Huawei’s Barry Hou discusses 5G monetisation at MWC Barcelona 2024


At MWC this year, Shaun Collins, Executive Chairman of CCS Insight interviewed Barry Hou, Huawei’s President of 5G Marketing and Solution Sales to discuss the current state of the 5G market, and what future growth in the industry might look like

Barry explains that it has been 5 years since the launch of 5G, and monetisation of the offering is still a huge hot topic. At the end of last year, there were around 1.6 billion users, which accounts for 20% of all mobile connections. This 20% of users contributes almost 30% of total mobile traffic, and generate 40% of total revenue. He says that there are three main phases in which to monetise 5G at the moment:

1. Traffic monetisation, the foundation, to be able to provide more data packages to subscribers

2. Experience monetisation

3. New service monetisation

Shaun then asks Barry on his thoughts on experience monetization or Quality-of-Service tariffing, charging on speeds or other elements. Barry says Huawei have been working closely with operators on exactly this. The key, he says is that operators must fulfil the needs of different market segments. For example, some users need higher speeds, some need faster uplink speeds, or gamers need guaranteed low latency for the best gaming experience. These needs can then be packaged up and marketed towards different types of consumers. For example, AIS recently launched their Living network service, 49 baht for 3 hours, which represents 21% of average ARPU. Secondly, China Unicom in Guangdong has managed to recruit 300K subscribers and bring a very decent 75% ARPU increase.

The conversation then moves towards arguably the hottest topic at MWC this year, AI. Does Barry see AI generated content as a new opportunity for 5G monetisation? And what about other 5G applications? In short – yes! “The recent development of generative AI can be very positively relevant for mobile network operators.” premium connectivity is essential for AI uses cases, from AI wearables to instant language translation on calls.

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) was also touched on. Here, Barry explained that 5G has allowed more than 50% of operators to launch FWA. 5G FWA can not only provide high speeds, but guaranteed speeds. This is thanks to the larger capabilities of the 5G network. Moving forward, Huawei thinks that FWA will be an ultimate broadband solution, not a temporary one, because 5.5G can provide FWA 1Gbps speeds – which is fibre like.

Moving away from the consumer segment of the market and onto enterprise, Barry notes how 5G for enterprise is set to be a huge growth engine, with the number of 5G private networks (excluding China) has doubled, and connections increasing by 5 times as of 2023. Operators must be able to provide the 5G to the use cases with wide area private networks, which will feature lightweight use cases in areas like mobile VPN, healthcare and transport. Secondly, the campus private network, which is more difficult) 5G with SLA becomes key part of workflows in sectors including mining, port, manufacturing, healthcare, oil and gas.

Shaun was then asked on his opinions of both 5.5G and AI. He emphasises that networks are where the money in the industry will be made, and for this, 5G and the evolution of 5G is essential and partnership will be needed

Watch the full interview here:

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