MADRID -- Telefónica and Huawei today announced that they have signed an extension of the scope of their strategic Innovation Agreement in 5G and NG-RAN, signed in June 2016, with additional Mobile Network Cloud features that optimize the radio interface. They have agreed on the direction of the full cloudification of wireless networks and reached consensus on four key requirements.
With the robust development of mobile broadband (MBB) and explosive growth of digital applications, many challenges have arisen. Different applications and scenarios have vastly different requirements in terms of data rates (ranging from Kbps to Gbps) and latency (ranging from seconds to miliseconds). The hotspots are getting hotter and hotter, and becoming increasingly unpredictable. It takes too long for mobile networks to achieve entire network coverage, which is the main obstacle to the subscriber penetration rate growth of new technology.
In order to face these challenges, Telefónica and Huawei reached consensus on the development direction, characteristics and connotation of the Mobile Network Cloud:
1. The full cloudification is the right direction in the mobile network evolution
2. Mobile Network Cloud has 3 characteristics: efficient resource utilization, on-demand deployment and agile service provisioning.
3. Radio Access Network needs cloudification to realize a new network architecture with full flexibility from topology to resource distribution that can meet the multiple requirements by function virtualization, cloud based resourcing, and flexible coordination. Multiple connectivity for resource convergence to enable inspiring experiences. Real-time and non-real-time resource layers for balanced distribution and centralization.
4. Air interface resources like spectrum, power or channels need sharing schemes between different collocated radio technologies to enable operators to deploy services more flexibly and enhance user experience. Spectrum sharing allows different RATs to use the same spectrum, dynamically allocating spectrum resources based on fluctuations in traffic. This maximizes spectral efficiency and helps get new RATs online faster to ensure more immediate coverage. It also prevents legacy terminals from occupying golden spectrum for long periods of time, enabling on-demand access based on service needs.
The Mobile Network Cloud is going to be fully aligned with Telefónica’s UNICA Virtualization Program where Huawei will certify his VNFs portfolio and his X.86 hardware product against the UNICA Infrastructure platform.
Enrique Blanco Nadales, Global CTO of Telefónica Group stated that, "We are very glad to work with Huawei on Mobile Network Cloud. This innovation in spectrum share will help Telefonica to continuously improve network capacity and quality experience as a result. Telefonica is committed to Mobile Network Cloud study and deeply test and also to define which will be the better implementation."
Zhou Yuefeng, CMO of Huawei Wireless Solution stated that, "We are very honored to have reached this agreement with Telefonica to cooperate on Mobile Network Cloud. This innovative solution will maximize the value of operator key assets, improve the efficiency of air interface, enabling Telefonica to deploy services more flexibly and, of course, enhancing user experience."
The development of the Mobile Network Cloud requires the joint effort of operators, infrastructure vendors, chipset/terminal manufacturers and other industry partners. Telefónica and Huawei said they will increase the investment in Mobile Network Cloud to accelerate the research, standardization and commercial deployment. They also appeal to the major companies in the telecom industry to jointly contribute to the development of the full cloudification of wireless network.