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Chinese vendor Huawei has introduced a business initiative designed to explore the application scenarios for SDN in carrier networks, to help operators better understand the technology’s commercial value.

The Business Initiatives Zoom-in (BIZ) programme is geared understanding the business needs that drive t the future of technological development in the ICT industry, whereas the company’s SoftCOM strategy, launched in February, is more technological in nature.

Based on the principles of cloud computing, software-defined networking (SDN), and network function virtualisation (NFV), SoftCOM creates opportunities to boost revenues and reduce costs, Huawei said.

Telecoms.com recently spoke to Sanqi Li, CTO of the firm’s carrier network business, who said he sees SDN as the evolution of business models for both carriers and vendors.

Talking about what he calls the “new digital economy” Sanqi believes the next generation of technology, particularly virtualisation, will bring about more change than the industry has seen in the last 100 years, especially in terms of business models. While he acknowledges that the operator is already the foundation stone of all connections, he argued that operators need to move beyond what is traditionally perceived as their position in the digital ecosystem.

Sanqi Li, <a href='http://telecoms.com/resource-centre/view/huawei/' title='Huawei on Telecoms.com'>Huawei</a>
Read the interview with Sanqi Li, CTO of  Huawei’s carrier network business

So the BIZ programme aims to give telecom operators a step-by-step approach to SDN application by studying and analysing each part of the network to develop cost-effective solutions that can be efficiently applied to the operators’ existing networks.

Huawei is kick-starting the initiative with seven application scenarios:

•    SDN-based mobile backhaul: Realises automatic configuration and upgrade of the  cell site gateway by integrating its control plane to the aggregation site gateway, which greatly improves the efficiency of mobile backhaul in terms of network management and deployment and new service provisioning.

•    SDN-based traffic steering for Gi-LAN (where a GPRS network meets another data network): Schedules different types of service traffic to be transmitted on different lines, which saves expansion cost of Gi-LAN control components by about 60 per cent.

•    SDN-based data centre interconnection: Significantly improves the overall utilisation of network bandwidth and data centre resources based on a holistic view of the network and smart traffic navigation.

•    Cloud IMS/EPC: The operating system (Huawei FusionSphere Cloud OS for example) dynamically schedules and allocates resources for each network element, thereby greatly improving resource utilisation and the scalability and agility of the network.

•    Virtualised STB: Virtualises most functions of set top box (STB) on the network side by establishing a virtual STB server, thus reducing the complexity of STBs on the users’ side, supporting plug-and-play and one-stop upgrade of STBs, and reducing time-to-market of new services.

•    Business Enablement Suite: In addition to the business support system, BES also acts as an “efficient enablement” system to help operators realise ‘internetised’ operation, providing on-demand experience for users, and automatic business processes and opened capabilities for operators.

•    Communication as a service (CaaS): CaaS interconnects everything quickly and easily to help carriers rapidly expand their vertical markets.

With solutions for different application scenarios identified, carriers are able to fundamentally improve network utilisation and operating efficiency, achieve structural cost reduction, and seize new commercial opportunities.

“Surveying the ICT industry landscape from both business and technological perspectives, Huawei has tailored SoftCOM solutions to be applied to different scenarios so as to create new business opportunities and drive technological changes”, said Wang Shengqing, president of global marketing and solution sales of Huawei Carrier Network Business Group. “The program will continue to help telecom operators tackle commercial challenges and find new growth models for the construction of an innovative and open ecosystem.”

The LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

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