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Huawei's Zhang Wenlin: 4G/5G FWA,New Revenue Engine

 The 4G/5G FWA Industry Summit was held online at the Global MBBF 2020. At the summit, Mr. Zhang Wenlin, President of Huawei's Corporate Strategy Department, delivered a keynote speech titled “4G/5G FWA, New Revenue Engine”. He emphasized that FWA has already entered the phase of market-oriented rapid development and it will develop at an even more rapid pace in the future.

4G/5G FWA Has Become One of the Top Choices of Home Broadband Services

After over five years of rapid development, 4G/5G FWA has become one of the top choices of home broadband services. To date, 406 4G and 40 5G FWA networks have been deployed, and more than half of mobile carriers have launched FWA services. The number of 4G/5G FWA subscribers has exceeded 100 million worldwide. Based on Huawei's market analysis, 4G/5G FWA will grow by a compound annual rate of more than 30% in the next five years.

Zhang Wenlin

Zhang Wenlin

Zhang Wenlin, President of Corporate Strategy Department, Huawei

4G/5G FWA Provides Carriers New Opportunities

The reason that FWA is developing at such a rapid pace is that it gives carriers new opportunities in the consumer market. For instance, 4G FWA has enabled a carrier in the Philippines to rapidly develop home broadband services. According to its Q3 financial report, it has acquired 1.4 million new FWA users in 2020, pushing the total number of FWA users to 2.78 million, which is 80% of its total broadband users. The proportion of broadband revenue has increased from 12.3% in 2017 to 17.9%.

With the continuous development of mobile networks, 5G FWA provides a fiber-like Gigabit experience to home broadband users. With this level of capabilities, global carriers will be better positioned to develop 4K/8K HD video and AR/VR interactive services. Greatly improving carriers' service and profitability, FWA has become the first 5G service for carriers. For a carrier in Saudi Arabia, 5G FWA has helped improve its service experience and package pricing to the same level as fiber connections. In the first half of this year, the carrier won the first place in Ookla's fixed network speed test.

In addition to being such a good support for traditional home broadband services, FWA has become one option for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because of its convenience, easy installation and guaranteed speed. For example, in Kenya, some small shops, restaurants, and small offices are now digitally connected using 4G FWA. Also, with 5G FWA, some enterprise campuses, hotels and gas stations in Switzerland are provided high-quality dedicated access service.

4G/5G FWA Has Become a New Option for National Broadband

Broadband connections are the foundation for the digital economy. A recent ITU report shows that nearly half of the world's population is still not connected to the Internet in 2019. 4G/5G FWA enables reliable and affordable broadband connections to the Internet, meaning that it can play a big role in bridging the digital divide.

During the recent pandemic, 4G/5G FWA enables users to shop, learn, and work within the safety of their own home, becoming an essential infrastructure to maintain normal social activities. Over 20 carriers have specifically provided FWA packages to support the fight against the virus. Therefore, in the ITU's《The State of Broadband 2020》 and 《Case studies compilation–Commissioners making an impact》, 4G/5G FWA is recommended as an important solution to effectively address the challenges of the epidemic and help bridge the digital divide.

FWA has also become a new option for national broadband. More than 30 countries have incorporated FWA into their national broadband plan. A number of support measures have been introduced to promote broadband, such as proactive spectrum allocation, policy subsidies, and flexible infrastructure openness.

4G/5G FWA Will Enter a New Phase of Faster Development

Industry development has its own objective laws to follow. R&D of the technology must be completed first, then the manufacturing capability before the new market can be developed. FWA development started with 4G, and the market has now accumulated numerous 4G/5G FWA success stories. This shows that FWA has completed the phases of technology R&D and application cultivation in the market, and has already entered the phase of market-oriented rapid development. It is expected that FWA will develop at an even more rapid pace in the next two years.

"Huawei provides innovative solutions to help carriers maximize the value of their networks. For example, Huawei's innovative Massive MIMO solution, when combined with high-performance CPE, enables carriers to improve spectral efficiency by three to five times as compared with MBB, while reducing the per-GB cost to 10% to 25% of MBB services. Huawei calls for greater participation of industry partners in the 4G/5G industry. Huawei will continue to work with partners to collectively promote the robust growth of the FWA industry and take the development of wireless home broadband to a new height," said Mr. Zhang.

At the 2020 Global Mobile Broadband Forum, Huawei will share insights into global industry trends and hot topics with carriers, regulators, partners, and media analysts from around the world. They will explore how innovation in ICT technologies such as 5G and AI can be mutually beneficial to industries and society at large. For more information, please visit: www.huawei.com/minisite/mbbf2020/en/

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