Light Reading
Chinese vendor provides details of its SoftCOM strategy, which involves an initial focus on specific network elements and the unveiling of some unnecessary nomenclature

Huawei Unfolds SDN Roadmap

Ray Le Maistre
2/15/2013
50%
50%

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. outlined its "SoftCOM" software-defined networking (SDN) strategy to industry analysts and media in London late Thursday, giving some insight into where the Chinese vendor believes it can add value to network operators' next-generation infrastructure strategies.

This wasn't the first outing for SoftCOM: It made an appearance on the Huawei stand at the Broadband World Forum show in Amsterdam last October for anyone peering closely at the small print (like us…). (See SoftCOM: Huawei's Take on SDN.)

While the London presentation didn't deliver anything strange or startling -- Huawei's approach follows the same basic principles as any technology equipment company wanting a piece of the SDN action -- it did provide a broader picture of Huawei's aims and identify particular areas of attention for the vendor's SDN-focused R&D team.

It also introduced some new terminology that, hopefully, won't make it any further than this week's marketing materials -- "cloudlization" (and that is the correct spelling) should be filed under "end of line" as quickly as possible, where it should be joined by its close (but distinct) relative "cloudization."

Away from the nomenclature, here are the highlights of Huawei's approach.

The overall picture is a familiar one: Current communications architectures are "closed, complicated and controlling" and need to be "open, simplified and enabling."

This latter state, in Huawei's view (and in tune with others in the industry), can be achieved through the use of:

  • SDN technologies (separate control and data planes)
  • The virtualization of network elements, such as session border controllers (SBCs)
  • Hosted OSS and BSS functions within a cloud services-enabled telecom data center
  • The mass deployment of cloud services -- Infrastructure–as-a-service, Platform–as-a-service and Software–as-a-service.

The vendor also envisages a network architecture that would distribute cloud/hosting capabilities across the network -- at edge aggregation points and in metro nodes as well as in regional and national data centers. That same vision was also shared by Ericsson AB earlier this week. (See Ericsson Gets Trendy for MWC.)

All of this functionality would, in theory, minimize capex, reduce operational complexity, increase efficiency and flexibility, vastly improve time-to-market for new services/applications and, with additional intelligence and insight from the use of "Big Data" business intelligence techniques, improve customer experience levels.

"It's comprehensive but it's a vision statement -- there's a lot of detail that needs to be filled in," notes Heavy Reading Chief Analyst Graham Finnie, who attended the presentation. "It's pretty much what you'd expect from a large vendor such as Huawei."

What particularly caught Finnie's eye were Huawei's initial areas of R&D focus. It is developing SDN tools that can be deployed in an IP radio access network (IP RAN) architecture. It's also building network functions virtualization (NFV) capabilities for the multiple elements -- home subscriber server (HSS), the serving and packet data network (PDN) gateways and the mobility management entity (MME) -- that comprise the 4G evolved packet core (EPC). Other network elements that will get the NFV treatment in Huawei's R&D labs include the SBC and various IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) functions.

Huawei expects to engage in commercial trials in 2014 and achieve commercial deployment in 2015. By that time, hopefully, "cloudlization" will be just a distant memory.

In the meantime, Huawei will be talking more about SoftCOM during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where SDN, NFV and all manner of Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) developments will be in the spotlight.

In addition, you can get a more in-depth Huawei take on its SoftCOM approach by checking out this video: Huawei SoftCOM: Reshaping the Future of Network Architecture.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
AT&T: Merger Review Halt Won't Hurt Us
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 10/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed