CANCUN, Mexico, July 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Huawei hosted the Latin America ICT Congress (LATAM ICT Congress) with the support of GSMA Intelligence and ITU. The event gathered network operators, industry organizations, and equipment vendors from across the region to discuss "The Road of 5G: Lighting Up Digital LATAM" and exchange ideas on how 5G can develop rapidly and provide value for customers across Latin America.
Cullen Xu, Vice President of Huawei Wireless Network 5G Product Line, spoke at the event, noting that cross-generation experience will serve as the foundation for 5G business success, and that high-bandwidth Massive MIMO is the key for operators to build high-quality 5G networks.
We are now in the third year of 5G commercial rollout. Globally, more than 200 operators have deployed 5G commercial networks, bringing 5G services to over 700 million users. Multi-antenna and high-bandwidth technologies have driven a 5 to 10 times improvement in cross-generation experience, and this setup has become the standard configuration that most operators depend on when building high-quality 5G networks. In leading 5G markets, operators have made 5G coverage seamless throughout urban and suburban areas within a remarkably short period of time. Users have been able to enjoy a cross-generation experience, and operators have been able to upgrade their services and achieve flourishing business.
In China, operators have deployed high-bandwidth TDD with Massive MIMO on a large scale to improve performance tenfold, encouraging 4G users and traffic to move to 5G networks. More than 30% of mobile data traffic is now on 5G networks, contributing to 30% data of usage (DOU) growth and 10% increase in average Revenue Per User (ARPU). In the Middle East, operators have been focusing on 5G FWA since the unveiling of 5G development, in order to provide a fiber-like experience. There are currently 15 5G FWA networks in operation, and FWA users are expected to exceed 1.2 million by 2022. Compared with eMBB, FWA increases ARPU by two to three times per line and DOU by five to ten times. As a result, 5G FWA has helped operators boost their revenue at the initial stage of 5G development.
As Latin American countries continue to license 5G spectrum, 5G will soon experience high-speed growth in the continent. Xu mentioned that the global 5G terminal ecosystem has matured, with more than 1300 types of terminals available, and the prices dropping as low as USD150. The number of 5G users in Latin America will increase rapidly, driven by the global 5G industry chain, and is projected to exceed 30% of total users by 2025.
Standout 5G performance has facilitated rapid development in the HD video, short video, and AR/VR sectors. In Latin America, video services have gone mainstream, with short video apps like TikTok and Kwai garnering widespread popularity in major markets such as Mexico and Brazil. As of November 2021, there were more than 112 million monthly active TikTok users in those two countries alone. It’s become clear that the continued deployment of 5G networks will further boost user traffic and provide value for operators.
Since the inter-site distances tend to be large in Latin American, Huawei has developed MetaAAU to help such operators improve coverage while saving energy. Innovative hardware and software contribute to 30% improvement in uplink and downlink coverage and 30% reduction in energy consumption. Antenna installation space is often limited for 5G networks in Latin America, and thus Huawei has launched a full lineup of 64T BladeAAU Pro products. Due to the presence of passive and active antennas within one box, a single device is able to support all sub-6 GHz bands, which helps operators simplify 5G deployment while meeting the needs of the next 5 to 10 years.
"5G will flourish in Latin America and create value beyond our wildest expectations. In a word, investing in 5G is investing in the future," Xu concluded.