'Uncertainty' is top telco challenge

Joseph Waring
12 Jun 2014

The biggest challenges for telcos is to manage uncertainty, said Ryan Ding, Huawei’s president of products & solutions.

Speaking at the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai yesterday, Ding noted that the industry couldn’t have predicted the rise of OTT and M2M services.

“So the key in the future is to build flexible networks because mobile operators can’t precisely predict future traffic. A digital flood is coming, which requires huge short-term investments while there will be slow growth in the long term. Operators need to be able to balance these two trends.”

He asked if telcos have met customers' needs? “Is 3.6 billion unique mobile subscribers good enough? I don’t think so. We have only provided basis connectivity to most people.”

In the future, he said, people will be able to check on their loved ones and homes when they are traveling. “You will never miss a popular movie or football game. How can we make that happen?”

The answer is better networks, which eliminate distance and waiting.

He called on governments to proactively drive public policy – i.e. NBN initiatives and more open, technology neutral spectrum policies – and foster the rise of the sharing economy, which he added “is not quite there yet”.

He said that telcos globally face a spectrum deficit of 500 to 1,000 MHz by 2020, which increases the need for players to collaborate and use spectrum more efficiently. “A significant gap exists today between the spectrum that’s currently available and estimated future demand. Despite this, many governments and policy makers around the world still view spectrum as a cash cow.”

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