Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, has unveiled a new cloud-based future network architecture titled Huawei SoftCOM which leverages the power of SDN to help operators address challenges brought about by the accelerated changes in the industry landscape.
At the core of the SoftCOM approach lies Huawei’s view that the network evolution must be guided by a desire for simplicity. Network architecture has become increasingly complex with networks needing to provide more and more functionality, necessitating an evolutionary overhaul of network architecture as we know it. The SoftCOM evolution is a move towards breaking down complex issues, optimizing resource allocation, and ultimately, simplification of the entire process.
“Current network infrastructure designs have not kept pace with ever-growing requirements and in our conversations with telecom operators, we know that they are struggling to keep up with the rapid network upgrades necessary to support their customers’ increasing demand for bandwidth and personalized services. Most critically, these operators have been unable to reap appropriate returns on the investments in supporting this demand growth. The industry must recognize the need for changes in its approach to managing network architecture, and that these changes should not be made in isolation. SoftCOM provides a holistic approach to help operators enhance competitiveness and optimize their returns on investment,” says Prof. Sanqi Li, CTO, Carrier Network Business Group, Huawei.
The SoftCOM strategy is underpinned by four key elements:
Equipment-level cloudlization – the decoupling of hardware and software;
Network-level cloudlization – the decoupling of forwarding and controlling;
Telecom IT cloudlization – transforming traditional IT infrastructure to a cloud-based infrastructure;
Internet-oriented operation – transforming telecom-oriented systems to Internet-oriented systems.
In conjunction with the SoftCOM evolution, Huawei is proposing the ‘Dig In, Widen Out’ strategy to help operators reduce TCO and create innovative business models with open networks.
‘Dig In’ brings about network optimization, transforming the existing high CapEx and high OpEx model to a substantially lower TCO model through network abstraction, programmability, control simplicity and management automation, enabled by SDN, NFV and cloud computing technologies.
Huawei SoftCOM will also facilitate structural TCO reduction. Through equipment-level cloudlization, network resources can be flexibly shared and utilization maximized. Networks will become much more scalable, network functions can be defined on-demand and time-to-market of services can be shortened. Through network-level cloudlization, network capabilities are consolidated in an abstract manner, which will enhance network intelligence.
‘Widen Out’ brings about network monetization, fundamentally transforming today’s fully controlled, closed and rigid business model to one that is open, new services-enabling and agile. This new model will enable operators to establish key differentiators and new value propositions in the new digital eco-system by leveraging the operator’s key strengths and capabilities, achieved by building a converged cloud platform across distributed data centers and wide area network infrastructure.
Cloudlization and virtualization are key technologies abstracted along the whole network, promoting elasticity and efficient allocation of resources targeting to reduce overall network TCO for a smoother broadband expansion. Additionally, the exposure of network capabilities through APIs will trigger value creation and monetization, opening endless possibilities for the development of applications combining CT and IT worlds. It will dramatically improve the overall experience of end users, offering a new and promising horizon to operators.