Category: Digital Transformation

5G Network Transformation

Uncovering the true value of virtualization, requires CSPs to follow a path of fully automating and orchestrating operations – with the capability to scale up or down. 5G is a new architecture, which leverages cloud-native, software defined capabilities enabling CSPs to move away from NSA and fully embrace a 5G SA network – delivering on the promise of 5G Scott Bicheno catches-up with Mavenir’s Stefano Cantarelli at Network X in Amsterdam to discuss momentum in the telecoms industry as more CSPs look at moving to a 5G SA network.

The relationship between hyperscalers and telcos

At the Network X 2022 trade show we spoke to Omdia Analyst Evan Kirchheimer about the increasingly intimate relationship between telecoms companies and public cloud giants commonly referred to as hyperscalers. We explored how this is affecting telco business models and whether it will enable their long-promised digital transformation.

The Digitalization Challenge for Manufacturing SMEs

Digital transformation is a must for small and medium manufacturers, but far from easy. Foshan, China-based steel manufacturer CX Precision Fabrication Co., Ltd knows the challenges firsthand.

CX launched started digitalizing in 2015 and quickly had an epiphany. “Systems alone could not address all the problems, as they only enabled the data flow. Only connectivity could truly make transformation happen,” recalls CX General Manager Gao Chuhui.

For help, CX engaged China Telecom Foshan, which collaborated with Huawei to implement a reliable, easy-to-maintain network designed to evolve with the company. The CX transformation project won first prize in September at the first Guanghua Cup Gigabit Optical Network Application Competition.

Since completion, CX profits and production have risen by more than 50%, Gao says. Digital transformation is essential, she says. “We must transform if we want to survive.”

Overcoming Obstacles
CX is one of about 100,000 manufacturers in the industrial hub of Foshan in Guangdong province. Often, companies don’t know which tools to adopt, how to design the transformation process, and how to address their biggest pain points, says Gao Hongchao, General Manager of with China Telecom Foshan.

“Manufacturers have urgent demands for digital transformation, but they all have much confusion,” he says.

SMEs need to digitalize because they still rely “on labor and obsolete methods,” says Han Dong, Deputy General Manager of the Nanhai District Branch of China Telecom Foshan. “Much of their business is customized orders from large enterprises.”

Connectivity is an issue. While 90% of Chinese homes have internet access, “less than 23% devices of manufacturing SMEs are connected, says Zhang Yufen, Vice President of Huawei CNBG Marketing and Solution Sales Department.

Understanding Customer Needs
As was the case with CX, SMEs need service providers that understand their needs, says Gao Hongchao. “Traditional system integrators think completing projects is everything. They probably will walk away when the project is deployed.”

China Telecom stays with clients for the duration, he says. “Only by going into an enterprise, can we identify its needs.”
China Telecom has service channels across Foshan, with resources targeted to specific industries. The company coordinates clouds, networks, terminals and users with its DICT capability, which integrates DT, IT and CT, Gao Hongchao says. In comparison, traditional system integrators only focus on terminals and users, he adds.

To simplify and accelerate digitalization cost-effectively, China Telecom uses a monthly subscription model. “We do the SMEs digital program, the original intention is promotion scaling. In that case, the enterprise can move into the digital field without any worries,” says Han Dong. “Apart from the monthly subscription model, the scheme and business model have two characteristics: One is the process via standardizing products, package tariffs and O&M platforms, enterprises can achieve digitalization in a simple, fast, and low-cost way. Another is the service teams who stay close to customers of China Telecom, can grow with the digitalization of enterprises continually”.

Its SEM services are delivered in three layers. One involves traditional services such as internet access and 5G SIM cards. The second layer involves two types of IT services – cloud services for desktop, monitoring, server, and security, as well as wired and wireless networks. The third layer addresses specific use cases in production, office solutions, transportation, and logistics.

The company also collaborates “with strong players along the entire industry chain, such as Huawei, to better serve customers,” Han says.

With the practice and collaboration introduced previously, Jing Yuzhi, president of Huawei’s Optical Product Line, introduced 3 innovations. One is that 5G+F5G uses two advanced technologies to achieve fixed-shift integration to meet the needs of enterprises. The use of optical fiber instead of traditional switch network cables has good scalability, realizes the flexible collection of massive information, and solves the problem of resource networking for SMEs. Another one for practice, via opening the order, procurement, warehousing, processing, and delivery processes, data flowing achieves accurate and rapid delivery based on the order, which reduces the capital occupation of inventory and releases hidden productivity. In addition, realize a single network layout over ten years without moving, bandwidth can evolve infinitely.

Huawei, says Zhang, recognizes a single technology cannot address all of an organization’s requirements. Nor does it make sense to optimize only part of a company’s processes, which leads to silos, network overlay and fragmented IT systems.

“To avoid that, we must have the full picture in mind.” It’s important to understand specific use cases to choose the optimal solution, she says.

“As digitalization deepens, enterprises have to deal with increasingly complex and diverse digital requirements. It is particularly important that Huawei fully understands the requirements of typical use cases, and accurately translates them into the demands for ICT technologies and services,” she said.
For its part, China Telecom plans to continue working with the industry to encourage innovation, says Gao Hongchao. The CX project, he says, is an example of innovation. “We have done many things that had not been done before.”
The main force is collaboration. Facing the future, the whole industry will create more standardized and scenario-based solutions continuously, so that more SMEs can have achievable success in the era of digital transformation.

The Podcast: Network X 2022 special

This special edition of the pod it brought to you from the Network X telecoms show in Amsterdam. Scott and Iain are first joined by Ronan De Renesse of analyst firm Omdia. They review some of the chat at the show concerning IoT, 5G and 6G, as well as a number of ad hoc tangents. Ronan then makes way for’s Andrew Wooden, who talks us through the main keynote speeches and discussions from the event, focusing mainly on managing change and security.

Cyber security takes centre stage at Network X

On day two of the Network X conference in Amsterdam, telco execs and security experts looked outside the industry to examine how things like cyber security vulnerabilities, war, and regulation are impacting the market.  

Nokia: ‘We are an intrinsic part of how the UK operates’

We spoke with Phil Siveter, CEO of Nokia for the UK and Ireland, about consumer 5G, saving the environment with digital transformation, and how he sees his company’s purpose as using ‘partnerships and technology to help the world.’

The Podcast: Digital Transformation World and Africa

The pod is blessed by no less than two special guests this week. First we chat to Analyst James Crawshaw from Omdia about the recent Digital Transformation Event they all attended in Copenhagen and reflect on the eponymous topic as well as whatever larks were had on tour. James then makes way for Paula Gilbert who edits the Connecting Africa site. She and the guys discuss the latest telecoms developments in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent.

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