At the 2016 Global Mobile Broadband Forum in Tokyo on November 25th, Edward Deng- President of Huawei Wireless Solution, described an integrated suite of solutions to enable the full “cloudification” of wireless networks. The company calls this solution ERA, signaling the arrival of the mobile cloud era. ERA includes three integrated solutions: one for cloud-based core networks (CloudEdge), cloud-based radio access networks (CloudRAN), and cloud-based air interface (CloudAIR).
Cloud network technology is a core focus of Huawei’s research and development. Since its release at the 2014 Mobile World Congress (MWC), Huawei’s CloudEdge solution has been deployed in over ten commercial sites and has obtained over 60 commercial contracts. Cloud core networks enable the convergence of multiple radio access technologies (RATs) as well as the provision of more flexible applications through network slicing and tailored scenario-based solutions.
Huawei aims to promote, drive, and lead the development of an All Cloud era. The company launched CloudRAN in April of this year to enable the cloudification of wireless network architecture, paving the way for cloud-based radio access networks. “The goal of CloudRAN is to redesign the entire architecture of wireless networks, transforming resource management, multi-connectivity, and elastic architecture into native capabilities to better meet the challenges of an uncertain future.” CloudRAN has passed business verification procedures in China, Italy, South Korea, and Japan, and is expected to be commercially deployed in Q3 of 2017.
Huawei is backing industry moves towards ‘All cloud’ mobile networks as it evolves it cloud focus in line with overarching trends. CloudEdge was actually launched back in 2014, with the team claiming it has been deployed in over ten commercial sites and has obtained over 60 commercial contracts, and CloudRAN is expected to be commercially deployed in Q3 of 2017. Deng claims CloudAIR uses advanced scheduling to allow different RATs (Radio Access Technologies) to share the same spectrum within a carrier band.
“Air interface is the most valuable resource that operators have. And if this most valuable resource doesn’t support efficient, on-demand, and agile network deployment, then a mobile network isn’t truly cloud-based,” said Deng. “Today, we launched the CloudAIR solution to help reshape air interface. Our focus is on improving the efficiency of air interface, enabling operators to deploy services more flexibly and, of course, enhancing user experience. CloudAIR is designed to enable more efficient sharing of air interface resources like spectrum, power, and channels.”
In a similar fashion to air interface cloudification, power cloudification supports inter-carrier, inter-RAT, inter-band, inter-site power sharing.
Channel cloudification is the third feature of CloudAIR. This allows for the implementation of artificial intelligence-based scheduling to enable any received signals to be recognized as available multi-path resources. This will facilitate convenient site selection and provide an improved user experience.
Huawei’s ERA, combines CloudEdge, CloudRAN and CloudAIR technology to launch a new era of cloud-based mobile networks. “The ERA solution will maximize the value of operator assets, enable on-demand network deployment, accelerate service provisioning, and empower mobile networks to be the true enablers of all industries around the world,” said Deng. “Through nonstop innovation, this solution will create unprecedented value for the industry.”
Details on how the technology works were not disclosed. However, Huawei said spectrum cloudification allows different RATs to share the same spectrum, dynamically allocating spectrum resources based on fluctuations in traffic.
“By enabling more efficient sharing and allocation of resources, spectrum cloudification creates real value for telecom customers,” said Deng. “It’s an important development trend in the industry, and it will take greater collaboration with industry partners to continue pushing things forward.”