textStartA satisfactory user experience in the information age must be real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY, and social (ROADS). To survive and thrive, telcos must create a ROADS-capable experience that allows users to enjoy real-time customized services on demand that are accessible anywhere.
Each day, the physical and digital worlds grow more intertwined, blurring the lines between online and off. A tremendous portion of our daily lives is being sent, transferred, received, and stored in binary format thanks to anywhere-anytime online access. The digital economy is disrupting traditional markets, creating new business opportunities such as Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, e-commerce, telemedicine, and distance education.
The telecom industry — which has enjoyed the benefits of a growing population, mobile Internet and smartphones — has faced developmental barriers due to surging bandwidth requirements and consumer service expectations. Carriers' traditional voice and messaging services are being eroded by OTT applications. In addition, increasing consumer demand requires greater network coverage, bandwidth, and quality, which leads to an increase in OPEX due to network expansion, upgrades, and maintenance. For the telecom industry to remain competitive, the combined efforts of the entire industry are required.
ROADS to the optimal telecom experience
Central to the information age is the concept of data-based intelligence, as are all-connection and zero-distance, which remove the limitations of time and space. To achieve this, enterprises must adopt a consumer mindset, and pay close attention to user perception and interests. A satisfactory user experience in the information age must be real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY, and social (ROADS).
Real-time, zero-distance, one-click capabilities allow users to enjoy a new service in just seconds, including ordering, payment and configuring. In the past, the process might have taken hours, days or even weeks. Real-time capabilities greatly improve customer satisfaction.
On-demand capabilities allow users to customize services based on their actual needs. Current telecom service packages are limited, and customers want free package customization in terms of bandwidth, capacity, time, and quality of service (QoS).
Users are accustomed to online services and entertainment. Cloud technologies will enable even more services, including telecom services, to be accessed online, improving efficiency and reducing costs.
DIY-capability allows users to participate in service development and optimization, which accelerates innovation and makes users feel more connected to services.
Social networking platforms allow users to share experiences, insights, and views about online services. These platforms help create fan bases, enhance user loyalty, and give users a sense of belonging.
ROADS is the external goal of a carrier's user-centric operations in the information age. To live up to its requirements, carriers must consider changing their business, R&D, service, and operation models, as well as restructuring their telecom networks.
SoftCOM builds open ROADS
To deliver a ROADS experience to users, networks need a new technology system. Huawei has proposed a system called SoftCOM, a network development strategy that seeks to build fully open ICT architecture to enable an industry shift from single-vertical innovation to all-encompassing innovation across the industry.
SoftCOM will reshape the telecom industry in four key ways:
Architecture reconstruction: In the information age, service provision, data exchange, and business activities will all be digitized. Storage, processing, and switching information will happen in data centers alongside business processing and transactions.DC-centered ICT architecture will be indispensable, and data centers will become the telephone exchanges of the digital era.
Network reconstruction: After the control and forwarding planes are separated and network resources are virtualized, networks can be managed in a more unified and global way to ensure better resource scheduling, higher efficiency, and simpler software upgrades. With the decoupling of hardware from software and NFV, the functions of network devices will depend on more than a certain piece of hardware. Network elements can share the same hardware platform (a hardware resource pool) to realize flexible resource sharing. In this way, networks can realize service automation and scalability based on service scale, and implement fault isolation and self-healing based on system autonomy. This improves network utilization, deployment, and maintenance efficiency, and accelerates service provision.
Service reconstruction: As cloud computing technologies mature, cloud services will become more widespread, creating an enormous market. Different businesses require different cloud services, which opens up countless strategic opportunities. The ICT infrastructure needed by enterprise cloud services is fundamental to carriers. Leveraging cloud computing for business model transformation, carriers will seize the opportunity created as enterprises shift ICT infrastructure onto the public cloud. A new telecom market worth trillions of dollars will come into being.
Operational reconstruction: ROADS-oriented operations allow users to enjoy on-demand, real-time, and customized services in an all-online way. These features also help carriers offer more intelligent customer services based on big data analysis, understand customer requirements, and carry out precision marketing. Social networking platforms aggregate industry innovations to offer a wide range of services.The information age is a time of abundant change, with success becoming increasingly tied to user experience. Telcos will survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive market by creating a ROADS experience. Huawei will work with carriers and industry partners to build future-oriented telecom networks and operations so that customers can carry out business transformations and build a Better Connected World.