Huawei: “Broadband will become a social infrastructure”

We speak to Dr. XiPeng Xiao, Head of Chief Engineer Office for Network Product Line at Huawei Europe, which won the category ‘Broadband Network and Services management and Operations’ at this year’s Broadband InfoVision Awards for its intelligent ODN-iODN solution.

Can you tell us a little more about your entry?

An Optical Distribution Network (ODN) and accounts for the majority of investments in Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) technology, while its operation and maintenance has increasingly become the subject of industry concerns: our intelligent ODN-iODN solution addresses these concerns. Meanwhile, our iODN technology can also be leveraged to other fields, such as the foundation of the smart city and M2M networks.

Why do you think the judges chose your entry for this award?

Our iODN solution is a solution rather than a product or a specific feature, and the judges acknowledge the importance of building intelligence into large-scale FTTH infrastructure networks in order to lower operating expenditures. Huawei’s iODN solution helps carriers document the ODN network automatically, maintain consistency of the database and the real network, and also provide a through insight of the ODN topology to operators. All these factors will combine to help the carriers strengthen the business case with shorter time to market and lower OPEX.

What recent industry developments does it specifically address?

The aim of iODN solution is to provide a fibre optic network management solution – it won’t change the main components of traditional ODN. However, our iODN solution does provide a intelligent management method to manage the “dark fibres” which bring some new fields for the industry to develop, such as intelligent ID technology and so on, and it also brings a significant improvement in network management workflow which helps to upgrade operational efficiency.

What plans do you have to improve it in the coming months?

Our first plan is to push forward the standardisation process of iODN in the International Telecommunications Union Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and other standards-based organisations. The basic technology of iODN has already been accepted by the ITU-T and is expected to be published in the year 2012.

Secondly, we want to verify the benefits of iODN solutions by more and more commercial applications. iODN now has been commercially used by China Telecom, China Mobile, du in the United Arab Emirates and tens of other operators. We had already calculated that our iODN solution can save around 43.9~62.5% OPEX for a typical network of 100K users with five years of operation in China, and we want to have more data of iODN applications around the world, especially in Europe.

What changes do you believe are ahead for the broadband industry as a whole?

In the future, broadband will become a social infrastructure, like water, electricity, transportation and similar services. Since it is an infrastructure, it must meet universal coverage, the price must be acceptable, it must be high-performance, and open to a variety of user characteristics. The future broadband network should see development of these trends, become ubiquitous, feature high bandwidth, be open, and have a low price.

What do you see as being the biggest single challenge to the broadband industry in the next few years, and why?

In the next few years, the biggest challenge facing the broadband industry will be how to build a wide variety of applications of broadband networks with the lowest possible cost, while continuing to raise revenue in order to support the network’s sustained and healthy development. The key issue is how to build the low total cost of ownership of FTTx networks and how to get a reasonable return from a growing new business.

Future user access bandwidth upgrades must rely on the synergy of existing copper and fibre – the introduction of the basic network (ODN) accounts for a huge investment, which results in a serious imbalance in investment and income. For these reasons, an operator must invest in broadband very carefully. This is why investing heavily in a national broadband network is looked at as a national strategy.

How do you think the industry should start preparing to meet this challenge?

We believe that the whole industry should strengthen cooperation in the face of this challenge. That means innovative research not only for the low-cost, high-bandwidth solutions, but also for the new business models. Also, in the face of challenges from other industries (especially the IT industry), the broadband industry must be clear on the strategy.

How does being named in the awards shortlist benefit your business?

It is a good introduction to the industry to let more people know about iODN solution: it will surely benefit the standardisation process and commercial process of the business.
This year’s Broadband InfoVision Awards were announced during a gala dinner held aboard a river cruise in Paris on September 27th, 2011. For a complete list of winners, please click here

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.