Huawei SVP and president of Asia-Pacific Simon Lin (pictured) opened the second day of Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand. There he highlighted in his keynote speech "Advanced Connectivity, Boost Growth" - how the pandemic has transformed the lives of consumers and enterprises, while laying out a roadmap for operators to upgrade their network’s sustainably to sustain the growing demand for connectivity.
Lin revealed there are still one billion homes that do not have a gigabit connection, with only 5% globally connected to ultrafast speeds. He also noted the cost of deploying fibre lines is around US$1,000 per home for service providers.
By connecting people to gigabit speeds operators open up a new range of services for customers, creating new business models and enabling monetisation.
Lin laid out three strategic steps to begin this plan. The first was ‘gigabit to home’, in which operators must start laying optical fibres as the foundation for their businesses. By deploying optical fibre on a large scale, they can reduce cost per line and enable high ARPU gigabit services.
Secondly, Lin showcased Huawei’s fibre to the room (FTTR) all-optical solution which delivers a minimum 100Mbps to each room in a home. This serves those that rely on a high-speed connection for remote working, education and entertainment. The solution also delivers home network configuration and O&M capabilities which Huawei claimed could reduce operator maintenance costs by 50%.
Finally, Lin said by combining the two previous points, operators will be able to combine gigabit speeds with new services such as scenario-specific broadband services, binding Internet services, and binding smart home device services. He noted operators have only scratched the surface in maximising ARPU in this manner.
Enterprise need for gigabit speed
Digital transformation for enterprises has been a hot topic since the pandemic engulfed the world, as companies scrambled to enable their workforces to work remotely all throughout 2020.
Lin also outlined three key steps for operators to take for B2B to flourish with gigabit connectivity. He opened with bandwidth upgrades for private line services which can be used for covering campuses and enterprise data centre networks, boosting them from 1Gbps to 10Gbps for higher-quality connections.
Industry is incredibly diverse, meaning there are many specific-scenario solutions. Lin pointed out enterprises need access to multiple clouds and N x N private lines. Operators can use multi-cloud backbone and network slicing technologies to upgrade private lines to private networks, providing deterministic network assurance for enterprises.
Indeed, industries must innovate and upgrade to stay relevant - but it will be all for nothing if they do not do it in a sustainable fashion. Lin stated Huawei is cooperating with operators to help the International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) formulate standards and jointly define the network carbon intensity energy (NCIe) indicator system.
"A sculpture lies hidden within a marble block, but only the greatest artist can set it free," said Simon Lin, pointing out that operators have inherent network advantages in connectivity and will bring unlimited interconnection value to the world if their connectivity capabilities are fully unleashed. He also stated that Huawei will continue to explore connectivity technologies and solutions with customers and partners and work with operators to promote business growth.
Moving to the Net 5.5G era
Closing the keynote was Huawei president of data communication product line Kevin Hu, delivering his speech titled "Stride to Net5.5G, Boost New Growth".
He detailed major business opportunities and critical measures for operators to achieve new revenues in B2B, the foundations for growth in converged IP transport network in the 5.5G era, and expanded on key characteristics of the Net 5.5G era - the next stage of connectivity evolution.
Hu pointed out that digital transformation or enterprises will bring further opportunities for B2B but only if they upgrade. By doing so operators can grow revenue by transforming from a traditional MPLS VPN private line to private lines plus a combination of three key technologies he went on to explain.
First is the combination of Private lines with Premium; this is based on automatic slicing technology, a tenant-level virtual slicing private network solution can be provided on the converged network. Compared with the MPLS VPN private line, the quality is higher, and it meets the interconnection requirements of backbone networks in industries such as finance.
Next is combining with managed LAN/Wi-Fi, which Hu said is more efficient as it is based on cloud management and supports operators upgrading from traditional MPLS VPN private line to the LAN network of SMEs, helping to realise cloud management network services that integrate WAN, LAN, Wi-Fi and IoT.
Combining private lines with SD-WAN was the final way; through this avenue and tapping into automation of SD-WAN, the hybrid networking of MPLS VPN and other private line technologies are extended, providing enterprises with a fast and flexible cloud access experience.
Overall, operators developing mobile broadband, fixed broadband, B2B services and basic IP transport networks will accelerate their connectivity towards Net 5.5G. He urged the industry to make technological advancements to their operators with haste to futureproof their operations.
A key benefit of advancing networks to 5.5G is sustainability through Green Ultra-broadband (GUB), according to analyst company Omdia. Through 50GE to base station, 100GE to BNG, and 800GE to backbone building ultra-broadband capabilities, it can support 10Gpbs Everywhere experience requirements from end users, and provide more than 10 times bandwidth growth for real-time interactive applications.
Meanwhile, operators have become more reliant on data centre networks to provide IT services. Hu predicted this will move towards an all-ethernet converged architecture, supporting a single DC million-level server scale, 800GE interconnection, and promoting full life cycle automation with L4 autonomous driving networks.
Omdia also noted key features of Net 5.5G include Multi-domain Network AI (MNA), High Resilience & Low latency (HRL), IPv6 Enhanced (IPE) such as E2E SRv6, Heterogeneous Massive IoT (HMI), and Ubiquitous Trusted Network (UTN); these are the key elements to support the new growth of 5.5G, F5.5G and operators "Private line + X" B2B business.
Finally, Hu stressed that the development of this next era requires industry collaboration. He highlighted the Chinese vendor’s efforts in promoting industry concerns, standards and making key technologies available.
It is clear we are not on the cusp of the next generation - we are firmly in it, and if the industry does not move faster it could be drowned in pools of data. But with the right innovative solutions and partners, the industry will set up mankind for a better future.