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Huawei’s Global Mobile Broadband Forum: Exploring the Transformative Potential of 5G
October 12, 2023 News


Written by: Izzat Najmi Abdullah, Journalist, AOPG.

The annual Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF) organised by Huawei kicked off with a live-streamed discussion between Huawei’s Rotating Chairman, Ken Hu, and the Director General of GSMA, Mats Granryd, who was unable to personally join this year’s event.

In the discussion, both Hu and Granryd acknowledged the remarkable progress of 5G through the years, In fact, over 260 5G networks have been deployed worldwide, covering nearly half of the global population. In a mere three years since its launch, 5G also achieved one billion connections, a feat that took 4G six years to accomplish.

Hu then emphasised that the rapid evolution of 5G and the dynamic nature of consumer demands add to the growing need for networks to keep evolving in tandem with technological advancements. This is why a collective effort to prepare for the future and maximise investments in 5G is a key objective moving forward.

Ken Hu, Rotating Chairman, Huawei

Consumer Adoption and Industry Applications

Additionally, Hu pointed out that 5G has become a significant driver of growth for mobile operators in the consumer market, with 5G now accounting for the majority of network traffic among leading mobile operators globally. The proliferation of video-based applications, meanwhile, has played a pivotal role in altering consumption patterns, leading to a substantial increase in network traffic and, consequently, an average increase in Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) between 10% and 25%.

Moreover, 5G has successfully penetrated the vertical industry market, distinguishing itself from its predecessor, 4G. Currently, there are more than 50,000 industrial 5G applications worldwide, with over 10 million 5G connections established in industrial settings. Key scenarios for industrial applications such as remote control, video backhaul, machine vision, and positioning have been identified, providing avenues to maximise the potential of 5G in various industries such as mining, ports, and manufacturing.

Granryd, for his part, highlighted that the transformative role of 5G across industries will contribute to a staggering USD $1 trillion to the global economy, with benefits cascading across all sectors by 2030.

Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA

Unleashing the Full Potential of 5G

Hu next outlined essential strategies to ensure the ongoing success of 5G for mobile operators, and these include the following:

  • Expanding network coverage.
  • Enhancing user experiences.
  • Exploring more flexible pricing models for consumers.

In the Business-to-Business (B2B) market, Hu suggested leveraging proven 5G applications to drive widespread adoption across diverse industries. He also encouraged mobile operators to enhance their capabilities in cloud services, industrial application development, and end-to-end system integration to position themselves favourably for industry digitalisation.

The Open Gateway Initiative

To enrich the 5G application ecosystem further, GSMA has introduced the Open Gateway initiative, a framework of common Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that grant universal access to operator network capabilities. This initiative allows developers and cloud service providers to innovate and create new digital services collaboratively.

With more than 240 mobile operators already onboard, representing over 62% of the world’s mobile subscribers, the Open Gateway initiative promises exciting possibilities for the industry. It fosters collaboration among developers, hyperscalers, and operators, akin to the pioneering roaming agreements of the 2G era.

To this end, Hu emphasised the importance of activating the ecosystem, particularly among application developers, to unlock the full potential of 5G in both consumer and industry digitalisation markets.

All things considered, Hu and Granryd agree that the telecommunications industry’s embrace of 5G signifies a momentous stride toward a more connected and digitally transformed future. 5G networks, with their rapid deployment and adoption, and with 5.5G, Huawei is reshaping how we communicate and catalysing substantial economic growth and innovation.

As the telecommunications industry embraces 5G’s capabilities, the journey towards a more connected and digitally transformed future looks to be even more dynamic and impactful.