WTTx promotes business growth for mobile operators, increasing the broadband penetration rate

Huawei Technologies
24 Jun 2016

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The continuous evolution of LTE technologies has increased cell throughput to dozens or even hundreds of megabits per second. This achievement allows the wireless broadband experience to be similar to the optical fiber connection experience, putting forward “wireless-to-the-x” (WTTx) solutions.

WTTx allows wide network coverage and fast deployment, which are default advantages of wireless technologies. These advantages help operators significantly shorten their network deployment period and reduce network construction costs. A user can enjoy high-speed broadband services merely by turning on a CPE obtained at the customer service center, without the need to wait for installation by engineers. This also helps reduce the O&M costs of operators.

As indicated by Mao Dun, Vice President of Huawei Wireless Network Marketing & Solution Sales Dept, WTTx business models have already been verified sufficiently and adopted by mobile operators to provide home broadband services. These models provide mobile operators with a new business growth point. The blue ocean of the WTTx market lies in countries and areas where fixed broadband (FBB) networks are not fully developed. For example, the FBB penetration rate is less than 10% in the Philippines. Globe Telecom has used WTTx to operate home broadband services, achieving revenue growth of more than 10% over three consecutive years. If Globe developed legacy FBB networks, the operator would need four years to achieve the same amount of business growth that it achieved within one year using wireless home broadband. The collaborative development of WTTx and FBB can accelerate user base expansion and the return on investment (ROI) for home broadband services.

Global Telecom Business (GTB), an authoritative media outlet in the telecom sector, organized the GTB Telecoms Innovation Awards 2016 in May of this year. During this summit, the commercial WTTx network jointly deployed by Globe Telecom and Huawei was given the Mobile Infrastructure Innovation award. The panel of judges for the award said that Globe and Huawei have made innovations and contributions to bridging the digital divide, constructing wireless home broadband networks, and performing business operations. The panel also stated that WTTx greatly shortened the network construction period and reduced construction costs, offering new business opportunities for wireless broadband services of operators.

In countries and areas making enormous FBB advancements, WTTx and FBB are mutually beneficial. In densely populated developed areas, fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) solutions are used for home broadband access. In sparsely populated areas, such as rural areas, mountainous areas, and forests, WTTx solutions are commonly used for home broadband access. WTTx also plays a very important role in the national broadband strategy. In suburban areas or small towns with medium population density, operators deploy WTTx in the early home broadband development stage as a probe to explore the market. After the home broadband user base reaches a certain level, operators adopt fiber to the home (FTTH) solutions for accurate home broadband deployment. In this way, WTTx and FTTH exert a cooperative effect, reducing investment risks and improving investment returns.

ITU recently released a report indicating that the home internet penetration rate was only 34% in 2015, and nearly 1 billion families were not connected to the network. WTTx can speed up network deployment, reduce network construction costs, accelerate ROI, and reduce barriers to home broadband access. This technology enables more families and people to enjoy the internet, having bridged the digital divide.

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