:03:32 PM
Great interview ... Actually it was not just a great interview but really a superior interview!   I think Mr. Wang is exactly right on his view about the unrelenting drive to move all the intelligence of the network to the cloud.   I also agree with his sentiment about the challenges in the network planning and running of today's new TELCO network.    Telco operators, engineers and design concepts have completely blended into a IT project with Telco complexities.   NFV/SDN implementations are exposing those challenges to the industry.   All of that was very well stated.  

Side note ... surprised to hear the notion that Huawei recognizes that single vendor solutions are not the reality around the world.  Over the years ...  I have worked with Huawei in a lot of networks and I have had to compete against them in a lot of networks.    I would say their corporate culture is that they expect to run the entire network.   Mr. Wang's acceptance that there is a need for interoperability and cooperation is also good to hear.  

Well done Steve.  
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