Sunday, 30 October 2022 19:57

5G development is on the fast lane generating real business value for operators: Huawei

Written by Evelyn Alas

As of october 2022, more than 230 operators worldwide have launched their commercial 5G services. In total, the industry has built more than 3 million 5G base stations, offering services to more than 700 million subscribers.

At the 13th edition of the Mobile Broadband Global Forum (MBBF), Huawei's rotating president Ken Hu gave his speech indicating the rapid development of 5G and how to further take advantage of its opportunities.

"5G is on the fast lane," he continued, "and we should all be proud of the progress we have made. But we can still do more to maximize its value. We must work together to fully exploit the potential of 5G networks and expand it to services such as cloud and systems integration. Together, we can drive the rapid development of networks, applications and the 5G industry as a whole".

Worldwide operators that have launched commercial 5G services as of october 2022 number more than 230. In total, the industry has established more than three million 5G base stations, providing coverage to more than 700 million subscribers.

In telecommunications, consumer services still account for the lion's share of operators' revenues. As 5G becomes more prevalent, the vastly superior experience offered by this technology is driving new changes in consumer behavior, including a sharp increase in high-definition video traffic. New mobile applications that take advantage of 5G's higher speeds and lower latency have doubled average user data consumption (DOU) and are increasing average revenue per user (ARPU) by 20%-40%, contributing to operators' steady growth in connectivity revenues.

At the same time, 5G B2B applications are also providing fresh impetus to operator revenue growth, enabling significant value to be produced in sectors such as oil and gas, manufacturing and transportation.

These applications are not only innovative, but are also generating real business value for operators. In 2021, for example, Chinese operators generated more than CNY 3.4 billion (about USD 500 million) in new revenue as a result of more than 3,000 industrial 5G projects. And that's not all: these projects additionally generated that same amount 10-fold from integrated ICT services and related data.

5G B2B applications are poised to become the fastest growing revenue stream for operators. 5G is enabling the emergence of new service scenarios, applications and business models, paving the way for unprecedented growth opportunities to emerge in the industry.

"To take advantage of these opportunities", Hu has said, "we have a few things left to do" Building networks that offer a better user experience.

Beyond extending coverage, networks must be built to optimize for different types of user experience. For example, Chinese operators have optimized their networks for TikTok and other popular video services, which has reduced first-in delay by 50% and freeze frame by 90%. This much smoother video experience has doubled data consumption and is attracting new users to 5G services.

Driving the development of 5.5G

To enable the advancement of 5G, Huawei has worked with operators and industry partners to propose four features of 5.5G, the next evolution of 5G technology: 10 Gbps on the downlink, 1 Gbps on the uplink, capacity for 100 billion connections and native intelligence.

"The industry must work together to define standards, prepare spectrum and build the ecosystem", Hu has said.

Driving service innovation to maximize the value of 5G Thanks to its high bandwidth and low latency, 5G can be integrated with cloud and AI to deliver entirely new services for consumers and enterprises alike. Operators can offer new experiences such as extended reality (XR), cloud gaming and rich calling services for individual consumers, while, for enterprises, they can provide more comprehensive digital transformation solutions. This enables new revenue streams to be generated, giving operators the opportunity to move beyond connectivity and into cloud services and systems integration.

Industry digitization is the next wave of global economic development.

As a key enabler of digital transformation, 5G opens up a world of new opportunities. However, the ICT ecosystem must work together to make the most of those opportunities. "If we work together, we can drive the rapid development of networks, applications and the 5G industry as a whole", Hu concluded.

The Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2022 is organized by Huawei together with its industry partners GSMA and GTI. This annual forum brings together mobile network operators, vertical industry leaders and ecosystem partners from around the world to discuss how to make 5G a commercial success, as well as address other high-priority industry topics such as green development, intelligence and the evolution of 5G. For more information, please visit: