A consistent trend in Huawei’s messaging over recent years has been an emphasis on big-picture concepts such as operational transformation, full-cloud and big video, and this year will be no exception. At the show there will be no fewer than seven cloud product launches, which are summarised below.
A move to the ‘full cloud’ model, which Huawei seems to think will be best enabled by buying all of the above, is a key precursor to exploiting the Big Video opportunity, as discussed late last year at the Huawei Operation Transformation event. CSPs are thought to be on a strong position to capitalise on the exponential volume of data traffic attributable to video as they are the keepers of the bandwidth and therefore a key piece of the puzzle. Here’s a summary of how Huawei sees the video opportunity playing out commercially for CSPs.
An unnamed Korean operator – almost certainly LG U+ – has apparently increased its subscriber share by three percentage points and its ARPU by 50% as a result of talking all Huawei’s good advice on video.
A couple of buzzwords that were, perhaps surprisingly, well down the pecking order were 5G and IoT. To some extent that’s because Huawei considers them an explicit consequence of all the cloud cleverness that it thinks is necessary for CSPs to even survive over the next decade or so.
To some extent IoT seems to be considered just too broad and ill-defined a term to be useful and companies like Huawei like to talk more specifically about helping CSPs diversify their client base in a more B2B direction. The only LPWAN technology spoken about was NB-IoT, adding to the sense of that being the default and alternatives such as LoRa and Sigfox being more niche offerings.
On 5G, Huawei preferred to dwell more on the incremental steps (4.5G, etc) being taken towards it, which is sensible as these things take years to play out. Apparently there are already 68 4.5G networks globally and that number is expected to double this year. One trial Huawei was keen to flag up was the transmission of a 600 Mbps connection over a distance of 1.5 kilometres using the 3.5 GHz band. The incorporation of higher frequency spectrum is, of course, expected to be a key component of 5G.
So Huawei’s presence at MWC 2017 promises to be a big picture affair, with lots of talk of digital transformation, devops and generally getting with the times. That doesn’t make for easy headlines but is probably what CSPs need to hear. Whether or not they have either the budget or the ability to act on all this advice is another matter.
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