4G LTE networks, by the middle of this year, now offer service to 755 million users, according to GSMA Intelligence. This high number is also projected to surpass one billion by the end of 2015 and reach 3.6 billion in 2020. But the rapid uptake of LTE services has created new challenges as well as opportunities for operators as they roll out and upgrade their mobile broadband (MBB) networks.
Worldwide data usage is on track to expand by more than 60 % over last year and monthly data traffic is forecast to increase tenfold by 2020. To keep up with this soaring demand, an increasing number of operators are already looking to deploy LTE-Advanced.
As of 31 July, 131 operators in 60 countries had plans to invest in LTE-A, according to GSA statistics. That’s 30 % of all operators with LTE networks. In addition, it’s no secret that traditional revenue sources, such as voice and SMS, are in steep decline and operators are struggling to find new revenue streams.
Monetising data continues to be one of the most significant obstacles that all operators face.
The Global Mobile Broadband Forum is tackling this key theme and helping develop a long-term industry vision for MBB connectivity and innovation.
Huawei is once again organising its Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF). The event is between the 2nd and 5th of November at the Asia-World Expo in Hong Kong. It is expected to attract over 1,000 operators, regulators, industry partners and media from right around the world.
“Transformation does not happen behind closed doors,” said Qiu Heng, President of Huawei’s Wireless Network Marketing Operations. “If you want other industries to use the network, you need to meet their real needs. Our communication with other industries is still at an early stage and we aim to meet with them as well as operators at this forum to explore future possibilities together.”
One area of discussion, Qiu said, will be around operators’ ability to develop new sources of revenue from IoT (the Internet of Things sector) as well as Huawei’s efforts to develop a wider ecosystem to create opportunities in related industries.
The two-day conference features more than 20 external speakers from operators such as HKT, SoftBank, Telefonica and Vodafone, as well as Bosch, CNN, Google, Phillips, Visa and Time.
Huawei’s rotating CEO and deputy chairman Ken Hu will kick off the forum with a presentation on ‘Building a Better Connected World’. He is followed by HKT group executive director Alex Arena, who will talk about the need for speed before 5G.
GSMA acting director general and CTO Alex Sinclair will speak about global spectrum considerations. Huawei is expected to make a number of announcements during the event, including a 1Gb/s demo from HKT, Hong Kong’s largest operator, and a joint GSMA-Huawei white paper on the benefits of C-band spectrum for MBB.
This is Huawei’s sixth annual MBBF conference and they will showcase the latest MBB trends covering 4.5G applications, 5G innovation, narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IOT) and the MBB network evolution in a 2,000-square-metre demo area.
This year’s forum will also feature the MBB experience tour, with attendees given the opportunity to see HKT’s 1Gb/s service in action.