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Solving the Rubik's Cube of mobile broadband

Posted: 11 Jan 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile broadband? network? Long Term Evolution?

Fox: Huawei encourages and supports exploration of new business models, and the adoption of intelligent systems and future technologies.

It takes exceptional spatial intelligence and nimble fingers to resolve the three-dimensional, six-colored, many-faceted complexity of a Rubik's Cube. The intricacies of selecting, organizing and integrating the multiple variables of a mobile broadband network present operators with similar challenges. Resolving the selection and effective working relationship of several independent factors to best possible effect is the objective. How to correctly bring all elements into perfect alignment is the puzzle.

Like a Rubik's Cube contest, operators are also subject to the restraints and pressure of time. Based on unprecedented consumer demand the mobile broadband market is poised for explosive growth within the next few years. Huawei predicts mobile subscribers will total more than five billion by 2013, and more than two billion of these will be mobile broadband subscribers. These increasingly sophisticated consumers will expect high reliability and equal access in what will be a completely mobile networked world.

Realizing the tremendous business opportunities of ubiquitous broadband is clearly critical to establishing and maintaining a future competitive edge. However, operators will first need to overcome challenges introduced by irregular development in four areasservices and applications, terminals/devices, pricing, and networks. Unless properly addressed, these facets increase the difficulties of managing exponential increases in information demand and network capacities; making efficient monetizing of offerings even harder to resolve. Suddenly, a Rubik's Cube appears as simplistic child's play in comparison with the puzzle confronting the mobile broadband industry.

Meeting the demands
Consumers have come to expect a more personalized mobile broadband experience. Technological innovations, particularly Web 2.0 and the development of widgets, have enriched mobile broadband services by improving interactive experiences and enabling traditional enterprise and Internet applications on mobile devices. In order to achieve true Internet openness, future services and service platforms must now be reshaped into an open cooperative ecosystem providing a personalized, community oriented, and user-generated content business model.

Consumers are also clamoring for the latest innovations in mobile devices. The success of Apple's iPhone and iPod touch-based App Stores represents the tip of a volcanically-dynamic digital content sales opportunity. In coming years, we can expect the emergence of many new intelligent devices accommodating increasingly intuitive platforms, and enhanced man to machine and machine to machine interaction. Revolutionary change and tremendous opportunity also represent added dilemmas for successful development of mobile terminal business within a burgeoning industry chain.

Booming market
Accurately predicting and launching an optimal pricing strategy from the outset creates yet another moving target for operators. Informa Telecoms & Media predicts that, from 2008 to 2013, global mobile data network traffic will grow more than 15x, while revenue will grow by only 83 percent during the same period. The imbalance of this equation positions operators on the down-side of a dominant trend. According to Huawei's analysis of current networks, IP network traffic is unevenly distributed; a few bandwidth-hungry services, mainly P2P, occupy 50 to 80 percent of traffic, while a small proportion of users, from 5 to 20 percent, consume 70 to 80 percent of the available bandwidth.

In addition, infrastructure requirements for mobile broadband, such as higher network construction and transmission costs and spectrum resource restrictions, go far beyond those of fixed broadband. To correct the imbalance, operators must adopt advanced technology capable of decreasing the cost per megabit. At the same time, these providers must also exchange monthly flat-rate, unlimited access strategies for more flexible and affordable pricing and packaging strategies: going beyond traditional modes of charging end-users (forward charging), by incorporating chargeback for service providers (including e-commerce transaction, advertisement, and rental fees).

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