ITU Telecom World: 4G/5G FWA Can Drive National Broadband Plans


Huawei’s WTTx brings 50% of the world’s unconnected population within reach of the digital world.

During the ITU Telecom World 2019 event, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, and Huawei hosted a session on fixed wireless access (FWA).

At the session, an in-depth discussion was held on the proactive role of wireless broadband access technology in national broadband development. Doreen Bogdan, Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, and Pinky Kehana, Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, delivered keynote speeches.

The CEO of SAMENA Telecommunications Council, General Director of Mozambique Communications Regulatory Authority, CTO of PPF Group, and President of Huawei wireless to the x (WTTx) all shared their views on how wireless technologies can help narrow the connection gap.

The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development aims to achieve global connectivity by the end of 2025. Various countries and suppliers are redefining broadband and exploring how networks should develop to meet growing data demands.

Almost every country achieved progress in ICT access and use according to the ITU’s 2017 ICT Development Index (IDI); however, a large ICT development gap still exists between developed and developing countries. Therefore, major countries have incorporated the popularization of broadband networks and improvement of broadband applications into their national broadband strategies. These countries emphasize universal broadband services and broadband investment increases for vulnerable groups and regions. Representatives from various industries agreed that policy support as well as innovative technologies and solutions, which address the gap in broadband connections and solve network capability challenges, are required to achieve sustainable broadband development by 2025.

4G/5G FWA is a new technology that expands broadband connections. This solution can upgrade broadband from low-speed to high-speed, meeting home broadband requirements in various scenarios, and becoming an alternative to fiber to the home (FTTH). With the development of mobile broadband (MBB), the penetration rate in most developed countries exceeds 100%, which enables these countries to use 4G and 5G infrastructure for fixed broadband services. This helps connect the unconnected and accelerates low-speed broadband services cost-effectively, resolving the challenges of rural coverage and low-speed copper upgrades. 4G/5G FWA is also in line with the ITU’s advocacy for using diversified innovative broadband access modes to bring digital to every person, home, and organization.

The rapid development of MBB closely correlates with social and economic growth. Ritchie Peng, CMO of Huawei Wireless Network Product Line, commented that “Huawei has always been a leader in the 4G/5G FWA industry. WTTx, Huawei’s first FWA solution launched in 2015, features small investments, fast deployment, wide coverage, and a fiber-like experience. Currently, Huawei has deployed WTTx services on more than 200 networks in over 120 countries, serving more than 50 million households. The latest WTTx enhanced solution, “Wireless Fiber”, provides a fiber-like experience and will become an alternative to FTTH. Huawei constantly engages in innovation to bring mobile Internet access and technologies to those in need. We believe that technological innovation can make our lives better. As a way of contributing to the UN’s goals of sustainable development, we aim to ensure the connectivity of everyone.

FWA panel discussion during ITU Telecom World 2019

Huawei’s vision is to bring digital to every person, home, and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. The WTTx solution enables households as well as small and medium-sized enterprises to access high-speed Internet services without optical fibers. WTTx is a powerful solution that quickly adapts to rapidly increasing data traffic and narrows the digital divide between urban and rural areas. It is also key to implementing national broadband plans.