& cplSiteName &

Huawei Takes Aim at AWS, Google With Public Cloud Move

Iain Morris
4/11/2017
50%
50%

Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei is to make a bold push into the market for public cloud services -- a move that could potentially put it in competition with hyperscale web players such as Amazon and Google.

Revealed earlier today at an analyst conference in Shenzhen, where Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. maintains its global headquarters, the plans could see the Chinese company launch its own public cloud services besides working in conjunction with service provider partners.

"Beginning in 2017, Huawei will focus on public cloud services," said Eric Xu, one of Huawei's rotating CEOs, in an official statement posted on the vendor's website. "We will invest heavily in building an open and trusted public cloud platform, which will be the foundation of a Huawei cloud family.

"This family will include public clouds we develop together with operators, and public clouds that we operate on our own," he said.

According to a report from the GSM Association's Mobile World Live publication, Huawei will even set up a new business unit to manage the cloud activities. That unit will be the fourth within Huawei, operating alongside the existing carrier, consumer and enterprise divisions.

Huawei is already active in the market for public cloud services through deals with operators including Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and France's Orange (NYSE: FTE).

The infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering from Deutsche Telekom was first unveiled in December 2015, with the German operator indicating that it planned to compete on price against web-scale giants such as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Amazon Web Services Inc. (See DT Ups Cloud Challenge to Google, Amazon.)

Orange Business Services, the enterprise division of the French incumbent, announced its own public cloud move with Huawei just last month, saying it would focus on helping multinational corporations to migrate legacy enterprise applications to the cloud. (See Eurobites: Zain Trials 'Advanced' 4.5G Tech.)

But the suggestion that Huawei is to go it alone on public cloud is far more significant. It could potentially put the Chinese vendor in competition with some of the organizations it lists as customers, and seems to reflect a growing desire among telco suppliers to become service providers in their own right.

Even with Huawei's vast resources, however, competing against the hyperscale players will be no mean feat, and the Chinese vendor is likely to be eyeing opportunities in specific areas or geographical regions.

Deutsche Telekom, for instance, believes that many European companies value its security credentials and the fact that its German data centers are subject to more stringent data protection laws than facilities in other markets, including the US.

It has also previously argued that its systems integration and consulting capabilities give it an important edge over Google and Amazon.

Huawei would similarly be able to draw on a wealth of expertise in the technologies used to support cloud-based services. Just last month, it unveiled a new "all-cloud network" architecture aimed at helping enterprise customers with the transition to cloud-based operations and services.

David Wang, the president of network solutions for Huawei, told Light Reading's Steve Saunders that the new offering was very different from the more "generic" cloud announcements of the past.

"It's a concrete solution that will show all of our customers, our partners -- our ecosystem -- exactly how we will build this kind of a cloud-based network," said Wang. "In the past few years we've heard a lot of people talk at a high level about cloud functionality and services, but mostly that's all it has been: talk." (Click here for a full transcript of the conversation between Saunders and Wang.)


For more data center-related coverage and insights, check out this dedicated content channel here on Light Reading.


Even so, a Huawei move into IaaS could worry the likes of Deutsche Telekom and Orange Business Services, which are obviously trying to carve out a presence in the public cloud market, although Huawei is likely to downplay any concern that it will go head to head with its own clients.

While Huawei's fortunes have been in marked contrast to those of chief rivals Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), both of which reported sales declines last year, the Chinese vendor failed to increase profits last year after three years of strong growth and has warned about a slowdown in its main carrier market. (See Huawei's Sales Soar but Profit Growth Grinds to a Halt.)

Revenues from that business rose by 24% last year, to 290.6 billion Chinese yuan ($42.2 billion), accounting for about 56% of the total, but -- in a recent conversation with Light Reading -- Xu predicted that annual sales growth would fall to just 10% in future. That has put Huawei's senior executives on the lookout for new growth opportunities.

Other equipment vendors are also trying to diversify their businesses. Under a new strategy, Finland's Nokia is trying to expand in the enterprise sector, targeting a range of vertical markets it says are "adjacent" to the main telco business. (See Nokia: A Global Network Operator for the Enterprise?.)

In many instances, that will see Nokia taking on the role of service provider for organizations such as mining companies or government agencies deploying new public-safety systems.

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/27/2017 | 5:11:55 PM
Re: A new WIC in town
It would almost seem a given that because of the huge Chinese and Asian market, getting into the cloud business would be not too bad of a move. But, how competing with Amazon and Google will be easy or hard may not be so easy to speculate upon.
dwaiting
50%
50%
dwaiting,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/11/2017 | 4:00:14 PM
NFV Opportunity
There's certainly a gap in the market when it comes to NFV-optimized public clouds. Public clouds are great at handling typical IT workloads (web services, data stores, etc) but fall short when it comes to NFV requirements (ultra-low latency, network IO optimizations, IP address failover, strict resource reservations, etc). One might expect Huawei as a telco vendor to capitalize on this opportunity.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/11/2017 | 10:38:56 AM
Re: A new WIC in town
A logical move. 

Competitors like Cisco have already found that cloud is the next great growth technology. Huawei is far behind in this race, but given some of the more emerging markets it dominates in, there's still a lot of opportunity. 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/11/2017 | 9:37:53 AM
A new WIC in town
This will be fun to watch -- Huawei makes a run at being a Webscale Internet company. Always room for more competitive pressure.
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
The Urgency of Commercial 5G Services

4|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


The progress of 5G has been closely monitored in the industry. At the 2017 Brooklyn 5G Summit, the sense of urgency for a commercial 5G launch had started to surface among operators.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
How Diversity Helps Comcast Mirror Its Customer Base

4|26|17   |   2:55   |   (0) comments


Diversity brings innovation, creative ideas and a way to reflect the broad spectrum of your customer base, Comcast Director of Customer Experience Jenelle Champlin says.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mobile Operators & Video

4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom, for a discussion of what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Surprise! AT&T Markets 4G Advances as '5G Evolution'
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
Netflix Set to Enter China
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.