Light Reading
Chinese vendor is looking to make an impact with its distributed mobile network and analytics capabilities.

ZTE Champions the Cloud, Analytics

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
1/27/2014
50%
50%

Fresh from a restructure, ZTE is focusing much of its efforts on cloud capabilities and analytics as it tries to carve out a role helping operators navigate an uncertain future.

ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) recently created three business groups -- operator solutions, enterprise, and mobile devices. The fast-growing devices unit accounted for a third of the vendor's revenues in 2012 and is expected to report impressive numbers again for 2013, but the operator division is still the biggest, representing more than half of total revenues. (See ZTE Returns to the Black, ZTE Reorgs for Mobile Device Domination, and ZTE Revamps Its Top Team.)

Sean Cai, vice president, operator solutions, says telecom networks are becoming "more IT-like," adding that operators are seeking help from their vendors on new technologies and business models.

He cites ZTE's cloud-based modular datacenter as the kind of virtualized, cost-effective solution that operators need. "It's a basic building block of the datacenter, very scalable, very software–defined," says Cai, who notes that the datacenter is one of the most likely initial business cases for software-defined networking (SDN).

The introduction of SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) into wide area networks will take longer, though, because of the scale of legacy equipment, he adds.

ZTE believes the cloud will play an important role in wireless access as well. "Today our solution is software-defined radio. Next we are working on cloud radio," says Cai.

ZTE's cloud radio product is similar to offerings from other vendors, such as Nokia Networks 's Liquid Radio: It takes mobile network management, which is typically done on a cell-by-cell basis, and centralizes it, an approach that creates operating efficiencies and a more uniform experience, according to ZTE (and others -- see C-RAN Blazes a Trail to True 4G.)

Cai says the solution, now being trialled by several operators, will take on greater importance in the 4G era, where the denser deployment of LTE sites will increase the level of interference.

"Network management has become very complex," Cai notes. "2G is not going away, and 3G will be there for a long time. That is why our solutions are all 2G/3G/4G."

Cai also notes that the mobile packet core is set to become "more cloud-based and more distributed."

The other area where ZTE sees potential for growth is big data and analytics. The vendor is currently working on projects for telco network optimization, using traffic and consumption data to help carriers better invest in and deploy networks.

Operators are also looking to mine their databases for information that can be sold to other organizations. "They have a lot of valuable information. They know [user] habits and the traffic patterns, and that's valuable for others," such as government departments and transportation firms, Cai says.

ZTE is aiming to take its big data expertise into other verticals. "We started with operators, but it is applicable to others."

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to 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 Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (1) comment


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
LRTV Documentaries
AT&T's New Security Strategy

12|10|14   |   02:36   |   (1) comment


AT&T's Chief Security Officer Ed Amoroso explains how his company is wrapping virtual security layers around micro network domains.
LRTV Documentaries
2020 Vision: A First View

12|9|14   |   02:25   |   (3) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Iceland, unique Heavy Reading research shows that comms service providers are optimistic about the next five or so years.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/12/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Cisco Makes Big Analytics Push
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/11/2014
Gardner's Departure a Cautionary Tale
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 12/12/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive