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China Telecom Shanghai’s smart gigabit private line drives SME cloud migration

Feb 18, 2020 By Wu Yao, Senior Marketing Manager, Transmission & Access Marketing Execution, Huawei

In 2019, China Telecom Shanghai launched a smart private line product for SMEs. Integrating Internet access, cloud access, security, on-demand bandwidth, and smart services, it has made the telco the world’s first to roll out a smart cloud private line.

China Telecom Shanghai

China Telecom Shanghai is already a leader when it comes to global fiber broadband construction. Now it has built a pioneering full-fiber city network that can carry individual, home, enterprise, and industrial services over a unified platform. 

As of July 2019, 250,000 10G PON ports had been deployed on the network, covering 20,000 residences and 10 million subscribers with gigabit fiber access and achieving gigabit fiber coverage as high as 99 percent. 

China Telecom Shanghai currently boasts 600,000 gigabit subscribers and nearly 4 million IPTV subscribers. It also provides PON private line services for 300,000 SMEs.

China Telecom Shanghai is the world’s first operator to build a gigabit city network. Revenues from government and corporate services make up 68.5 percent of its total revenue and it controls 86 percent of the PON private line market share. In the enterprise private line domain, the operator leads the world. It provides various grades of private line products including broadband for shops, business private lines, and high-quality private lines. 

In November 2019, China Telecom Shanghai began offering a smart private line for SMEs. Integrating Internet access, cloud access, security, on-demand bandwidth, and smart services, the solution made China Telecom Shanghai the world’s first telco to roll out a smart cloud private line.

SME cloud migration is driving private line upgrades

Over the past few years, China Telecom Shanghai has carried out eight broadband accelerations and five private line accelerations and now provides average broadband speeds of over 50 Mbps for SMEs. However, it has become increasingly difficult for traditional private line offerings to meet enterprise service demands due to their digital transformation and fast service innovation. SMEs in a variety of industries like the Internet, online education, and retail are part of this new wave of industry digitalization and cloud-based transformation. A look at their service requirements demonstrates their key demands for private lines.

Internet companies: High bandwidth, VPN, smart on-demand services

Let's consider the actual example of an online game developer that has multiple branches that collaborate on projects. Employees in each local office upload the games they design and develop to a cloud data center. Some HD-rendered images exceed tens of GB, frequently resulting in bandwidth occupancy of up to 90 percent on their private lines and frequent stuttering and slow loading. They also need secure VPN services to ensure secure access to their cloud data center and prevent key production data from being stolen. This particular firm’s network demands are high bandwidth and security.

Another example is a 3D graphics engine and visualization platform service company that generates 3D real-world rendering model files approaching 200 GB. It needs to meet customer demand for remote real-time viewing as well as real-time synchronization with cloud. This places high requirements on the cloud-based private line’s stability and uplink bandwidth.

Internet companies with the highest network requirements often buy operator private lines for basic bandwidth and cloud and VPN services from OTT service providers to meet business needs. As many Internet startups don’t have enough IT personnel to handle network construction and maintenance, operators need to be able to provide a cost-effective, one-stop service. As well as gigabit Internet private line bandwidth, VPN, and cloud services, operators also need to deliver on-demand bandwidth, on-demand smart value-added services, and rapid issue response and fault recovery services.

Online education: High bandwidth, low latency, cloud services

In one online education and training organization, the teachers organize online training at scheduled times and give remote classes by accessing the teaching system on a cloud server. The current 300 Mbps bandwidth of the Internet private line does not guarantee this kind of demand. Teachers often experience stuttering during classes, impacting the remote teaching experience.

The training company needs to be able to support high-bandwidth anytime, anywhere access to meet the evolving needs of new online education, which include the “live streaming plus tutoring” dual teacher model and AI-assisted teaching. As more teaching scenarios develop, HD video and VR will also be gradually adopted. To guarantee a high-quality classroom experience and real-time interaction, educational organizations will need to adopt cloud private line networks with bandwidth above 500 Mbps and sub-20-ms latency.

Chain retail service industry: Fast service provision, flexibility, and stable upstream bandwidth

Many retail chains need to store all of their  data in the cloud, which they then want to be able to access at any given time through the cloud host. As they migrate their services to the cloud, retail chains also need new network products and network architectures to meet their enterprise cloudification needs. First, they need a fast cloud connection and fast deployment. After full cloudification, cloud private line services for new stores need to be set up within days. Second, they need flexible bandwidth. When business is busy, increasing bandwidth can improve service efficiency and customer experience. Finally, they need stable uplink bandwidth. After full cloudification, all data such as invoices, purchases, financial, and user information has to be uploaded to the cloud for processing every day. This increases the demands on the uplink bandwidth of the network.

These examples from some typical SMEs show that in cloudification scenarios, their demand for cloud-based private lines focuses on flexible cloud migration, flexibility, security and reliability, rapid provisioning, and rapid fault recovery. To meet the needs of these kinds of new private lines, China Telecom Shanghai needed to develop a new differentiated product offering a one-stop service of cloud plus value-added services in addition to its existing pipeline service.

Gigabit private line enables a unique service mode

To better serve the demands of next-gen private lines for a large number of SMEs, China Telecom Shanghai and its core supplier launched a joint innovation project to build a new PON smart private line product for the gigabit era. Compared with traditional private line products, it has three major upgrades:

Product upgrade: One-stop integrated services with a high-end, all-in-one government and enterprise gateway have replaced the traditional optical modem plus multiple device scale-out networking model. As well as traditional high-speed Internet access services, it also includes features such as a point-to-point cloud private line, self-service on-demand bandwidth, and network security isolation. In the future, different smart add-in applications with on-demand, add-on capability will be launched to further reduce SMEs’ ICT construction and maintenance costs and increase service stickiness.

Quality upgrade: A comprehensive acceleration in speed delivers gigabit uplink/downlink symmetrical bandwidth and ensures zero-lag and zero-downtime for high-priority services. The government and enterprise gateway product harnesses high-grade hardware and carrier-grade protected private line networking to guarantee that enterprise subscribers’ offices are permanently online. Beyond that, the government and enterprise router product also boasts high-performance layer 3 forwarding and public-private network IP address conversion, supporting simultaneous access to the network by SME employees. Its connectivity capability is 10 times that of traditional optical modems.

Service upgrade: As China Telecom Shanghai’s PON network coverage exceeds 80 percent of the areas where SMEs are concentrated and its new generation of gigabit government and enterprise gateways have quick service provisioning capability, the time it takes to roll out a PON private line service is slashed from a week to a day, meeting the demand of many SMEs for quick service provision. At the same time, the wealth of O&M management features of the gigabit government and enterprise gateway supports end-to-end service quality visibility, cutting fault recovery time from 48 hours down to between 4 and 8 hours, dramatically improving customer satisfaction.

At present, SME users can get a smart private line with 100 Mbps symmetric uplink/downlink basic bandwidth for only 3,388 yuan (US$483) a month. For an additional 600 yuan (US$85.5) a month, they can get an additional 100 Mbps symmetric uplink/downlink bandwidth for cloud access for one-hop transmission to e-Cloud. The solution supports on-demand capabilities for both Internet bandwidth and cloud bandwidth and can be provisioned within days, helping customers who need to adjust their bandwidth to use network resources more economically.

Smart private line reshapes the cloud experience for SMEs

China Telecom Shanghai’s smart private line product provides various types of SME customers with better cloud services.

By upgrading to China Telecom Shanghai’s gigabit private line, it has solved the issue of slow uploads of 3D rendering model files for the previously mentioned service company that provides a 3D graphics engine and visualization management platform. Not only is the private line fast, but bandwidth is stable. Projects that used to take hours to upload can now be uploaded in minutes. And it fully guarantees a great experience when customers browse 3D models online.

For the online game developer, China Telecom Shanghai delivered a gigabit private line service with a 500-Mbps downlink and 200-Mbps uplink, elevating its network bandwidth fourfold and boosting  game testing efficiency by 50 percent. A stable network access rate can still be maintained even with multiple concurrent users and high network traffic, improving innovation capabilities.

In addition to its smart private line, China Telecom Shanghai is currently promoting different innovative private line products. It provides customized private line services for different types of SMEs plus a range of value-added cloud services to better address the needs of different enterprise customers who want to go digital. Huawei's BusinessPON SME private line solution can help China Telecom Shanghai continue to innovate and lead the market. 

Looking to the future, China Telecom Shanghai will continue to support digital transformation for industries in Shanghai, increase its position in the vertical market, and help power strong business outcomes.

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