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Huawei Publishes White Paper on VR-Oriented Bearer Network Requirements

Nov 09, 2016

[Shenzhen, China,Novermber 9, 2016] Huawei has announced the release of its White Paper on VR-Oriented Bearer Network Requirements (referred to as "white paper") to address the increasing demand for Virtual Reality (VR) services and the implications for telecommunication operators.

The white paper is the industry’s first technical documentation to define VR bearer network requirements, and helps telecommunication operators better understand the technology development roadmap needed to support VR services. With a huge range of VR technologies entering the market, networks will play a critical role in delivering seamless and high-quality connectivity that these data-intensive innovations demand.

The white paper lays a solid foundation for commercial deployment of VR services from a network perspective, and provides an important reference for operators' future network development and technology planning.

While the VR market is still relatively nascent, there is strong potential for this breakthrough technology, which will likely have multiple applications for both consumers and enterprises. To enable an immersive user experience, VR delivers the following:

However, the huge increase in bandwidth generated by VR services will put considerable pressure on networks. Delivering a seamless, high-quality and immersive VR experience will require high bandwidth, low latency, and on-demand capabilities, outlined in Huawei’s white paper.

The white explains that VR services require larger images with a higher resolution than traditional video services. According to the strict computation, analysis, and testing of Huawei iLab, only full-screen 24K resolution VR services can achieve the effects of ultra high-definition TVs. VR video quality will be gradually improved in stages including pre-VR, entry-level VR, advanced VR, and ultimate VR. In the pre-VR stage, the full-screen resolution is 4K or lower, and a minimum bandwidth of 25 Mb/s is required. In the entry-level VR stage, the full-screen resolution is 8K, and a minimum bandwidth of 100 Mb/s is required. In the advanced VR stage, the full-screen resolution is 12 K, the frame rate is increased to 60 frames per second (FPS), and a minimum bandwidth of about 400 Mb/s is required. In the ultimate VR stage, the full-screen resolution is 24K or higher, 3D takes precedence and becomes mainstream, and a minimum bandwidth of 1 Gb/s is required to guarantee a superior VR experience.

The white paper also details how a higher resolution requires higher image computation and processing capabilities. VR cloud rendering is essential in VR services and imposes stringent requirements on the network latency.

The white paper also examines how ultra-large VR service traffic bursts intensify the tidal effect on the network. Because of the significant difference between peak traffic and average traffic, only network on-demand services can guarantee the user experience. On-demand capabilities include flexible scaling in addition to on-demand bandwidth and latency.

The white paper states that, to make VR possible and take communication and entertainment services to the next level, networks will need to develop to enable low power consumption, large capacity, network architecture optimization, and capability expansion.

To realize the potential of VR and open up new opportunities for operators, Huawei believes there needs to be a greater understanding of the pressures VR services will place on networks, and how they need to evolve to provide an immersive user experience. Huawei will continue its efforts to facilitate operators' business success and build a better connected world.

For more details, see the White Paper on VR-Oriented Bearer Network Requirements.