HANGZHOU -- UBBF -- Foreign visitors, including Marco Polo, once beat a path to Hangzhou to the court of Kublai Khan.
Last week the broadband industry flocked to the picturesque Chinese city for an audience with juggernaut Huawei.
The vendor, co-organizer and sponsor of this year's Ultra Broadband Forum shared a series of related messages about the cloud and the customer experience.
Executives argued that operators could take advantage of the cloud to deliver the rich experience that customers demanded and also to fight their corner in the battle for the smart home.
One starting point was "the last ten meters," said Ryan Ding, president of the carrier business group.
He said Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. customers like BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) had discovered what really mattered in broadband was the home WiFi experience.
Both had deployed a combination of Gfast and vectoring, which meant consumers "should have been receiving up to 100 Mbit/s, but were actually getting just 20 Mbit/s in the room."
Huawei's project over the last 18 months had been to boost that to between 100 Mbit/s and 200 Mbit/s through a cloud-managed solution that latches on to the fastest signal available as family members moved around the home.
It's now at pre-commercial stage, with large-scale commercial deployment likely early next year, Ding said.
This home WiFi product will also be a platform on which operators can provide smart home services through the cloud.
"We hope in the future home networking management can be centralized, cloud-based and intelligent," he added. If a consumer buys a new device or appliance, it can easily connect into the home network environment.
Ding's boss Eric Xu, one of Huawei's three CEOs, weighed in on the cloud from another direction.
He pointed out that, with cloud-based networking, "enterprises are shifting from buying IT equipment to buying cloud services, turning the enterprise network into a telco WAN."
Carriers are now seeing growing demand for cloud-based leased line solutions, and they are extending B2B connectivity to enterprise campus LAN, WiFi and managed services, he said.
But the downside of this growth opportunity is that it brings OTT players even further into the orbit of a traditional carrier service.
These cloud service providers were establishing themselves physically closer and closer to the customers, threatening operators’ leased-line services.
Huawei's solution is once again about the experience.
Xu says the vendor is determined to help operators "breathe new life into leased line business by delivering a compelling experience throughout the customer journey."
Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading