4K, Cloud Can Drive FTTx Business Case – Huawei CEO

MADRID -- Ultra-Broadband Forum 2015 -- For any network operators wondering if there really is a business case for investing in very high-speed, next-generation fixed broadband network technology, Huawei's current (or "Rotating") CEO Eric Xu has an answer: Enterprise cloud services and 4K video can drive new revenues that underpin a positive return on investment (ROI) model.

Addressing an auditorium of service provider executives at the Huawei-organized event here in Madrid, Xu countered any claims that investments in technology that delivers gigabit broadband services (and faster!) might be wasted investments that only provide an even more fertile ground for OTT players.

The "low latency and high throughput" that fiber access networks can offer provide strong business opportunities for telecom operators needing to introduce revenue-generating services. Developing high-quality 4K video services over fiber broadband, which will enable the delivery of high-quality TV/video services, will give telcos an advantage over their cable and broadcast rivals, noted the CEO, though this may have raised some eyebrows among the Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. staff that are helping operators such as TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC) offer gigabit broadband services using cable's next broadband star, DOCSIS 3.1. (See TDC & Huawei Team on D3.1 Field Test.)

That same low latency and high throughput can also support top quality cloud services to enterprises initially and mainly but also, eventually, to residential users, for whom telcos could develop cloud-enabled video services that would require the customer to have only a dumb screen through which they could activate a whole menu of services, including 4K.

Xu also sees next-generation broadband infrastructure (which Huawei refers to as "ultra-broadband") as important for the development of high-resolution video security applications, whether for residential users, companies or as part of digital, smart city strategies.

Telcos should make plans now to develop and deliver such services that can help them to differentiate and drive new revenues, noted Xu.

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As you'd expect, Huawei has been developing technology that can help any operator wanting to build next-gen broadband networks and develop such services, using the full breadth of its R&D efforts and portfolio.

For 4K, in particular, Huawei has been developing a full end-to-end ecosystem of supporting technology, all the way through to the development of low-cost 4K-ready TV sets for consumers to buy, low-cost 4K set-top-box (STB) technology, and a cloud-based, distributed video delivery architecture with integrated analytics capabilities. (Expect to hear a lot more about 4K in the coming days as the IBC trade show opens its doors in Amsterdam.)

The CEO also noted that Huawei has been supporting the development of the H.265 standard (version 3 was ratified in April this year), which can help with video compression and reduce bandwidth requirements, and has adopted and is supporting the ITU's vMOS (video mean opinion score) standard as a way of measuring video service quality. In addition, Huawei has been developing consulting and systems integration services to help operators develop and introduce 4K video services and, ultimately, migrate to 8K video.

Operators are certainly interested in what 4K can offer. Paul Berriman, Group CTO at PCCW Ltd. (NYSE: PCW; Hong Kong: 0008), (which includes Hong Kong operator HKT), says that if he can "take care of video" with his fixed access network and associated technology investments then that should mean the network can support pretty much any service. And 4K and high-speed broadband are already very much on PCCW's roadmap -- the operator has just launched a 10Gbit/s broadband service and has a video service roadmap that includes 8K video service introduction around 2020.

It's certainly not alone: Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is putting NG-PON2 technology through its paces currently and has cited 4K video as one of the drivers for potential 10Gbit/s services to residential users. (See Verizon Revs Up Wireline Race With NG-PON2.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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