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Huawei Eco-Connect: F5G evolution, reshaping industry productivity in Southern Africa

F5G is the fifth-generation fixed network standard defined by ETSI.
F5G is the fifth-generation fixed network standard defined by ETSI.

Richard Jin, President of Huawei’s Optical Business Product Line recently delivered a keynote speech at Huawei Eco-Connect Sub-Saharan Africa 2023 in which he outlined the company’s vision for F5G in Africa. 

F5G is the fifth-generation fixed network standard defined by ETSI. With six core capabilities, F5G extends optical fibre to a wide range of industries, connecting homes, enterprises, machines, and data centres. It is critical to achieving "fibre to everywhere" and facilitating the digital transformation of various industries.

According to Jin, this is especially true in Africa where there’s immense potential but the existing fibre infrastructure development is far below the global average. “In order to help overcome these challenges and ensure that Africa is able to meet these opportunities, Huawei has worked with global industry customers and partners to develop more than 50 F5G solutions for industry sub-scenarios, covering more than 10 industries such as energy, transportation, education, and healthcare.”

Jin noted that five of these sub-scenarios are particularly pertinent to meeting Africa’s connectivity needs. “They include national backbone networks, electric power, perimeter protection, campus, and internet service provider (ISP).”

1. F5G reshapes national backbone networks and builds all-optical digital highways

National communication backbone networks provide digital highways for a multitude of industries, allowing for network coverage in remote areas, bridging the digital divide, and improving city governance and public service efficiency.

Harnessing its industry-leading technologies such as all-optical cross-connect (OXC), ultra-long-distance 400G, and automatic switched optical network (ASON), Huawei helps numerous African countries build national infrastructure fibre backbone networks that feature high bandwidth, wide coverage, and high reliability, effectively promoting national economic development.

2. F5G reshapes the electric power industry and builds a highly reliable production network

As the optimal choice for the evolution of electric power production networks, Huawei’s optical service unit (OSU) — the fifth-generation hard isolation technology — inherits the hard isolation feature of synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) to ensure production security, and meets the increasing bandwidth requirements brought by digital electric power and broadband over power line operations.

In the future, the OSU will be extended to power distribution networks and substations to implement end-to-end (E2E) unified management of power transmission, transformation, and distribution communication on one network. Huawei's six-in-one optical transport platform is fully compatible with pulse code modulation (PCM), plesiochronous digital hierarchy (PDH), and SDH services on the live network, supporting the sustainable development of existing service systems and protecting investment. To date, Huawei has built highly secure power production networks for more than 80 leading electric power companies around the world.

3. F5G reshapes perimeter protection and provides high-precision sensing protection

Huawei's innovative optical-visual linkage solution implements intelligent interaction between fibre sensing and visual sensing, developing multi-dimensional sensing capabilities. This allows for 360-degree perimeter detection without blind spots, as well as providing a new intelligent and efficient perimeter protection mode for railways, airports, and large-scale important campuses. This solution has been deployed in South Africa for railway perimeter protection.

4. F5G reshapes campuses and extends fibres to the office

Huawei's fibre-to-the-office (FTTO) solution simplifies the network architecture from three layers to two, eliminates the need to build extra-low voltage (ELV) equipment rooms, and reduces the number of devices by 40%. Multiple networks are carried over one fibre, improving O&M efficiency by 70%. In addition, by replacing copper lines with fibres, cabling materials and costs are cut by 80%, and green and simplified campus networks are built.

The Huawei FTTO solution is widely used by more than 6000 customers around the world, covering industries such as education, healthcare, and hospitality.

5. F5G reshapes the ISP industry and efficiently builds fibre broadband networks

Huawei's CO+AirPON solution makes full use of street cabinets and utility poles to deploy blade optical line terminals (OLTs) locally, shortening the optical distribution network (ODN) coverage. And because devices are mounted on poles instead of buried underground, network construction costs are reduced by 20%. Huawei's digital quick ODN (DQ ODN) solution allows for segment-by-segment parallel deployment and supports plug-and-play. It requires no professional skills or fibre splicing, ensuring connection quality and improving deployment efficiency.

The practices of world-leading operators and ISPs have proven that the CO+AirPON+DQ ODN solution can greatly shorten the ROI period of fibre to the home (FTTH) and bring fibre broadband to thousands of households.

At Eco-Connect Sub-Saharan Africa 2023, Huawei also launched multiple initiatives to help partners in Southern Africa build up their capabilities and explore the optical service market. Beyond products, Huawei also plays an active role in cultivating industry expertise. It does so by providing courses and certifications related to optical networks, and regularly organizes training.

The OptiX OpenLab, meanwhile, provides E2E pre-sales solutions, in-sales assurance, after-sales implementation, bidding support, and learning and interactions. It enables partners online to expand optical services and accelerates the implementation of F5G solutions. Additionally, Huawei displays a series of scenario-specific devices to partners and holds a series of OptiX Club marketing activities in Africa to build a communication platform for customers and partners.

"We hope that more customers and partners can join the F5G industry and seize the opportunities to promote fibre infrastructure construction in Africa and achieve business success in the digital economy era," Jin concluded. 


Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

Huawei's end-to-end portfolio of products, solutions and services are both competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers, working to empower people, enrich home life, and inspire innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. We invest heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. By December 31, 2022, Huawei had 207,000 employees, more than 114,000 of which were R&D employees (55.4%). We operate in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than 3 billion people worldwide.

In 2022, through the efforts of all employees, the company achieved an estimated annual sales revenue of CNY636.9 billion, aligned with forecast. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.

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Vanashree Govender vanashreegovender@huawei.com
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