A fully connected world is approaching faster than ever, with digital infrastructure driving both economic and social progress. With increasing demand for personalized and diversified services, emerging markets represent tremendous new opportunities for the world's telecom operators.
Addressing challenges inherent in driving growth in emerging markets
According to the ICT Development Index released by the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the majority of emerging markets are in developing nations, with a total of 103 countries and a population of 4.7 billion people. This represents virtually unlimited potential for operators to achieve business growth. However, a lack of solid infrastructure and strong business foundations within these markets, means operators face major challenges as they look to harness new revenue opportunities.
Firstly, operators frequently encounter difficulties in acquiring sites to build infrastructure in emerging markets, while site construction is time-consuming and costly. Annual site loss rate is as high as 5%, which results in poor indoor coverage in urban areas and compromised user experience. With a critical shortage of spectrum and related high costs, as well as a lack of fiber optic resources, there are significant challenges in expanding the infrastructure.
Secondly the penetration rate of smart devices is typically less than 50% and in some underdeveloped areas can be lower than 30%. With estimates showing that smart device penetration will remain low in emerging markets in the long-term, this severely hinders the development of mobile broadband (MBB) user bases.
Thirdly, the traditional voice market tends to be saturated and operators need core content such as video, music, and games to attract users and grow subscribers.
Lastly, inefficient operation and management affects operators business efficiency. It typically takes users one to two months to establish a home broadband connection. 70% of the setup works are manual and require three trips to a service center. While in developed markets, this generally takes two days with no need to pay a physical visit.
Although emerging markets face many challenges, as operators embrace digital technologies there are enormous opportunities to achieve profitable growth due to population changes and network traffic demands.
In terms of demographic changes, according to research results the population of emerging markets will continue to grow by approximately 5% in the next three years. With vibrant economic growth and continued urbanization, many countries have huge population bases coupled with increasing average disposable incomes.
On growing data traffic, as per a recent survey there are still 3.9 billion people around the world who have not connected to the Internet, and 3 billion of them are in emerging markets. There are 1.1 billion households worldwide without access to fixed broadband, including 800 million in emerging markets. In addition, with pay-per-view video, the Internet of Things (IoT), and enterprise cloud services still in their infancy in emerging markets, there is enormous growth potential compared to developed markets.
Huawei enables ICT industry development in emerging markets
To enable operators to seize opportunities in the digital economy of emerging markets, Huawei’s strategic approach has three pillars: supporting national ICT policies, building a healthy ecosystem, and creating end-to-end business solutions.
With a healthy regulatory and business framework in place, ICT industries in emerging markets can drive enormous advancement and growth. Huawei works proactively with countries in developing their national ICT plans, refining a long term roadmap relevant to the market’s needs in both the short and long term.
Another core strategy centers on building a sustainable ecosystem to facilitate the digital transformation of the telecom industry. Huawei’s expertise has supported operators to leverage their market resources to create ecosystems that are beneficial for all stakeholders. Huawei has already achieved significant progress in this area, particularly in site, device, and FTTx alliances and bridging the gap between affordable devices and content providers.
Huawei aims to maximize the value of operators' networks and unleash site potential through innovative multi-sector and multi-channel solutions that leverage existing site capabilities. Agile site solutions adapted to specific deployment scenarios also help to simplify the process of site acquisition. This results in improved coverage and capacity for mobile networks, leading to better overall site investment and ROI. On rural networks, the investment return ratio (IRR) is significantly improved through the rapid deployment of wide coverage sites.
By enabling operators to leverage big data to accurately identify potential customers and high-value users, Huawei’s innovative solutions are helping operators to gain new customers and migrate existing ones to new services. For example, with dynamic subscriber profiles (DSP) providing real-time positioning of user locations, operators can recommend to users nearby stores where they can obtain 4G devices and automatically activate 4G SIM cards. Huawei also helps operators to develop high-value business and encourage users to make regular use of data services. This is achieved through the aggregation of local content from the ecosystem and by supporting localization of business operations.
The home broadband market is a promising sector offering operators new businesses and growth opportunities. WTTx and FTTx enable operators to rapidly deploy home broadband services, provide seamless connection with household Wi-Fi, and lay the foundation for other services such as smart home solutions.
Huawei provides end-to-end indoor solutions for digitization that are developed to meet market demand and end user needs. These products and services satisfy consumer and enterprise user requirements for indoor communications, added-value applications, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Fully connected indoor spaces are central to enabling the indoor digital economy.
Helping operators’ improve their operating efficiency is a priority for Huawei. Through consulting services Huawei provides operators in emerging markets with advanced business processes available and solutions for automated broadband service provisioning, helping operators to continually improve efficiency and reduce OPEX.
Huawei enhances the sustainable development of emerging markets by building on extensive new capabilities
Huawei aims to build an open and collaborative ecosystem founded on shared success. This involves promoting robust growth throughout the ecosystem, and ensuring benefits are shared with partners throughout the industry value chain. Huawei has a long-standing policy of "Digging In and Widening Out". This means the company is focused on continually uncovering its own potential by enhancing the value of solutions and reducing costs, while also promoting the robust development of the industry by collaborating closely with partners and offering customer value.
Huawei is dedicated to helping operators build ubiquitous networks and augmenting their business and network planning. The company provides business and network consulting services to address operators’ business needs, while putting processes in place to ensure well-managed product offerings. With highly efficient and innovative products and solutions, Huawei is supporting operators to deploy and maintain networks in an affordable manner, which enables them to increase user stickiness and grow sustainably in emerging markets.