Huawei, China Mobile pitch network smarts together

Two of China's telecom behemoths, China Mobile and Huawei, joined hands today to sell the world on the concept of "intelligent connectivity."

The richness of 5G and gigabit services means AI and other intelligence is critical to creating value and simplifying operations, the two companies told Huawei's annual Broadband Forum Wednesday.

One emerging trend is that office broadband is increasingly linked with production.

"The focus of enterprise digitization has shifted from digital office to digital production, transactions, and operations," according to Huawei.

Another enterprise shift is that connectivity is transitioning from best effort to differentiated services, while networks are adapting from manual to automated operations.

"If differentiated services are the default, then deterministic experience is a must," said the vendor. Manual O&M can't handle the complex new networks and must "give way to hyper-automation powered by big data and AI."

"Because of these we need to upgrade connectivity," Executive Director David Wang said as he took the wraps off Huawei's new intelligent connectivity offerings.

Where the heart is

One of these is aimed at home broadband, where it argues that operator revenue growth is now driven by customer experience. It upgrades home devices, and ensures high-quality service, user identification and gigabit Wi-Fi coverage around the home.

"With this ecosystem we can help carriers develop more applications and differentiated packages," Wang said. "Like broadband packages for remote work, online learning, e-gaming, etc."

Separately, Huawei has come up with a cloud networking solution that allows enterprises to access multiple clouds, and a campus solution that enables telcos to offer a one-stop solution for enterprises moving to the cloud.

It is also pitching an intelligent premium private line, using all-optical switching to support scalable bandwidth access ranging from 2 Mbit/s to 100 Gbit/s

Connected thinking

Huawei customer China Mobile is steadily adding smarts to its networks.

"Connectivity is the pillar. But when intelligence plays its role the connectivity will be fundamentally upgraded," said Gao Tongqing, a vice president.

He said the pandemic is accelerating digital transformation and will "usher in the intelligent Internet of everything."

Right now China Mobile is on course to have 350,000 5G basestations deployed by year-end, half of them standalone.

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"When it comes to intelligence, we are introducing a 'middle-end platform' that includes a data platform, a technical platform, and a business platform," Gao said.

The platform provides intelligent AAS to support verticals and accelerate the pace of the intelligent Internet.

On the fixed-line side, Gao said China Mobile believes "now is the era of 4Gbit/s access" and is evolving its network to 10GPON.

It has deployed an ultra low latency private network for government and enterprise customers in 100 cities in China and seven cities abroad.

"It adopts 200G technology to provide high bandwidth, so that private line services can easily access the cloud and can be easily provisioned," he said.

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— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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