Light Reading

Huawei CEO Pledges 5G R&D Investment

Ray Le Maistre
11/5/2013
50%
50%

LONDON -- Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum -- Huawei's acting CEO Eric Xu outlined his company's strategy and focus in key areas of the global telecom sector in a keynote address in London Tuesday morning, focusing on 4G, 5G, software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), and OSS/BSS transformation. (See Huawei Names New Acting CEO.)

5G investment, 4G enhancements
With a near-global foothold already in 4G network rollouts, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is now preparing to invest heavily in 5G, which is set to deliver (theoretical) multimode mobile broadband connection speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s per user. (See Huawei Sets Out Its 5G Stall.)

Xu said Huawei would pump $600 million into 5G research in the 2014-2018 timeframe, "not including the investment needed to productize 5G."

The company is also working on 4G enhancements, with a view to helping network operators make use of unlicensed spectrum for LTE services. "Unlicensed spectrum is not just for WiFi," noted Xu.

Backhaul ripe for SDN
Along with all other major (and minor) infrastructure vendors, Huawei is focusing on the potential of SDN with its SoftCOM developments. (See Huawei Adds to Its SDN Arsenal and Huawei Unfolds SDN Roadmap.)

Unlike many of its rivals, though, Huawei has an active and growing enterprise technology business that gives it a broader perspective into IT-centric developments: The other vendor with a similar perspective, and with a head start on most others in terms of telco SDN developments, is NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701).

Xu noted that there is a consensus that SDN is of use in datacenters, but "there is no consensus about the role of SDN in telecom networks."

The key impact of SDN for telcos can be in helping them reduce operating costs (opex), said Xu, who believes that IP-based backhaul is the first part of telecom networks where SDN can have a real impact, "especially for networks that have a significant number of nodes… SDN can make troubleshooting in backhaul networks much easier." (See Huawei Supports SDN in Mobile Backhaul.)

Huawei isn't alone in targeting backhaul as an initial focus for SDN in telco networks. (See Accedian Networks Launches SDN Product Line and SDN Can Close Backhaul Spending Gap.)

Ultimately, SDN capabilities will be utilized across the entire telco network, with Huawei expecting the SDN-enabled network topology of communications service providers to be different to that of the Internet services giants such as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).

Xu said that telcos can take advantage of their (fixed and mobile) broadband access network assets by building distributed datacenters. "They can use their broadband networks to get closer to their customers, and this can be achieved with distributed datacenters, which are logically centralized but physically distributed."

To help telcos build such networks and to embrace NFV, Huawei is pushing its FusionSphere solution, which includes a cloud operating system and hypervisor "that offers an alternative to VMware," explained Xu.

A new breed of OSS/BSS
Xu referred a number of times to the critical need for new OSS and BSS capabilities and strategies: Without a significant transformation of their back office systems, telcos will be unable to compete with their Internet services rivals, he noted.

Telcos need to introduce "real-time OSS, online BSS systems, and big data analytics," said the Huawei man. "We must transform the legacy IT into an enabling system" that enables all services and applications to be on demand, self-service, and bought using online transactions, he said. "This is the transformation that can have the greatest impact" for telcos, which need to "copy the DNA" of the Internet services giants in terms of the way they offer and provision services.

Such a transformation can accelerate the telcos' time to market, improve the customer experience, and help the network operators "connect people to people, people to machines, and machines to machines," said Xu.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Cellco
100%
0%
Cellco,
User Rank: Moderator
11/6/2013 | 4:50:47 PM
Re: maybe it was the audience...
I tend to agree with your analysis and Huawei's identification of areas to develop.  5G is way-out there for deployment but from an R&D side, if it is to be ready by 2020 - 2024 might as well start defining what you want it to be.  In SDN for backhaul, with the OpenFlow included for remote management of the SDN virtualization for remote locations, I can see this use case happening.  Finally, the O/BSS, I am extra concerned about the 3 major initiatives (a - IMS for LTE vs SOA of wireline legacy which is contending with VoIP/UCC/OTT for transition to All-IP networks b - SDN/NFV element and service management moved into modeling c - All of the perpetual software licenses almost gone, many must move to Cloud/IaaS/PaaS/SaaS for their O/BSS being hosted by a tier one operator or a vendor who is operating the massive amount of moving parts).

If not these initiatives, what will the equipment manufactures be selling when they start end-of-life 4G/LTE in 2020.
RitchBlasi
100%
0%
RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
11/5/2013 | 2:15:00 PM
Promises, promises....
5G?  Okay, let's bring the conversation back down to earth.  Outside the US carriers are struggling to put a biz plan together to justify the spend on 4G LTE.  It's been slow, and with the economic issues going on outside of our own, there is no rush to push past 3G which is fine for most folks - maybe not us.  And at this point we all know that current 4G started out as marketing hype since real 4G was supposed to deliver DL speeds around 50MBPS on a fully loaded network.  Yeah, let's talk 5G now....not.
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
11/5/2013 | 11:45:58 AM
maybe it was the audience...
So Eric Xu was speaking at a Huawei event to a room full of Huawei customers and partners etc -- but still I expected his presentation to be more generic, more flim-flam but he did actually crystalize some points about the areas Huawei thinks are important and where it will focus its R&D efforts.

It was all on message etc but it was still interesting, and you can't say that about evey CEO you hear speak these days.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The Swedish vendor has undergone a significant transformation during the past few years, adjusting to the demands of next-generation communications companies.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Du Puts Its Faith in Huawei's Routers

4|9|15   |   3:42   |   (0) comments


Adnan Masood, director of Enterprise MS Solutions Marketing at du, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operator also known as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, explains why his company chose to use Huawei's multifunctional AR routers as part of its managed enterprise services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Gets Active in the Data Center

4|9|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


With enterprise users looking to maximize the use of their data center assets, Huawei’s Chief Architect & Technical Director of IT Data Center Solutions, Bruce Su, explains how the company's six-layer active-active data center solution is eradicating the need to deploy passive, redundant data center assets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Blue Consult & Huawei for a Better Solution

4|8|15   |   4:01   |   (0) comments


Martin Rott, CEO, and Marc Metzler, head of sales virtualization, from Germany's Blue Consult discuss their collaboration with Huawei and TrendMicro to develop a secure, scalable IT platform that can meet the needs of the most demanding enterprise users.
Upcoming Live Events
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network Instruments, a JDSU division, shares results from its 2015 State of the Network, a global survey on security.
Hot Topics
Verizon Scores New OTT Content Deals
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/16/2015
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent in Merger Talks
Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/14/2015
Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: What's Going On?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/15/2015
Nokia + AlcaLu: What the Analysts Say
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/14/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.