Huawei has launched what it calls the “All-Intelligent Network” – a broadband strategy that promises to help telcos address the business uncertainties of future broadband by making their operations systems intelligent, simple, and really, really fast.
David Wang, president of Products & Solutions at Huawei, introduced the concept at the company’s Ultra-Broadband Forum in Hangzhou last week.
As Wang described the problem, as demand for video increases, as everything moves to the cloud, and as 5G draws closer to reality, telcos by and large still aren’t prepared on the operational level. Wang said many carrier networks still lack agile operation systems. Their current systems are hard to maintain, and rely on only a small number of security features for protection, which makes it difficult to support the future development of business where uncertainties are rife.
“In the physical world, intelligent transportation can address uncertainties in the transport network, such as traffic jams and other inefficiencies,” said Wang. “Likewise, the uncertainties of the digital world also need to be addressed through intelligence. Intelligence arises from simplicity, and simplicity accelerates the integration of intelligence into networks.”
The “All-Intelligent Network” is designed to help carriers with all of this via three key features:
Intelligence: namely, intelligent business operations and network O&M. Wang said there are three steps to build intelligent networks: from automatic to adaptive, and ultimately to autonomous.
In this context, ‘automatic’ means the ability to automatically provision services and automate network deployment and maintenance. By integrating network managers and controllers, the All-Intelligent Network connects new SDN networks and traditional networks. This will enable one-click services and end-to-end automatic service provisioning.
‘Adaptive’ is built on intelligent analyzers on top of automation, to collect real-time network data and perceive network status. The “All-Intelligent Network” is able to automatically generate and optimize policies based on service and network SLAs, enabling networks to evolve from open-loop configuration to closed-loop optimization.
‘Autonomous’ is the enhancement of analyzers by introducing AI and machine learning algorithms to enable network self-learning. Networks will evolve, from following programmed, static policies to learning dynamic policies on their own, thus achieving network autonomy.
Simplicity: The “All-Intelligent Network” optimizes traditionally siloed architecture by leveraging IT concepts and technologies. It decouples networks into two layers – an elastic and reliable transport layer, and a flexible and agile service layer. The architecture gets simplified, where network resources are adjusted fast and flexibly. By using a unified protocol, networking, which used to run on multiple IP protocols, becomes more standardized, and a standard service configuration model will be created to reduce the difficulty of O&M and configuration. The number of layers from OTN to CO is also reduced to enable one-hop access to any application, helping carriers reduce network latency, improve service experience, and flatten network topology.
Superfast: The definition of ultra-broadband is renewed to encompass ultra-low latency, ultra-high bandwidth, and massive connections. Latency is reduced from 30 ms to 5 ms, allowing new services such as IoT, data center interconnect, enterprise cloud applications, and cloud VR. With ultra-high bandwidth, it is not just about higher bandwidth, but also a smaller footprint and lower power consumption.
“The ‘All-Intelligent Network’ is the focus of our investment and innovation when it comes to future networks,” Wang said.