Single Strategy

The universally well stated and acknowledged opportunities of mobile broadband (MBB) ineluctably compel operators to escalate investments in strategy and planning. A majority of this accelerated fiscal demand is simply to keep pace with the projected growth of subscribers and their expectation. Long before a return on any MBB investment can be considered, a parallel concern therefore becomes one of maintaining profitability. This concern is compounded by two simple facts:

  • Lower ARPU represented in large part by the numbers of newly added and future new subscribers worldwide;
  • Higher bandwidth requirements to meet the predicted 500 times increase in traffic mandate expansion of bandwidth service to meet demand.

Unless addressed comprehensively from the outset, the challenges of lower profits and debatable future ROI becomes may defeat even the most alluring opportunities presented by MBB.

To sustain operators' profitability Huawei believes the first step in ensuring cost effective development of any MBB network must be to secure and improve the efficiencies of key related assets: Sites, Spectrum, Pipelines, Subscribers and Staff. Building on Huawei's converged network solution SingleRAN (introduced in 2009), 2011 sees the introduction of our end-to-end Single Strategy, an optimal combination of ways to increase the efficiencies and maximize the values of operator assets across the board.

Sites: Making several million sites closer, greener, and broader

As people become more concerned about private property rights and environmental protection, sites are increasingly difficult to acquire. In many parts of the world, the cost of renting sites is far higher than purchasing network equipment. Operators are therefore reluctant to construct new sites, but they must still enhance and expand network coverage. They also want to retain their existing sites by simplifying deployment and maintenance to reduce disturbance caused to property owners. This has also posed new requirements for mobile networks.

Huawei's Single Strategy aims at making the sites "Closer, Greener, and Broader". "Closer" means to use Femto/Pico as a supplement to mobile networks, which can be deployed in close proximity to subscribers and can give them easy access to applications. "Greener" means to reduce site cost from end-to-end, including site rental, acquirement and operation; yearly power consumption of sites through technological improvements; and using technology such as IP microwave backhaul to enable wireless backhaul which significantly reduces construction costs.

As data traffic surges, one site may face significant traffic increase. Huawei's Single Strategy enables the deployment of a maximum of five bands and three modes in one cabinet. This approach eliminates the need to construct new sites or to expand space, and increased traffic can be easily managed. This is what we mean by "Broader".

Spectrum: Broadband frequency reuse

Scarcity of spectrum resources means that operators with the most spectrums will ultimately gain the upper hand. Since the cost to acquire these resources is extremely high, there has been considerable discussion about ways to effectively utilize spectrum assets over recent years. The conclusions are simple. If the same spectrum can be used differently by varied mobile technologies, or if existing spectrum can be reused, operators will continue to enjoy greater returns and the spectrum assets will appreciate in value.

Huawei's Single Strategy increases the efficiencies of spectrum assets in the following ways:

Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology can be used to increase the efficiencies of a single spectrum. For example, Huawei has achieved 8T8R in Time Division Duplex (TDD) and 4T4R in Frequency Division Duplex (FDD). Most of Huawei's base station products are optimized to support MIMO, which single module can support two transceivers.

Huawei's SingleRAN solution also enables the deployment of GSM/UMTS, UMTS/LTE and GSM/LTE in the same band class. Huawei's advanced multi-frequency and multi-mode Software Defined Radio (SDR) can be used to increase the efficiencies of multiple spectrums. In the future, portfolios of multiple technologies and multiple bands will be made available.   

Subscribers: Taking five billion subscribers forward

Subscribers are operators' most valuable asset. As mobile networks rapidly evolve, maintaining subscriber loyalty has become the biggest challenge that operators face when upgrading their network. So smooth network evolution and improved user satisfaction is of the most important issues that operators must address. Although data services are developing rapidly, voice users also have a significant presence. Operators must not forget that voice is still a core service. That is why Huawei continues to enhance voice service, delivering crystal clear voice quality. We must ensure that, as subscribers move into an era of rich communications with converged development of data and voice services, as well as GSM/UMTS networks, user satisfaction and user loyalty must not be overlooked. This will also be true as we migrate to Long Term Evolution (LTE), where high-quality seamless connection will become a reality. Huawei's Single Strategy takes care of subscribers, quickly responds to complaints, accurately locates the problems using historical records, and improves the experience of subscribers.

Pipelines: 3D single All-IP pipe

Improving internal connections among mobile network elements, All-IP pipelines (backhaul and backbone) inevitably become vital assets of MBB and represent the largest infrastructure investment. Huawei's Single Strategy maximizes pipelines in 3 different dimensions: Converging, Flattening and Evolving – Huawei's 3D Single All-IP Pipe.

In the access layer, IP microwave seamlessly enables evolution. With the surge of All-IP in MBB, data services will increase tremendously and GSM TDM services will continue for some time. IP microwave solutions can also ensure smooth transition from TDM or Hybrid to Pure Packet.

In the aggregation layer, with an industrial 1st 300mm-depth mini EDGE router installed in the outdoor cabinet, Huawei is able to help operators to deploy the end-to-end router-based IP backhaul network from BSC/RNC/AGW to BTS/Node B/eNode B. The router-based IP backhaul is able to provide "Any Connection" to UMTS/HSPA/LTE network with flexible choices in pure static routing, hybrid routing and pure dynamic routing. This minimizes IP backhaul investment and maximizes the evolution of All-IP pipeline.

In the core layer, the IP & OTN synergy acts as a backbone solution, making the network more reliable and efficient. The IP layer recognizes services and processes packet services automatically and efficiently. The optical layer provides endless bandwidth and transports mass data over thousands of kilometres.

Staff: Optimizing labour resources

A huge workforce is important to operators, but this often means massive investment in human resources, which puts great pressure on operators. To maximize the value of their workforce, operators hope to avoid a sharp increase in workforce while enhancing network performance and expanding network capacity. Under Huawei's Single Strategy, converged management is introduced for equipment and site solutions for different technological systems, as well as for the entire network. In this scenario, Operation and Maintenance (O&M) personnel do not need to receive complicated training. Instead, they can be quickly trained to perform complex end-to-end network maintenance jobs. This way, they can move away from becoming equipment O&M personnel to O&M personnel who focus on user experiences. Huawei's Single Strategy greatly lowers the OPEX and increases CAPEX efficiencies. With the help of convergent management and joint operation of GSM/UMTS/LTE networks, operators can confidently overcome the MBB challenges.

In conclusion, Huawei's end-to-end Single Strategy has been designed to help operators increase their asset efficiencies in five aspects: site assets, spectrum assets, pipeline assets, subscriber assets, and staff assets. It is an ideal solution for effectively meeting the growing requirements of operators.

Issue 19(03/2014)