Huawei held its 8th Global Mobile Broadband Forum this month dedicated to address the how building intelligent networks and mobile is reshaping the world.

Huawei’s rotating CEO and deputy chairman Ken Hu, talked of a world where everything is connected which in return offers telecom operators alternative growth streams. Hu said that with the millions of LED streetlamps, shipping containers and new bicycles, each one could be a new subscriber for the telecom industry.

He said: “But to support a future where all things are connected, telecom operators need to strengthen network performance and management. Future networks need to be application-centric, data-driven – and eventually, intelligent.

“We have to believe that everything can be connected and will be connected,” he continued.

However in order to achieve this, he referred to a ‘scale-out and scale up’ model where telcos need to scale out to provide more connections to generate more revenue to scale up.

During the event, Huawei Wireless X Labs unearthed its Digital Sky Initiative, which aims to enhance the development of drone applications to enable the low airspace digitised economy with specialised low airspace network coverage.

Zhou Yuefeng, CMO of Huawei’s Wireless Network Product Line, said: “More and more activities that traditionally take place on the ground are now happening in the air. Flying taxis for personal transportation will soon be a reality. The combination of drones and cellular networks will redefine the airspace, transforming the way we travel, shop, and create.

“However, all current base stations are designed to serve humans and objects on the ground. Low airspace drones are supported by reflected signals and side lobe coverage. As a result, drones presently face severe signal interference challenges. The current network can only support a limited number of drone applications where aircraft fly below 120m.”

Another key topic at the Global Mobile Broadband Forum was the boost in network performance, this was key as Huawei predicts that there will be 100 billion connections by 2025.

Hu added: “To support a massive number of connections between things, our networks need much greater capacity and lower, more reliable latency. Most importantly, behind the scenes they need intelligent systems driving performance. Networks are more complicated than ever before, with greater demand for agility. Traditional approaches to network management won’t be able to keep up.”

Beyond technology, Hu pointed out that the industry needs to close gaps to strengthen the mobile ecosystem. “In the past, we focused on connecting people. That was like planting a single tree. Now we’re connecting things. That’s like planting an entire forest. We have to integrate with the ecosystem, and build it out together.”