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5G Era: Develop New Capabilities, Seize New Business Opportunities

2017-11-16

[London, UK, November 16, 2017] At the 8th Global Mobile Broadband Forum, Ryan Ding, Huawei Executive Director and President of the Carrier Business Group, called on global carriers to incubate new services based on 4.5G networks to build new capabilities in advance of 5G emergence.


Ryan Ding delivering a keynote speech at the MBB Forum

In his keynote speech titled New Capabilities, New Business, New Growth, Ryan Ding noted that the flourishing development of wireless communications over the past nearly 100 years has driven continuous growth across the industry. Smartphones appeared a decade ago, resulting in explosive growth in mobile data service and drove global mobile carrier revenue beyond the US$1 trillion. Looking to the future, new 5G services will enable new growth in all industries and reshape the entire world. These changes will also open up new space for carriers to achieve sustainable growth.

3GPP has defined two commercial use cases of 5G: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and fixed wireless access (FWA). As industry demand for IoT grows, new 5G services will penetrate deeply into homes and vertical industries, bringing many new business opportunities. To seize the new business opportunities of the 5G era, carriers need to build new business capabilities tailored to 5G in addition to the technical capabilities.

However, capabilities aren't developed overnight. Before new 5G services take off, carriers need to incubate new services based on existing 4.5G networks. To this end, they need to find their footing in both WTTx and NB-IoT, and build new end-to-end capabilities including organizational capabilities, operational capabilities, and ecosystem capabilities. The ultimate goal is to support the successful commercial application of 5G.

Accelerating the development of WTTx and ensuring the success of the first 5G commercial use case (FWA)

WTTx has become one of the four mainstream ways of providing home broadband access along with fiber, copper, and cable. Ovum predicts that by 2020, wireless networks will provide broadband access services to 350 million homes around the world. WTTx is set to become one of the major revenue sources of mobile carriers. The WTTx commercial use is accelerating on 4.5G networks. By the end of 2017, there will be 200 WTTx networks deployed around the world, connecting 50 million homes.

WTTx users will generate higher average revenue per unit (ARPU), higher data of usage (DoU), and higher concurrency at night, and user location is fixed. To adapt to these new characteristics, carriers need to build new end-to-end capabilities to support the development of wireless home broadband services. These capabilities include target area planning, network assessment and deployment, service provisioning, as well as O&M.

Huawei unveiled its WTTx business solution at the MBBF 2017. This solution is based on the profile of users, helping carriers accurately identify high-value areas and target users. With this solution, carriers can build competitive network with fiber-like experience. As services are rolled out, they can precisely and rapidly acquire users and provision services at low cost.

Starting IoT from NB-IoT

Gartner predicts that by 2025, the IoT market volume could be 1.9 trillion US dollars. In the next 2–3 years, carriers can incubate NB-IoT services through 4.5G networks. Globally, carriers are using NB-IoT to win a leading position in the IoT market, and are competing fiercely to launch NB-IoT to market. By the end of 2017, 30 NB-IoT networks will be deployed around the world, that number will increase to over 100 by the end of 2018.

IoT services are different from human-centric networks in many aspects, such as business models, billing systems, network deployment, device management, and service management. Carriers can use NB-IoT to explore new capabilities, including organizational structure and operational capabilities. They also need to build "GLocal" (Global + Local) ecosystem capabilities.

Huawei unveiled its NB-IoT business solution during the MBB Forum, this solution incorporates service integration, network deployment, service provisioning and network operation. In the service integration stage, Huawei has built an NB-IoT Commercial Use Case Library which includes 12 mature use cases, the information about relevant partners, and business model analysis.

Low-cost trial and error and ongoing exploration of new 5G services

Huawei established Wireless X Labs in 2016 to bring carriers and partners together to explore and develop innovative applications and build new ecosystems.

Through a process of selection and sequencing, X Labs has identified ten of the most promising 5G use cases, including cloud VR/AR, connected automotive, smart manufacturing, connected energy, wireless eHealth, wireless home entertainment, connected drones, social networks, personal AI assistant, and Smart City. X Labs will update the use cases as research continues, and publicize the research results. Ding noted that carriers can choose any of the 5G applications based on their own strategy.

Concluding his remarks, Ding said, "5G will unleash huge business potential for carriers. Huawei looks forward to using innovative business solutions to help carriers build new capabilities and incubate new services, so as to achieve new growth in the coming 5G era."