MWC 2011: China Mobile Wants Better Wi-Fi

China Mobile Chairman Wang Jiauzhou called for improvements in the Wi-Fi experience in a keynote speech in Barcelona

Michelle Donegan, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

February 15, 2011

1 Min Read
MWC 2011: China Mobile Wants Better Wi-Fi

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2011 -- Wang Jiauzhou, chairman of China Mobile Communications Corp. , the world's largest mobile operator by subscribers, kicked off the keynote session on Tuesday morning here in Barcelona by declaring the significance of Wi-Fi for boosting capacity and coverage in mobile broadband networks.

Given the increasingly important role Wi-Fi will play in cellular networks, Wang urged the wireless industry and device makers to make the experience better by adding more embedded Wi-Fi functionality into handsets and simplifying the user authentication process. (See Wireless Operators Embrace Wi-Fi as Their Own.)

The proliferation of smartphones and the introduction of tablets and dongles is causing explosive growth in data traffic on mobile networks, he said. "Operators are struggling to cope with their existing systems."

"Operators cannot cope no matter how much they try to expand capacity with 2G and 3G networks," Wang said. "Extending Wi-Fi coverage has proved to be a very important supplement to cellular networks. It can effectively alleviate data traffic [congestion]."China Mobile plans to have deployed 1 million Wi-Fi hot spots throughout China in the next three years, he said.

But using Wi-Fi access as a release valve for data traffic on cellular networks is more than a matter of just rolling out hot spots, he said, and specified two key areas where change is needed.

"I urge our handset manufacturers to provide embedded Wi-Fi functionality to make it the default function," he said. "Also, the authentication process is inconvenient. Easy Wi-Fi authentication is essential."

Wang also noted that China Mobile is in discussions with KT Corp. and NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) to work on international Wi-Fi roaming.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Michelle Donegan

Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry on both sides of the Pond for the past twenty years.

Her career began in Chicago in 1993 when Telephony magazine launched an international title, aptly named Global Telephony. Since then, she has upped sticks (as they say) to the UK and has written for various publications, including Communications Week International, Total Telecom, Light Reading, Telecom Titans and more.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like