The Carrier Challenge:
Transforming for Video, IoT, and Cloud
The rapid confluence of telcos, service providers, and content providers is creating upheaval for traditional carriers, as mobile customers demand high-quality video anywhere and everywhere. Huawei presents a comprehensive approach to evolving the network, embracing the cloud and the Internet of Things, mastering the challenges of 2K and 4K video, and leveraging digital business processes to deliver superlative customer experiences.
SECTION 1: TRANSFORM THE BUSINESS
NFV HAS ENTERED THE FAST LANE: CORE NETWORKS WILL BE THE FIRST TO TAKE A STROLL IN THE CLOUDS
Transformation abounds in every corner of the ICT market. For telecom operators, this is the worst of times, but also the best of times. On the one hand, operators are finding it difficult to adjust to the new rules of the game introduced by mobile Internet, especially the sharp rise of over-the-top (OTT) content that's crashing up against them in massive waves, disrupting existing value chains. Services have increased without an increase in revenue, and operators have fallen into an unprecedented dilemma—the gradual decline into providing dumb pipe. On the other hand, as we approach a world where everything is fully connected, new technology and services are popping up everywhere. While this presents new challenges to operators, it also ushers in a world of new development opportunities.
Like a ship sailing against the tide, operators need to keep forging ahead lest they get swept away in the current. In the face of a changing industry, operators have no choice but to embrace transformation, the changing shape of user landscapes, and the restructuring of networks and services that ride in its wake. Of course, network experience will determine the success or failure of an operator's business, and for this reason network transformation has become a primary focal point across many aspects of operators' digital transformation. As representatives of the future of network evolution, network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) have become the rallying point for operators in the midst of network transformation; they are expected to offer great value.
Accelerating Operator Transformation: NFV Enables the Restructuring of Fully Connected Networks
Operators have their own urgent reasons to transform. Add to those the exigencies of creating a Better Connected World, which requires comprehensive restructuring of communications networks, and the path forward is clear: operators need to start transforming their networks without a moment's delay. NFV is an important enabling technology for restructuring operators' networks, architecture, operations, and services. It aims to decouple software from the hardware of traditional telecom equipment, using standardized IT hardware platforms and virtualization technology to replace the private dedicated network element equipment in telecom networks. NFV will help increase the flexibility of network operations, improve management and maintenance efficiency, and cut costs.
Operators have already recognized the importance and huge commercial value of NFV in the network evolution process. By consensus, they've placed it as the cornerstone in the strategic development of their future networks. Back in October 2012, 13 different operators, including AT&T, British Telecom, Orange, and Deutsche Telekom, selected the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) as the home of the Industry Specification Group for Network Function Virtualization (NFV-ISG) to discuss NFV architecture and technology. Committed to promoting network function virtualization, the NFV-ISG released a series of white papers proposing goals and action plans for this new technology.
At the present, the world's leading operators have each come up with their own network transformation strategies based on NFV and SDN: AT&T launched their Domain 2.0 plan aimed at migrating from hardware-centric to software-centric network infrastructure, and restructuring its services on cloud-based open networks that expose network capabilities to third parties. Their goal is to virtualize 75% of their networks by 2020. Telefonica launched their UNICA project, which is devoted to building SDN-capable networks and deploying cloud-based telecom services. It aims to satisfy the agile deployment needs of telecom services and universal cloud services, give users on-demand access to these services, and simplify network control. At the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China Mobile announced its NovoNet 2020 vision. Their goal is to fuse new SDN and NFV technology to build a next-generation network that enables flexible architecture with open interfaces, scalable capacity, and global resource scheduling.
In the future, the size of the NFV market is worth looking forward to. In the NFV market research report released in July 2015, IHS Infonetics revealed that the NFV market will grow from US$950 million in 2014 to US$11.6 billion in 2019, with a CAGR of 65%. Standards organizations, open source communities, operators, and equipment vendors are working closely together to collectively advance the NFV value chain. After more than three years of growth, NFV technology is maturing, and has entered a period of rapid development.
Core Networks Leading the Way to the Cloud: Commercial Value Goes Beyond Cutting Costs
The NFV era is fully on its way. However, operator networks are immense and their service scenarios are extremely complex. Which scenario will be the first to embrace NFV? In response to this question, the main participants in the value chain, including major operators and equipment vendors, have come to the same initial conclusion about NFV development: It will begin with core networks. First the control plane, then signaling, data, and finally the media plane—core networks will be the first stop along the path to full NFV adoption.
As for operators evolving their core networks with NFV, industry experts point out that the switching and control center network is the primary feature of a telecom plant. After the move to cloud networks, core networks must continue to offer carrier-grade services, such as high reliability and performance, and fault recovery, in addition to an open architecture. To achieve this, the core network must adopt a cloud-based software design.
To start with, operators need to build agile networks. Compared to the rapid service innovation and responsiveness of OTT players, operators take far longer to introduce new services or capabilities due to their traditional network architecture—and by no small amount. NFV/SDN enables operators to integrate the scalable resources of cloud-based infrastructure, including SDN and NFV service elasticity. The result is unified scheduling, network coordination, and VNFs based on service requests. Service instances increase in response to growth (and decrease during periods of slow growth) for automated end-to-end resource deployment, schedule flexibility, and faster time to market.
To achieve this, operators need to adopt advanced cloud-based software architecture that supports the separation of programs and data. With service state storage in an independent distributed database, service processing units can scale to meet service needs, flexibly adding or releasing virtual machine resources. And in the process of scaling up or down, the service at hand won't experience any loss whatsoever.
Next, operators need to build smarter and more automated networks. Currently, the following trends are taking hold: network virtualization of data centers, decoupling software from hardware, network personalization, introduction of massive third-party services, as well as auto-orchestration and auto-scaling of services and resources. All these require networks that are maintainable, serviceable, and operable.
To make this happen, we need a unified smart orchestration system that can:
- Enable unified scheduling and dynamic updates of networks, resources, and network elements based on different services and policies.
- Automatically integrate and consolidate operations to automate service orchestration and maintenance, slashing workloads and reducing maintenance complexity.
- Monitor service KPIs in real time – When KPIs deteriorate to preset thresholds, relevant alarms should be generated, and automatic recovery procedures should begin.
- Support end-to-end fault localization within an environment where hardware and software have been decoupled. The system needs to consolidate and analyze security information (e.g., logs, alarms, and output exception) from each component to ensure rapid fault localization and threat forecasting.
No matter how operators transform their networks, they must have a multi-layer strategy for reliability, backed by innovative technology, to deliver 99.999 percent carrier-grade reliability after adopting NFV.
Finally, operators need to create more services and value through cloud-based networks. In their current state, operators have little chance of beating OTT players in terms of innovative service applications. However, they have accumulated a great number of valuable digital assets over a long period of time. Therefore, it's critical for them to figure out a way to unleash the incredible potential of their traditional pipe resources.
Operators can employ emerging NFV/SDN technologies to flexibly integrate their pipe capabilities, provide services—such as VNF as a Service—directly to third parties by exposing their network capabilities, create a brand-new ecosystem, and increase their own revenue. To this end, operators need support in offering third parties a one-stop platform that provides exposure to network capabilities, including a DevOps mode that supports the entire service lifecycle, from development to maintenance. Moving forward, this platform will need to encapsulate communication capabilities—including voice, video, conferencing, SMS, and access to location, bandwidth, and data—into Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Software Development Kits (SDKs). This will accelerate service innovation and release, and create an environment conducive to win-win outcomes between operators, their partners, and even OTT players.
Here it's worth noting that existing telecom networks cannot meet all of the varied requirements that each and every industry has for network capabilities. For example, the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) requires ultralow latency; video streaming sites need high bandwidth; and banks need the highest possible level of network reliability. NFV and SDN technologies enable Virtual Private Network (VPN) "slices" that support the unique communication characteristics of each enterprise or industry. In other words, traditional telecom networks can be divided into thousands of network slices, and each slice will meet the custom needs of individual enterprises or industries. Such a model, which could be coined as Network Slice as a Service, would help operators better meet user needs in different personal, household, business, and specific industry scenarios.
Deployment by Tier-1 Operators: Vodafone Launched the World's First Cloud-based VoLTE Commercial Network
Above and beyond reduced OPEX, the true value of NFV is found in its ability to drive more revenue with an agile, smart, and value-added cloud-based network. And when it comes to NFV deployment, operators are no longer just talking the talk, but walking the walk. They have accumulated valuable experience in NFV deployment, and are ready to move forward.
Although it's a leading global telecom operator, Vodafone has felt the impact of OTT services on its traditional telecom services such as voice and SMS. NFV effectively addresses this challenge, paving the way for Vodafone to build smart pipes, optimize networks, improve management efficiency, and make its networks smarter and more controllable—all while slashing maintenance costs. In addition, NFV enables Vodafone to truly open up its underlying networks, and strongly promote the innovation and flexible deployment of Internet services.
As early as 2013, Vodafone announced its One Cloud strategy of moving everything to the cloud. They adopted this transformation strategy not only to challenge OTT services, but more importantly to adapt to the explosive growth of data traffic in the Internet era, deliver better experience to its users, and shift its role from a pipe provider to a service provider.
Launching the world's first cloud-based VoLTE commercial network is a key step in Vodafone's One Could strategy. In 2014, Vodafone partnered with Huawei to build an NFV, cloud-based VoLTE network in Italy. Later in July 2015, Vodafone chose Huawei to help its Italian subsidiary with the commercial launch of the world's first cloud-based VoLTE network. Their successful delivery was an important milestone in the global operator market's "shift-to-the-cloud" transformation, drawing great attention across the industry. In this project, Huawei provided Vodafone with a cloud-based IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network, and, as the primary systems integrator, delivered a vertically integrated, end-to-end system with a horizontal service layer—all the while guaranteeing carrier-grade capability over a cloud-based network. Both parties developed the CloudHealth tool kit in Huawei's NFV/SDN open lab. In a mirrored network environment, researchers injected simulated errors into the system. As anticipated, CloudHealth automatically detected sub-optimal performance and began automatic system recovery. Previously, merely detecting and localizing a fault would have taken four hours after the problem had already occurred. With their new system in place, Vodafone could be warned of potential system-level faults a full three hours in advance of system failure.
NFV Pilots on Live Networks in China: Experience Worth Learning From
Chinese operators have also been hit hard by the sudden surge of OTT services. NFV has gradually become a must-have technology for operators in the midst of network transformation. In September 2015, China Mobile began the pilot deployment of a cloud-based core, kickstarting a period of tests applying NFV to live networks in China. In this pilot project, Huawei, together with the Shaanxi and Anhui Branches of China Mobile, performed a comprehensive set of verifications with different focal points, and also performed a small-scale field trial of the cloud-based network. The small-scale trial was aimed at verifying cloud-based networking, technical specifications, service capabilities, maintenance, and full lifecycle management, laying a solid foundation for large-scale trial and commercial use of cloud-based core networks in the future.
On December 10, 2015, China Mobile worked with Huawei, HP, and Inspur to make the first VoLTE call over China Mobile's pilot NFV-based network. This cloud-based VoLTE call demonstrated that the IMS system deployed in a multi-vendor hardware environment had successfully connected with a live network, setting yet another major milestone in the development and application of practical NFV technology.
After this, China Mobile kept up the pace of innovation with its first cross-province high-definition video call based on its pilot NFV networks in Shaanxi and Anhui.
Vodafone, China Mobile and other tier-1 operators are actively piloting NFV technology, providing useful reference for other operators going through the trials and tribulations of NFV deployment. NFV-based networks aren't going to happen overnight. NFV is a key enabling technology in the network evolution process. It is difficult, complicated, and requires operators to step back and fully consider how NFV-based networks align with their network transformation and all-around development strategies. Because of this, we still have a long way to go before we realize full, large-scale commercial deployment of NFV-based networks. Nevertheless, the foundation is already there, and we must all continue to forge ahead.
CLOUD TRANSFORMATION, REFORMING YOUR BUSINESS
MICHAEL LEE, SR. MARKETING MANAGER, HUAWEI
The digital era is here. With it come a host of exciting new technologies: cloud computing, mobile broadband, ultra-broadband, IoT, Big Data… These powerful forces are reshaping entire industries and the way we live our lives.
Telecom operators across the world are now repositioning themselves as ICT service providers. Those that succeed will have access to vast new markets, as ICT becomes a vital link in every sector's value chain.
But telecom operators will have to make radical changes. The digital user demands a ROADS experience: Real-time, On-demand, All-online, DIY, and Social. To adapt, operators must change their business models, improve O&M, build ecosystems, add new infrastructure, develop organizations and processes, and learn new skills.
Cloud computing will be a key driver of this transformation. IDC forecasts that cloud computing will be one of 2016's IT megatrends. IT will shift from being a support service to a core production platform, as operators revitalize their closed, low-efficiency networks and shorten time-to-market (TTM). Open, agile, cloud-based networks will give them the power to seize swiftly-moving market opportunities (e.g., digital and cloud services).
As of December 2015, more than 20 top global operators – including Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, MTN, China Telecom, and China Mobile – have begun cloud transformation.
The first step is to integrate isolated data centers into a single agile, efficient, scalable, and open distributed cloud data center (DC2
), using virtualization and cloud technologies. Operators can then release open standard application platform interfaces (APIs), which will support the development of resource pools for B2B applications, traditional telecom services, and support services. These resources can be dynamically deployed and expanded to meet demand, for highly efficient use of IT resources.
architecture, operators can roll out new services and applications fast. TTM for traditional operators is usually 2–3 months, from procurement order to hardware installation and software deployment. With DC2
, hardware can be planned and deployed in advance. Rollout of a new service becomes a simple case of software installation/upgrade, and can be completed in just 1–2 days. In fact, we can foresee a time when new applications can go online at the click of a button. Operators will spot opportunities, find partners, and launch new services entirely online.
Cloud computing can also revolutionize O&M productivity. Today, every department and every region needs its own O&M team, with inevitable variation in ability and quality. As cloud infrastructure streamlines O&M, the number of servers a single engineer can handle will rise from ten to hundreds, or even thousands!
Cloud is redefining the way operators do business. It is powering the digital transformation. And it is carrying all of us towards a Better Connected World.
RE-ARCHITECTING INFRASTRUCTURE AND OPERATIONS TO ENABLE NEW GROWTH
User experience is critical to retaining users, attracting new users, and increasing their lifetime value. In the future, from the user's perspective, the difference between services offered by carriers as opposed to those offered by Internet companies will be negligible. In terms of experience, however, there will still be a massive gap.
Changing Mindsets: Operating Models Based on User Experience
We talk about user experience every day, but what exactly does user experience mean? It can be broken into two different types: the experience of using a service, and the experience of obtaining it. Making phone calls, sending text messages, and browsing the web are all experiences related to using a service. On the other hand, user experience while obtaining a service includes factors such as how a user found and purchased the service, how the transaction was completed, and the quality of after-sales service. To an extent, user experience while obtaining a given service can often be more important than the experience of using the service itself. Tedious transaction processes and lengthy provisioning can scare users away.
In order to benchmark user expectations for service acquisition, we developed the ROADS concept: as we move forward, users will want an experience that is increasingly Real-time, On-demand, All online, DIY, and Social. ROADS aims to capture the consumer behavior of a generation that has grown up with the Internet over the past twenty years. They are the digital natives that are shaping the future of commerce, and meeting their expectations for user experience is necessary to ensuring sustainable business in the digital era.
When we look at the operating models of telecoms from the perspective of consumer behavior and desired user experience, we find that their IT systems (OSS and BSS) are in need of major transformation; they need to transition from mere internal support systems to production systems that convert operators’ networks, services, content, and other assets into compelling products and service offerings. Furthermore, these products and service offerings must be both accessible and user-friendly. More than simply updating their IT systems, delivering a strong user experience essentially requires a transformation in telecom operations. Starting with user experience as the end goal, they will need to harmonize their operations across organizational structures, processes, IT systems, and infrastructure.
Carriers need to leverage the advanced design principles, operating models, and technological architecture adopted by Internet companies to drive operational transformation in the telecom industry. To begin with, the focus of operations needs to evolve from network-based experience to service-based experience. Second, operating models need to be built on real-time, autonomous systems, rather than manual systems. Finally, carrier's IT systems need to transition from closed architecture to cloud-based Internet architecture.
Infrastructural evolution and operational transformation are highly interdependent. Software-defined infrastructure of the future will set the stage for operational transformation, but will also unearth new challenges. Software-defined architecture will make cloud data centers become the foundation of telecom networks, and also change the way that networks are deployed—from node by node, to layer by layer. These developments present unprecedented challenges to the ecosystem and to existing operating models.
Re-architecting Infrastructure and Operations to Enable New Growth
Infrastructure and operating model re-architecture is driven by user experience, and improved user experience is the most direct form of business value that will result from these efforts. Improving user experience is not an overnight task, however, and re-architecting operations and infrastructure is not a one-off job. Improving overall experience is an accumulation of every single instance of improved consumer experience, and the changes they drive in operations and ICT infrastructure.
The purpose of infrastructure re-architecting is to provide end-users with ICT resources and services that are fast, flexible, and scalable. However, re-architecting is not the same as re-building: while meeting business and customer demands, it's essential that we maximize the use of existing network assets. Based on actual business demands, we have to apply virtualization and software-defined networking in stages to requisite network resources.
When re-architecting ICT infrastructure, cloud data centers (DC) will serve as the foundation. We believe that building a cloud DC is about hybrid management, meaning that we need to build unified cloud management platforms and integrated services that can manage legacy IT resources, as well as DC resources and public cloud IT resources, thereby providing more flexible and resilient IT services.
Using virtualization and software-defined networking to improve the scalability and flexibility of resources, however, cannot take precedence over service continuity, nor can it be done at the price of longer fault resolution times. This introduces new requirements for operation and maintenance. Our goal is to achieve a zero-fault customer experience, real-time service recovery, and fault resolution through rapid, multi-vendor collaboration.
Re-architecting infrastructure and operations to achieve a ROADS experience will be a challenge for carriers. The transformation process is extremely complex, and no single vendor can deliver a complete solution. Carriers need a long-term partner that will work with them, adapt to their strategy, and through integrated services provide solutions that support their current operational needs while paving the way for their mid- to long-term objectives. Working closely with other partners across the industry ecosystem, a long-term partner can help carriers successfully transform to meet new user experience requirements, and create business value.
SECTION 2: EMBRACE VIDEO
VIDEO AS A BASIC SERVICE BRINGS NEW DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES TO CARRIERS
Video service is a growing industry and a new source of revenue. Over the past ten years, new video services have emerged one after another and the industry has developed rapidly. It is estimated that the number of worldwide pay TV subscribers will exceed 1 billion by 2017. Among these, IP video service subscribers will increase from 80 million to 180 million. Moreover, mobile video data usage will increase 24-fold in the next six years, and video services will become an even greater form of communication and recreation.
Thanks to the rapid popularization and low cost of 4K television, set-top boxes, and content, there are now more than sixty carriers providing 4K video as a basic service worldwide. In 2020, video services will account for 70% of mobile data traffic.
Many forward-thinking carriers have proactively formulated distribution strategies and increased their capacity to provide video services. The high-quality experience these services provide has increased consumer spending. For example, China Telecom Sichuan added 1 million new 100 Mbit/s broadband subscribers after introducing 4K television services in 2014. LG U+, the carrier in South Korea to introduce high-definition video services for mobile phones, increased revenue by 50% within three years.
Network Re-architecting: Shifting from Technology-based to Experience-based
Customers care most about video playback performance, which is also the most direct and important benchmark for evaluating video services. There are four main aspects to playback performance: video resolution, loading time, buffering time, and channel or source switching time.
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study shows that viewers begin to abandon videos when they take longer than 2 seconds to load. Every additional second of delay results in approximately 6% more viewers leaving. Fast video loading put stringent requirements on the network. A stable connection with a bandwidth greater than 50 Mbit/s, round-trip delay lower than 20 ms, and packet loss rate under 0.01% is necessary to open a 4K video in less than 1 second. For high-definition mobile videos (1080P), bandwidth with more than10 Mbit/s and round-trip delay lower than 30 ms are required.
This represents a major challenge for traditional networks designed for Web and standard definition television services. As video services move towards 4K on fixed networks and 2K on mobile networks, traditional networks must re-architect themselves with a focus on user experience in order to maintain their service experience and quality of service. This is necessary if they are to continue exerting influence in this competitive industry.
The past ten years have seen change, not only in consumers' demands for video services, but also in the nature of the video services industry as a whole. Over-the-top (OTT) technology has revolutionized the distribution and circulation of content, but has drawbacks by design with regard to providing a video experience and collecting payments. Carriers' advantages specifically lay in their user base and sophisticated payment systems. By integrating these with the content advantages of OTT players, carriers can reconstruct their content value chain.
Carriers are already shifting their focus from infrastructure to user experience, and the rise of 4K will allow carriers to gain a competitive edge through experience-based differentiation. More than fifty carriers worldwide already offer gigabit services, and an increasing number of national regulatory organizations have increased or are planning to increase the threshold speed for broadband Internet. China Telecom Guangdong has announced that its broadband service will start at 50 Mbit/s by 2017; this is an inevitable result of economic development, consumer demand, and market competition.
Video is already a major recreational activity enjoyed by many people. 4K resolution for televisions and 2K for mobile phones will become standard, and multiple screens and increased intelligence will become new directions of development for the video service industry. The maturity of ultra-broadband networks, as well as changes in consumer demand, and the strength of the video services industry's value chain, will bring about exciting new opportunities in the industry. By focusing on the key elements of video service development, carriers will undoubtedly achieve growth and success in this field.
Find out more about Huawei’s industry-leading approach to video delivery:
SECTION 3: EVOLVE THE NETWORK
IOT: COLLABORATION ON CONNECTIONS
The Internet of Things (IoT) is destined to change life and revolutionize every industry.
The integration of IoT into vertical industries is creating a new commercial landscape. Germany’s Industry 4.0, China’s Industrialization and Informatization Program, and America’s Industrial Internet all focus on using ICT technologies to reconstruct traditional industries. They are integrating the physical and digital worlds to simplify business processes, boost productivity, improve products and services, and cultivate innovation.
Imagine a world like this: You’re on the move, and you don’t remember locking your front door. So, you whip out your smartphone to check if you have. You’re not back yet, and your pet will be hungry - you activate video monitoring and start feeding time. A bit of gardening? You remotely control robots to do some weeding and mow your lawn. At dinner time, you decide you want to know where the beef you’re eating came from…IoT will make this kind of life possible.
How will the new industrial revolution achieve such things? By connecting the components of the production system and supply chain system with the IoT. IoT will give easy access to information and maximize productivity and business value.
Key requirements of IoT
Huawei believes that the key five requirements of IoT are intelligent sensors, ubiquitous networks, massive data storage, sharing, and value creation.
Sensors are the basic devices that enable things to be connected and communicate with one another, while ubiquitous networks are the architecture that connects things. According to Huawei's 2015 Global Connectivity Index, much of the world is not covered by networks, and the vast majority of things remain unconnected.
In the next decade or so, there will be around 100 billion connections worldwide. However, different industries have different sensor interfaces and incompatible sensors, making interconnections and interoperations impossible. Our goal is to standardize sensor platforms and make them intelligent, so things can connect and communicate to, ultimately, create more value.
Different connection scenarios have different requirements. For example, super-long battery life is crucial for smart meters, whereas ultra-low latency is a precondition for video surveillance and unmanned driving.
The best solution is to build ubiquitous networks that accommodate all IoT scenarios. Huawei offers a diverse range of access technologies for applications like unmanned driving, smart production, and intelligent meter reading.
The goal of IoT is not to connect things, but to create value. Creating value from data relies on integrating specific industry knowledge, communication languages, and ICT technology. However, partnerships are required: if you want to integrate ICT technologies into the automotive industry, for example, you need to collaborate with automobile manufacturers.
When leveraging data to create value, we must also solve problems with data ownership, security, privacy, and sharing.
Click on infographic to enlarge
The 1+2+1 solution
Huawei is a driver of the new industrial revolution, partnering with industry players to build an IoT ecosystem and cultivate the new industry arena. Focusing on sectors like the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), manufacturing, energy, and smart homes, our 1+2+1 IoT solution integrates ICT into specific industries to stimulate innovation.
The first "1" refers to LiteOS – a real-time, lightweight, open source IoT operating system with a standard platform for developing smart sensors, ultra-low power consumption, and real-time responsiveness.
As an open platform for IoT terminals, LiteOS helps partners develop smart hardware quickly and easily, which promotes standardized smart hardware. Huawei offers online and offline support to help its partners easily develop IoT terminals and apps using LiteOS.
"2" refers to wired and wireless connections. For wired access, we launched an SDN-based agile IoT solution; for wireless access, we offer an innovative eLTE solution oriented towards enterprise applications, and LTE-M for developing cellular IoT.
5G technology will help us deliver ubiquitous IoT with ultra-low delay and faster speeds, with user rates reaching 10 Gbps and 1-ms latency. With 100 billion connections in the future, 5G will be essential for core IoT scenarios like smart driving, Virtual Reality, and smart manufacturing.
The final "1" is a unified IoT management platform centering on cloud computing and big data technologies. The platform manages connections, operations and data to perform tasks such as data collection, storage, security, and value creation. The IoT management platform opens up a wide range of capabilities to different industries, regardless of connection complexity, networking, and data collection technologies.
The platform enables industry partners to quickly develop apps for IoT services, and meets industry customers' personalized service requirements.
By integrating ICT technologies into various industries, Huawei and its industry partners are leading IoT innovation.
A safe and secure production environment is critical for sustainable development in the petrochemical industry. One of Huawei's partners – an oil company – extended Huawei's agile networks and eLTE to its factories and deployed sensors on its networks. The solution helps the company monitor factory environment indicators, such as temperature, in real time. It also supports HD video backhaul for 24/7 remote video surveillance, analysis, and control.
Reports show that energy consumption in buildings accounts for 48 percent of the global total. In Australia, Huawei worked with Optus to cut down power consumption for the University of Melbourne, deploying the agile IoT solution in its buildings and connecting smart sensors to the networks. The solution supports remote perception and control on each floor. As a result, lighting and control power consumption have been slashed by 62.5 percent.
Huawei also collaborated with Vodafone on innovative IoT projects such as automated meter reading across wireless connections. We provided the chips while our partner U Block provided built-in modules for smart meters. Compared to 2G, our innovative Cellar IoT technology boosted coverage performance by 100 times to 20 dB, making basement coverage easier. The number of connections increased to 100,000 per square kilometer, 100 times more than that supported by current 4G networks. We successfully realized ultra-low power consumption, with two AA batteries lasting more than 10 years.
Additionally, Huawei collaborated with SAP to extend network coverage to engineering vehicles. Smart sensors deployed on the vehicles transfer the real-time status of components to SAP's HANA platform via networks deployed by Huawei. The platform analyzes data and detects potential faults with vehicles or components. It sends alerts if necessary, and schedules preventive maintenance in response.
Huawei also offers IoT management platforms for big carriers. The IoT market is huge and fragmented, existing in an enormous, complex ecosystem. The large-scale commercialization of IoT requires an extensive alliance that includes device manufacturers, carriers, ICT vendors, software/app developers, research institutes, and governments. It also requires joint investment and innovation.
Huawei holds key positions in many international IoT organizations, including CIIAII, IIC, AIOTI, oneM2M, IEEE, and OMA. We were lead partner in establishing China’s Sensor Industry Working Committee, and in creating the Industry 4.0 Starfire Team with SAO, NXP and CCID; in Germany, we worked with Fraunhofer and SAP to create global Industry 4.0 sample projects. We’ve also signed strategic cooperation agreements with leading automobile companies to implement IoV.
Huawei believes that collaboration is necessary for IoT to rapidly develop. We will continue to drive the integration of ICT technologies and industry using the 1+2+1 IoV solution.
Together with industry partners, we will fully integrate industrialization and informatization, and execute Industry 4.0. Open collaboration is the key to unlocking a bright future of successive industry innovations.
DIGITIZING WITH HUAWEI TELCO OS
Architecture and application
Huawei's Telco OS, a next-gen digital operations system, is the figurative space shuttle for operators' digital transformation journey. Deployment takes place top-down with focusing on user experience, and building up the core competence through strategic planning and business innovation.
Digital operators aren't just about providing digital communications services. As builders of new, integrated digital ecosystems, they are in fact enablers of the digital economy in multiple contexts, including mobile, cloud, big data, IoT, and social
Our brave new Internetized and digitized world means that operators can no longer rely on fixed, pre-defined products as killer applications.
Because customer requirements continually change, they need to start running flexible business models that provide everything as a service.
Such a model must cater for long-tail applications and customized services, and meet customer requirements ROADS-style. EaaS can be furnished by smart pipelines, digital service enablement, Open Digital Ecosystem Enabler (ODEE), or a mixture of several models.
Building it the digital way
Changes in end-user behavior patterns and experience requirements have triggered a need for total, end-to-end (E2E) digital transformation that spans new operations models and personnel.
Digital transformation requires operators to formulate top-down digital enterprise architecture in three steps: plan at the company level, create new business models, and implement new processes and technical infrastructure.
Under a governance model, the enterprise architecture built by digital operators is set to include strategic objectives and business models. Breathing life into both will be implementation architecture for applications, services, tech, and information. The digital enterprise architecture of telecom operators is abstracted as Three, Two, One.
Three strategic objectives:
- ROADS user experience for consumers, enterprises, partners, and O&M personnel.
- Open Digital Ecosystem Enabler for transformation from traditional communications service providers to digital ecosystem enablers.
- Agile digital operations using IT technology to transform traditional support systems into business enablement and production systems.
- Cloud OS: a cloud-based, virtual platform. Tech like NFV, SDN, and vDC will cloudify and virtualize infrastructure capabilities.
- Telco OS: a digital operations enablement platform for business and agile operations. This OS will provide IT backend capabilities such as BSS, OSS, SDP, and big data.
One ecosystem: an open digital ecosystem for building an industry alliance for the digital economy.
Operators need to retire their current business models and then implement an EaaS model that's geared towards long-tail applications and customization.
Current models are predefined, long-cycle, packaged, and offline teller-style. The EaaS model is a quick, on-demand, and customized online digital model that suits fast fail, iterative development, and integrated digital operations that leap with agility.
These core requirements feature in Huawei's Telco OS. Telco OS orchestrates user requirements, business processes, and end-to-end resource scheduling and allocation to transform what users want into services and products.
As a business enablement and production system, Telco OS is the brain and central nervous system of digital enterprise architecture — it is the orchestrator, manager, decision-maker, and monitor of executive capabilities.
Telco OS architecture
Telco OS contains three systems: Business Enabling System (BES), Infrastructure Enabling System (IES) and Big Data.
BES: enabling business agility
The BES covers all the capabilities of the BSS, and provides much more besides:
- Offers diverse product classifications and management methods.
- Simplifies and automates business processes.
- Optimizes user experience.
- Applies a flexible partner business model.
- Uses the latest cloud technology to provide flexible, elastic, and scalable capacity.
- Enables fast, efficient and cost-effective deployment.
Big data, big brain
Big data capability is the system's brain for smart operations. Network-wide big data analysis boosts user experience and enables real-time, on-demand, and agile operations.
- Collects data on network, services, and users in real time.
- Analyzes and correlates applications in real time so data becomes useful.
- Follows and automatically triggers processes.
- Makes decisions in real time.
IES: enabling ICT infrastructure automation
IES is an enablement system for automating O&M in ICT infrastructure that comprises SDN, NFV, and the whole cloud infrastructure.
ICT infrastructure automation is highly complex because many different types of equipment and processes are in play. So, automating and integrating O&M E2E is based on policy configuration and business templates that define use case processes and lifecycle management.
- ICT-O: unifies, orchestrates, and schedules resources for rapid business innovation and service provisioning in real-time.
- ICT-A: provides a network-wide, full-service guarantee service that supports intelligent and efficient network-wide monitoring, fault location, and network optimization.
The operations of IES are policy-based: ICT-O carries out ICT resource provisioning and application deployment based on policies. In this case, service design personnel specify the deployment policies of each network service for the ICT-O to follow when determining and deploying resources.
ICT-A then coordinates with ICT-O. ICT-A monitors and analyzes services in real time. Based on the policies that are set, the system triggers the ICT-O to troubleshoot and optimize the network.
How is Telco OS deployed?
Top-down in three steps:
Step 1: Define the specs for digital enterprise architecture.
- Build core platform capabilities, the key capability is E2E orchestration. Modularize, atomize, and servicize back-end functions (BSS/OSS).
- Enable support for real-time, online user experience and large-volume and concurrent user transactions online.
- Remodel the business model and business processes as follows: user demand for customization, support for real-time intelligent decision-making and dynamic orchestration capabilities (sales, service, operations, and platform), on-demand closed-loop business, resources, and big data.
Step 2: Make the solution business-driven and pioneer business initiatives
- Build capabilities in line with business scenarios to make operations business driven. Prioritize business enablement and operating capabilities. Enable governance on big data network-wide to enable digital operations.
- Position new services, new users, and new systems like cloud services and IoT as starting points.
- Transform traditional business and systems, upgrade systems to shorten ROI, and gradually phase out traditional business models.
Step 3: Perform iterative development and operations
- Apply the integrated approach of DevOps to build platform capabilities based on service requirements and gradually strengthen caparabilities.
Digital transformation is a long-term process. Operators need to keep in mind that their overarching goal is to meet user demand and build capabilities upon strategic planning and service innovation.
As an operations enabling system for digital transformation, Telco OS is essential to help operators and traditional businesses for full digital transformation, entry to the digital economy, and a ROADS experience.
HUAWEI AND VODAFONE COLLABORATION ADVANCES OMNI-CHANNEL EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT: FROM CONCEPT TO EXECUTION
Huawei and Vodafone, a leading Communications Service Provider (CSP), presented the results of their collaboration to develop an omni-channel solution framework for CSPs at the recent TM Forum Catalyst InFocus event in Dallas, Texas.
Differing from existing multi-channel and cross-channel operations, omni-channel seeks to greatly improve the customer experience. An omni-channel enabled CSP supports seamless interactions across all channels, remembering context to create surprise and delight opportunities for customers. Typically negative contacts, such as customer care enquiries or raising complaints, can be turned into positive outcomes for both parties.
This customer experience improvement is achieved through a number of omni-channel’s unique capabilities. With omni-channel, the customer is provided with a seamless and consistent customer experience regardless of the channel used, allowing the customer much greater control of how they interact with the CSP. The customer has the freedom to choose their preferred channel and then change channel as they wish, while being able to interrupt and resume a transaction at any point. For example, a customer can return to complete an order with a call center from an earlier abandoned online shopping cart.
Omni-channel leverages powerful personalization capabilities developed from stored and persistent customer information and inferred intent. The inference and decision capabilities of an omni-channel solution, together with integration to multiple systems such as CRM, NPS, OSS, location data, touch point and persona data, allow real-time “in call” or “in session” solutions to be offered to customers. This can often be automatic, without requirement for human intervention, thereby reducing costs and improving first call resolution efficiency and success rates.
In addition, customer preference sensing means that although real-time responses to customer needs is possible, a human contact via outbound call or email invitation can be utilized if preferred, in order to achieve better outcomes.
The use cases developed in this Catalyst project are designed to reduce customer frustration by correctly solving a customer’s problem or query on first contact in any channel, eliminating multiple authentications, hand-off between agents, repetition of problem statements etc.
As the project manager of this Catalyst project, Huawei is leading other vendors working closely with Vodafone to promote the adoption of omni-channel across its markets.
“Vodafone’s involvement in the Catalyst aims to support two key themes,” said Paul Blake, Principal Customer Management Enterprise Architect at Vodafone Group.
“We wanted to continue our extensive internal research in optimizing the customer experience in an omni-channel environment, as part of an open industry forum to drive development of the evolving standards and best practices in the digital journey design. Most importantly, this is part of a wider, pan-Vodafone CARE initiative to focus on every aspect of our customer experience, to make it the best we can, ensuring our customers are always in control.”
The Catalyst project with Vodafone spans the entire customer journey including the buy, use and share phases defined by the TM Forum.
One key challenge of the Catalyst project is to align the objectives of the different parties in the omni-channel value chain. Omni-channel is a relatively new area for CSPs. As Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business puts it: “There is a lot of reinvention that needs to get done. This is new territory for everybody.”
New skills and ways of working are required and the learning curves are steep.
“The bar for excellent customer experience is being set by companies like Amazon where delivering across multiple channels in a seamless fashion, providing a personalized customer experience and predicting what the customer will want next are the core of how they do business,” Rebecca Sendel, Senior Director, Customer Centricity Program in the TM Forum. “The CSPs need to deliver this type of service as this is the expectation of their customers now. The omni-channel Catalyst is an outstanding collaborative effort to accelerate the process of meeting and exceeding customer expectations in a CSP environment all while providing thought leadership in the industry.”
Through this Catalyst project collaboration, the Huawei and Vodafone joint team are leading the way in improving customer experience through an omni-channel capability built on customer journey management, personalization, responsive intelligent systems and channel consistency. Additionally, Huawei’s new market positioning as a seasoned system integrator, with strong business architecture and agile development capabilities, means that good progress is being made in the realization of omni-channel operation’s potential for CSPs.
Additional omni-channel capabilities will be demonstrated at the TM Forum Action Week in Nice, France in May 2016.
Open ROADS to a Better Connected World
Mobile World Congress 2016 Huawei's booth: 1J50, Hall 1 & 3I30, Hall 3