Huawei SingleEPC: The Number One EPC Choice for Operators Worldwide
At the core of an LTE network, the EPC (Evolved Packet Core) is the anchor point for all data and services. It plays a key role in ensuring end-to-end user experience. Huawei is committed to building the industry’s best LTE core network for global operators to ensure end user experience for mobile broadband (MBB). The advent of MBB has seen Huawei making a lot of technological progress for its products and solutions to accompany rich experience in deploying networks. At the 2012 LTE World Summit in Barcelona, Huawei was awarded “Best LTE Core Network Element” in recognition of the company’s innovative SingleEPC breakthrough for the LTE/EPC field.
Huawei began to analyze and research the EPC market as early as 2004, and successfully implemented an EPC prototype in 2007 when LTE/EPC network construction was still in its infancy. Though clearly defined as a 3GPP standard, EPC market prospects, expected end user behavior and network deployment scenarios were not yet clear. In early 2008, Huawei received its first EPC bid, which would take shape the same as the next several bids to come, whereby customer requests would just consist of lists of the 3GPP standards. Huawei’s implementation team went over the details together with the customer, and was careful to balance the requirements of the standards with the realities of the company’s EPC prototype. The evolutionary path for the EPC has since become clearer. Huawei’s EPC team realized that overall EPC architecture defined by 3GPP was too similar to the existing PSCN (Packet Switched Core Network) at the equipment level, even though deployment scenarios would be quite different.
Following discussions with partner operators, in 2008 Huawei determined a GPRS/UMTS/LTE convergent architecture strategy for EPC equipment. In 2009, Huawei officially announced the SingleEPC solution based on the industry’s first board-level GPRS/UMTS/LTE convergence technology to realize the most flexible sharing of network resources and to support smooth migration to LTE.
In 2010, Deutsche Telekom Group and Huawei officially signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for an EPC project that included the German domestic market and other Europe countries. That same year, Huawei’s SingleEPC ranked number one in China Mobile’s LTE/EPC network test and was utilized as an on-site LTE/EPC solution for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. In May 2011, Austria T-Mobile and Huawei announced the launch of a SingleEPC demo site open to global operators. Nearly 100 visitors from over 40 operators participated in the demo site’s opening ceremony and experienced innovative LTE services based on SingleEPC.
Huawei and operators have made joint efforts to accelerate LTE/EPC commercialization. At the same time, Huawei has paid close attention to the progress of industry standards and has adjusted its contributions to standards organizations accordingly. Regarding System Architecture Evolution (SAE) and EPC industry standards, for the year 2011, Huawei contributed more than 930 proposals to 3GPP SA/CT, with more than 650 approved (the most of any other vendor).
Huawei’s standards proposals covered FMC (fixed-mobile convergence), M2M (machine-to-machine), PCC (policy and charging control), SON (self-organizing network) and other core technology fields, contributing heavily to Huawei’s influence on 3GPP systems architecture standards. Huawei currently holds more than eight standards board slots for 3GPP SAE/EPC, including one 3GPP SA5 chairman and one CT3 vice chairman.
To realize closer cooperation and to seek out MBB industry insight, Huawei has established joint innovation centers all over the world to better analyze the challenges and requirements facing customers through EPC studies. The joint innovation centers bear a significant amount of research work on solutions every year, including EPC Pooling, ensuring end-to-end QoS, network visualization and others. The result of the research has become the basis for future commercial network deployments.