Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Monday, June 19, 2017

ZTE completes 26 GHz field testing in Beijing

ZTE claims that it has become the first vendor to conduct 26 GHz high-frequency field tests during the second phase of China's 5G test in Huairou, Beijing.

ZTE stated that it led the 26 GHz high-frequency field testing of its 5G new radio (NR) pre-commercial base station, which was demonstrated to deliver strong performance in interconnecting with the instruments and chips from a number of manufacturers. In addition, ZTE has applied to conduct official tests using frequency bands greater than 40 GHz in its Shanghai R&D centre as part of its efforts to develop solutions for the high frequency bands.

ZTE noted that the 5G testing is led by China, and organised and implemented by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, which includes the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and DOCOMO of Japan.

The latest 5G test program in China is covers technical solution verification as part of the second phase of testing and focuses on verifying technical solutions in the areas of continuous wide coverage, high capacity (low and high frequency), low latency and high reliability, low power consumption and hybrid scenarios.

ZTE added that China started to build the 5G test program earlier this year, which is believed to be the largest such test initiative, as well as the most advanced, and is based on an open test platform. Through the program, China is aiming to integrate core strengths in the industry and to promote global 5G standardisation and technology development.

Following the completion of the first phase of China's 5G technology R&D test, ZTE noted that it is engaged in the second-phase testing. Using its latest IT baseband unit (BBU), 5G multi-band active antenna unit (AAU) and NR air interface technologies, ZTE has launched field tests designed to address key performance requirements in typical application scenarios such as enhanced spectral efficiency, greater connection density, higher reliability and lower delay air interfaces.

http://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/press-center/news

oyment of 3D-MIMO, also termed Pre5G Massive MIMO in the city of Quanzhou in Fujian province.ZTE stated that with 16 commercial terminals connected, the single-carrier downlink peak cell rate has been increased to 730 Mbit/s, with a single-carrier 16-stream downlink peak rate using 3D-MIMO of up to 700 Mbit/s achieved. In addition, a three-carrier rate of up...

Friday, June 16, 2017

China Mobile and ZTE Demo 2.1 Gbit/s using 3 CA + 3D-MIMO

ZTE and China Mobile Quanzhou Branch announced that they have completed the commercial deployment of 3D-MIMO, also termed Pre5G Massive MIMO in the city of Quanzhou in Fujian province.

ZTE stated that with 16 commercial terminals connected, the single-carrier downlink peak cell rate has been increased to 730 Mbit/s, with a single-carrier 16-stream downlink peak rate using 3D-MIMO of up to 700 Mbit/s achieved. In addition, a three-carrier rate of up to 2.1 Gbit/s was achieved. ZTE claims that these speeds mark a record for a commercial environment, and build on three-carrier, 8-stream downlink rate with 3D-MIMO of 1 Gbit/s, also working with China Mobile.

ZTE explained that using the key 5G technology massive MIMO on the same bandwidth, 3D-MIMO base stations are able to deliver a peak throughput 7x higher than existing 4G macro stations, enhancing services and enabling reliable video transmission.

Quanzhou Mobile and ZTE noted that they have commercially deployed 3D-MIMO in 'big video' environments and verified the peak cell rate, representing a milestone towards the commercialisation of massive MIMO technology. The partners plan to continue to work together to expand the 5G-like Internet experience to more end users.

China Mobile and ZTE stated that they have been jointly developing and verifying 3D-MIMO technology since 2015, and in 2016 conducted 3D-MIMO pre-commercial verification in 50 cities across 29 provinces of China. The new-generation 3D-MIMO product is claimed to be suitable for engineering installation in macrocell and hotspot scenarios. The product provides support for multiple bands (3.5, 2.6 and 2.3 GHz), multiple carriers and multiple bandwidths and can be integrated with existing networks.


ZTE's Pre5G strategy is based on applying key 5G technologies such as massive MIMO to existing commercial 4G networks, as well as the enhancement of LTE-A Pro technologies within a 3GPP architecture via technology such as carrier aggregation (CA), unified delivery network (UDN), 256QAM, licensed assisted access (LAA), LWA (LTE and WLAN aggregation) and NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT). ZTE claims that to date its Pre5G-related solutions have been deployed on over 60 networks in 40 countries.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Equinix partners with China's Alibaba Cloud to expand cloud connectivity

Equinix, the global interconnection and data centre company, announced a collaboration with Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of China's Alibaba Group, to provide enterprises with direct, scalable access to Alibaba Cloud via the Equinix Cloud Exchange at its Hong Kong, Silicon Valley, Sydney and Washington DC International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres, with Frankfurt and London due to be added shortly.

Equinix noted that according to the U.S. International Trade Administration, the Chinese cloud market is forecast to grow 40% per year to 2020. Access to Alibaba Cloud is key for multinational customers seeking to expand cloud-based applications into the region. By offering multinationals secure, direct access to Alibaba Cloud, Equinix can provide connectivity to the suite of Alibaba cloud services, while Alibaba Cloud Express Connect provides access to its cloud network in mainland China.

With the addition of direct access to Alibaba Cloud on Equinix Cloud Exchange in markets across Asia Pacific, EMEA and the Americas, Equinix is able to offer private access to Alibaba Cloud in five markets. Equinix noted that it previously offered access in its Singapore IBX. Alibaba Cloud is also a colocation customer in Dubai with Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (known as du).

Alibaba Cloud provides a suite of global cloud computing services to support international customers' online businesses as well as Alibaba Group's own e-commerce ecosystem. Its international operations are headquartered in Singapore, with international teams based in Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, San Mateo, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.


Equinix operates 179 data centres in 44 markets worldwide. The Equinix Cloud Exchange offers direct private access to multiple cloud service providers and is available in 21 markets including: Amsterdam, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Osaka, Paris, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington DC and Zurich.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

China Mobile to deploy Nokia home gateways for 30m users

Nokia and China Mobile announced the deployment of millions of home gateways to provide residential customers in 29 provinces in China with access to fibre-based ultra-broadband applications and intelligent home services.

Under the agreement, China Mobile will deploy home gateway units featuring Nokia's solution to over 30 million users during 2017. Utilising established FTTH networks that enable gigabit speeds for end customers, deployment of the new gateway is intended to extend Internet coverage within the home and enable IoT communications between devices and sensors.

Additionally, the ability to flexibly add software functions and enhanced analytics capabilities will allow China Mobile to deploy and deliver a new intelligent home experience and associated services.

Nokia noted that the latest contract with China Mobile extends a long-term fixed networks partnership between the companies that also encompasses the development of the telco's GPON network to support mobile backhaul.
According to market research company IDATE, China Mobile is expanding its position as a converged telecom operator and currently serves more than 31 million FTTH subscribers. It noted that the operator is leveraging its extensive fibre access network to deliver ultra-broadband applications such as 4K TV and gigabit access to customers in a number of provinces. The addition of intelligent home gateway technology is expected to enable China Mobile to differentiate its services.



  • Earlier this year, Nokia announced that its Nuage Networks venture had been awarded a contract to supply its Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) for China Mobile's first commercial public cloud project. For the project China Mobile is using Nuage's scalable SDN solution for a deployment of approximately 2,000 public cloud servers in Beijing and Guangzhou.
  • Nuage Networks' VSP solution is designed to enable China Mobile to virtualise its multi-tenant data centre networks and establish connectivity among computing resources while also delivering new features to customers. China Mobile had previously deployed Nuage Networks SDN technology in CMCC's DevOps private cloud architecture.

China Telecom Shanghai selects Huawei for gigabit network

Huawei announced that it will help the Shanghai Branch of China Telecom to deploy a gigabit network featuring 10 Gbit/s PON optical network terminals (ONTs) to support smart home services.

Shanghai Telecom is planning to build what is believed to be the first commercial FTTH network in China using 10 Gbit/s PON technology as it progresses towards providing full fibre coverage enabling 1 Gbit/s bandwidth in Shanghai over the next 3 years. This project is expected to make Shanghai the first gigabit city in China.

Huawei noted that Shanghai Telecom established a 3-year goal of moving from 100 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s in 2016, and is a leading company in the construction of 10 Gbit/s communities and delivery of 1 Gbit/s bandwidth to households.

By the end of 2016, Shanghai Telecom was providing 1 Gbit/s access for 269 communities. By the end of 2018, the average access rate of Shanghai Telecom's network is expected to rise from 50 to 280 Mbit/s, while user-perceived download rates are expected to rise from 13 to 100 Mbit/s.

As part of its gigabit services offering, Shanghai Telecom has released a range of home broadband services, including multi-channel 4K, video calling, video conferencing and other smart home services.

To address Shanghai Telecom's requirements, Huawei is supplying its large-capacity distributed optical line terminal (OLT) MA5800 and next-generation smart 10 Gbit/s PON ONT. The single sub-rack solution is able to support streaming of UHD 4K videos for 16,000 households concurrently, as well as offering support for 8K video.

The Huawei OLT is designed to enable gigabit convergence through multiple media, allow different services to share the same platform during cloud evolution and to support a large number of physical connections for smart home applications.


The ONT supports multiple Gigabit Ethernet ports and can bear simultaneous multi-channel 4Kvideo, video calling and virtual reality (VR) services. Additionally, Huawei is providing an open intelligent platform designed to flexibly support a range of smart home services.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

China Telecom selects Huawei for all-optical backbone

Huawei announced that it won the bid as supplier for China Telecom's ROADM Network Project encompassing the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River area, claiming that the project represents the first intelligent ROADM WDM backbone network to be built in China.

The ROADM project is the initial phase of China Telecom's program designed to transition its optical transport network into an intelligent optical network, and also represent a key step for the CTNET2025 network transformation strategy of China Telecom.

Huawei noted that the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River extend across the fastest developing region in China and include the growing Internet industry. By building a ROADM network in the region, China Telecom is seeking to significantly improve the security and intelligence of its optical transport network to enhance its operational capabilities and improve broadband services in support of Internet enterprises, e-commerce and government/enterprise customers.

The project awarded to Huawei covers 21 ROADM sites in Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai, extending along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. For the project, Huawei is supplying its CD-ROADM technology, which is designed to facilitate the provisioning of new routes on upper-layer service networks, such as routes offering capabilities such as one-hop transmission, full mesh interconnection, optimal path and latency and rapid dynamic recovery.

The project is also designed to address the low latency and high performance requirements for data centre private lines and financial customers. Huawei stated that the current phase of the project will deliver more than three hundred 100 Gbit/s electrical lines and enhanced network recovery capability.

In the all cloud era, to meet the demand for higher bandwidth and lower latency, Huawei noted that it aims to help operators create advanced CloudOptiX transport networks that can enable a simplified, efficient one-hop transmission network architecture.

ZTE claims 70% share of China Mobile's PTN procurement project

ZTE reports that it has been awarded a 70% share, making the company the largest supplier of equipment, for China Mobile's New Packet Transport Network (PTN) Procurement Project.

ZTE stated that this latest contract win follows previous awards under China Mobile's PTN Procurement program, consolidating its position as a supplier of PTN solutions. The company noted that with only two vendors on the shortlist, China Mobile awarded the vendor ranked top in the procurement with a more than 70% allocation for the project, with the second vendor awarded a share of not more than 30%.

ZTE noted that with software-defined networks (SDN) destined to become a key communications network technology in the future, as part of the procurement program China Mobile arranged SDN-based tests covering solutions including SPT controllers and centralised operation and management centres (OMC).

Based on its expertise and capabilities in the SDN field, ZTE's SPTN controller is designed to provide high performance and advanced functionality that can enable centralised intelligent control, together with high resource utilisation and flexible service scheduling, while facilitating the network evolution.


Based on the development of its transport network and technologies, China Mobile is engaged in research into 5G networks and implementing pilot trials. As part of its 5G development effort, ZTE launched its 5G Flexhaul solution at this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC), designed to enable operators to build advanced, flexible, efficient and unified 5G transport networks.



  • Recently, ZTE announced that, working with China Mobile, China Mobile Zhejiang and the China Mobile Jiaxing Branch, it has completed a commercial deployment and multi-scenario test verification of 3D-MIMO technology utilising its Pre5G Massive MIMO solution in Jiaxing.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Nokia and China Huaxin establish Nokia Shanghai Bell JV

Nokia and China Huaxin Post & Telecommunication Economy Development Center announced the signing of definitive agreements relating to the proposed integration of Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell (ASB) and Nokia's China business, with the new joint venture to be branded as Nokia Shanghai Bell (NSB).

Through the agreement, the joint venture will become Nokia's exclusive platform in China for the development of new technologies in spanning IP routing, optical, fixed and next-generation 5G, while with the support of Nokia, NSB will continue to seek opportunities in select overseas markets. Nokia noted that ASB and its China business have been operating as a single entity since January 2016, when an interim operational agreement was signed.

The closing of the agreement, which is expected to take effect in July 2017, is subject to customary administrative, legal, regulatory and other conditions. On completion of the agreement, Nokia will own 50% plus one share of NSB, with China Huaxin owning the remainder, and the new joint venture having one board of directors and one management team.

The new NSB will represent the major part of Nokia's overall Greater China business and will leverage the strengths of both parties, encompassing innovation, global scale, efficiency and an understanding of the local market, with the goal of expanding Nokia's market presence in China. The operation will also support Nokia's strategic goals of delivering high-performance networks for service providers and expanding into new vertical markets.

NSB R&D will constitute an integral part of Nokia's global R&D community, housing a total of around 16,000 personnel, including 10,000 researchers, distributed across six R&D sites in China.

China Huaxin is an industrial investment company that aims to address long-term commercial growth opportunities in the ICT sector leveraging global operations and international investment experience. China Huaxin is aiming to be a major global industry holding group through supporting and advancing technology development in the information industry.



ZTE participates in second phase 5G testing led by China's MIIT

ZTE announced its participation in the second phase of 5G testing, carried out under the guidance of the Chinese government via the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), as well as advances through a number of technical verifications.

China's 5G testing is being led by China's MIIT and implemented by its IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group, with R&D activities divided into three phases: technology verification, technical solution verification and system verification. ZTE noted that the project entered the technical solution verification phase in 2017.

ZTE is participating in R&D work relating to a range of 5G new radio (NR) prototype products based on early key technology verification, and is now seeking to verify product functionality and performance in typical 5G scenarios in preparation for 5G commercial network deployments. For the latest phase of testing, ZTE is providing a series of 5G prototype products based on a new unified platform and is working with test equipment suppliers including Keysight and Rohde & Schwarz.

The technical solution verification centred on four key technologies, specifically: 5G NR operating at sub-6 GHz and mmWave bands, massive machine type communication (mMTC) and ultra-reliable low latency communications (uRLLC). The tests also included seven scenarios: continuous wide-coverage scenario; low-delay and high-reliability scenario; low-power and massive-connection scenario; hotspots at sub-6 GHz scenario; hotspots at mmWave scenario; and sub-6 GHz and mmWave hybrid networking scenario.

ZTE stated that as part of the process, in the prototype sub-6 GHz field it provided a new 3.5 GHz NR pre-commercial base station, with all entries passing the RF tests of the MIIT and the RF bandwidth of the base station reaching 200 MHz. In addition, the solution's volume, weight, power and other key features comply with requirements for pre-commercial networks.

Additionally, related field performance tests in Beijing have also commenced. In the mmWave field, ZTE launched a series of prototype products and claims that it has made significant progress in technical solutions, machine integration and other aspects pertaining to performance.

In a recent pre-test at the ZTE Shanghai Institute, ZTE showcased its latest 26 GHz base station at mmWave, where single-user peak rate of nearly 16 Gbit/s was achieved. In addition, ZTE conducted a 60 GHz prototype at mmWave comparison test. As well as developments in the fields of mMTC and uRLLC, ZTE has launched an improved enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) platform based on its previous technology verification platform.


Following the completion of the first phase of China's 5G technology testing, the second phase and testing ongoing 5G tests in Beijing have been implemented, providing 5G NR at sub-6 GHz, mmWave and mMTC and uRLLC test conditions designed to support progress towards the future large-scale commercial use of 5G.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

China Telecom launches 100G Asia-Europe on Terrestrial Route

Hong Kong-based China Telecom Global (CTG), the subsidiary of China Telecom established in 2012, announced the launch of 100 Gbit/s service capability over its terrestrial cable system to address demand for high capacity connectivity between Asia and Europe in collaboration with Russian operators.

Building on the launch of the Super TSR (Transit Silk Road), an ultra-low latency terrestrial route via the China-Kazakhstan Gateway, the latest initiative further diversifies CTG's product portfolio across the Europe-Asia route.

CTG's new 100 Gbit/s capability is supported by cross-border transmission systems leveraging the China-Russia, China-Mongolia-Russia and China-Kazakhstan-Russia routes. The solution will be managed in collaboration with Russian partners, with which CTG has established a long-term strategic relationship.

CTG stated that the service launch represents the first terrestrial 100 Gbit/s bandwidth option available between Asia and Europe, and is intended to support increasing IP transit/transmission demand from carrier partners and IP service providers.

CTG launched the Super TSR last year, offering latency performance of 147 ms from Shanghai to Frankfurt, Germany and 159 ms between Hong Kong and Frankfurt, which is claimed to be 10 ms lower latency than on existing routes. The new shorter route was implemented in partnership with a Kazakhstan operator. CTG noted that the developments are part of its efforts to support China's Belt and Road initiative.



  • Previously, last December CTG and Nepal Telecom announced an agreement to deliver IP services in Nepal leveraging the newly launched terrestrial route connecting China and Nepal, via Jilong (Rasuwa) Gateway.

Beijing Internet Harbor Tech Deploys Coriant's DCI

Beijing Internet Harbor Technology Co., Ltd. (BIH), a leading provider of Internet Data Center (IDC) and value-added cloud computing services in China, has deployed the Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform (NDP) to scale metro network capacity and enhance high-speed interconnect services for its end-user customers, including large and small enterprises, Internet and Web 2.0 providers, and government agencies. The Coriant Groove G30 solution for Internet Harbor includes coherent 200G line side transmission, and spans major metropolitan cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.

“Digital technologies and cloud computing are rapidly transforming the enterprise communications landscape across China and driving the need for more scalable, flexible, and efficient data center interconnect services,” said Ren Zhiyuan, CEO, Beijing Internet Harbor Technology Co., Ltd. “From best-in-class metro transport solutions to a world-class service and support team, Coriant has proven the ideal technology partner as we have expanded our footprint and scaled our metro infrastructure. With the addition of the Coriant Groove™ G30 solution, we are positioned to take our data center interconnect services to an entirely new level.”

The compact 1RU Groove G30 solution, which can be configured as a muxponder, enables Internet Harbor to cost-efficiently support delivery of 10G, 40G, and 100G interconnect services while maximizing utilization of fiber resources with coherent 200G DWDM transport. The Groove G30 NDP stackable solution supports 3.2 terabits of capacity throughput in a compact and highly pluggable 1RU form factor.

http://www.coriant.com

China telecoms market update - Part 2

Fixed broadband subscribers for March 2017 (millions):

Total subs Added March Total '16 March vs trend
China Mobile 85.681         2.411   22.595 Above average
China Unicom 76.589             0.357   2.906   Above average
China Telecom 125.82           0.970   10.590 Average
Total 288.352           3.738   36.091 Above average

Comment on the above

There is nothing exceptional about these monthly numbers, although its worth noting that China Mobile, a very late official entrant to this market, only reporting its first surprisingly large international numbers in February 2016, is now well past China Unicom and with around 30% actual fixed broadband market share is also taking almost two thirds of month to month market growth. As a result, its market share is growing steadily each month by about 0.35 points. Also, at the present rate of comparative growth China Mobile could possibly overtake China Telecom in the next three years or so to become the largest fixed-broadband operator. Given China Mobile is already by far China's largest mobile broadband operator it is still difficult to understand what MIIT's plans are for an industry so increasingly dominated by one company. As things stand it would seem logical to merge Unicom and Telecom, which have never really overcome their historic regional bias, and hand out another couple of converged licenses to some of the more successful MVNOs.

The FTTH market

The numbers for this market are not in general publicly reported by the three big operators, though numbers do slip out from time to time. Possibly they report them to MIIT, at least it would be surprising if they did not. On April 18th Digitimes Research reported that, in line with the Chinese government's Broadband China Policy of 2013, and helped by China Mobile's involvement in the fixed-line market, fibre infrastructure has been 'quickly established', and claimed that at the end of 2016 the number of FTTH subscribers in China had increased to 227.7 million, of which 61 million lived in rural areas. Digitimes also claimed 77.8% had download speeds of 20 Mbit/s and above. However, according to the report the number of xDSL subscribers shrank to 19.8 million at the end of 2016, decreasing 60.6% year on year.

It should be noted that Digitimes is normally a quality source of information, mostly about Taiwanese companies, but usually also heavily involved in China. However, this report claimed that the 227.7 million FTTH subscribers accounted for 76.6% of all fixed-line broadband Internet subscribers, which implies that the number of fixed-line broadband subscribers in China at the end of 2016 was 297.26 million. Based on the above official numbers, this seems to be roughly 20 million too high. Digitimes has access to the operator numbers so the implication is that for some reason they are adding estimates for one or more other operators. One possibility is that Digitimes knows or believes that the China Mobile numbers do not include the broadband subscribers of the one time railway operator TieTong.

Although it was reported in November 2015 that China Mobile had agreed a RMB 31.9 billion deal to acquire fixed broadband provider TieTong from China Mobile sister company CMCC it is possible that that consolidation has not yet been fully completed. Moreover, given the size and complexity of China and the power of some of the provinces there may still be a few small local telcos that have maintained an independent existence. Some of the many provincial cable companies, nominally consolidated at national level but still in many cases rather independent, may also serve some customers with fibre. It also seems likely that huge corporations like State Grid Corporation of China also run some internal broadband operations and in any case SGCC has certainly dabbled in the FTTH market in the past, though to what actual level remains unclear.

TenPay online mobile payments system gaining very rapidly on AliPay

In early April 2017 estimates by Analysys of vendor market shares of the huge Chinese online third party mobile payments market for Q4 2016, valued at around RMB 12.8 trillion ($1.741 trillion), up 41.7% Q/Q and 126% YoY, showed Tencent's payment system, TenPay, continuing to gain ground steadily on the market leader AlIPay, a subsidiary of Alibaba. The other more than a dozen payment operators, including ApplePay, averaged less than 1% market share each. Despite a year on year loss of almost 17 points from 71% in Q4 2015, Alipay, remained the market leader in this market with a 54.1% share in Q4 2016, followed by TenPay (including WeChat Payment and QQ Wallet), on 37.02%, with the third-ranked player Yiqianbao on 2.19% and the rest on 1% or less.

According to analysts, TenPay has benefited from the huge 890 million user base of its market leading WeChat social media platform and also since 2014 has successfully targeted China's 'hongbao', or red envelope tradition during the Chinese New Year with reportedly 32 billion virtual red envelopes handled online in 2016,

(NB: the Chinese mobile payment market for 2016 is estimated at $5.5 trillion, or around 50 times the estimated $112 billion for the U.S.)

Top 3 Chinese smartphone vendors in Q1 show 3.7 point market share gain

According to IDC estimates of the size, growth rate and vendor structure of the global smartphone market in Q1 2017, the top three Chinese suppliers - Huawei, Oppo and Vivo - were collectively up 3.7 points in market share year on year to reach a collective 22.40%, while Samsung lost a percentage point from 23.80% and Apple lost 0.5 points from 15.4%. While the market grew an unexpected 4.3% to 347.4 million units the net result of market growth and share decline for the two leaders was that both Samsung and Apple shipments were virtually static year on year at 79.2 million and around 51 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, Huawei grew 1.4 points year on year in share from 8.4% to 9.8% and 22% in unit shipments. While very impressive for a company which has only been seriously in the market since 2011 there are two points that should worry Huawei about these numbers given its clearly stated outrageous ambitions to be the global market leader. The first is that even if Huawei could continue to gain 1.4 points a year, which seems unlikely, it would still take about a decade to overtake the leader Samsung. Secondly, and in some ways more worrying, is given that in almost all the many markets it has entered Huawei is accustomed to being by far the most aggressive competitor, Oppo, whose market share was also up 1.4 points YoY from 5.9% to 7.4%, is growing at least as strongly as Huawei and that is an unusual environment for Huawei. However, according to a Fortune article of January 24th, Richard Yu, head of Huawei's Consumer Group said in November that he expected to overtake Apple in unit market share sometime in 2018. Vivo, meanwhile grew market share much more slowly than Huawei or Oppo, from 4.4% to 5.2%.

China Mobile, Enea, Cavium and ARM to collaborate in validating NFV test cases

On May 2nd it was announced that China Mobile, real-time OS developer Enea of Sweden, ARM of the UK and Cavium of San Jose, a supplier of ARM- and MIPS-based processors, had signed a collaborative agreement whereby Enea's open OPNFV-based commercial core platform (based on OpenStack), ARM's 64-bit processor and Cavium's ThunderX workload-optimised data-centre server processors would be used in China Mobile's Open NFV Testlab as part of its Telecom Integrated Cloud program. The program is designed to validate a variety of NFV tests cases, such as vCPE, vBRAS, vEPC and vIMS, and support Open Network Automation Platform project development and integration.

In relation to the above announcement, in 2015 Wind River, a supplier of software for intelligent connected systems, and China Mobile said they had joined forces on multiple NFV projects including a new NFV test lab as well as the development of virtualised small cell gateway and cloud radio access network (C-RAN) solutions. Also, in January 2016 the OpenStack Foundation published a press release in support of the report Accelerating NFV Delivery with OpenStack on the adoption and business cases driving NFV deployment at leading telecom providers. It claimed that OpenStack was the platform of choice for NFV deployment and noted that AT&T, Bloomberg, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT Group, SK Telekom and Verizon were among the organisations documented using OpenStack and NFV.

In addition, in June 2016 Nokia and China Mobile announced the signing of a one-year, Euro 1.36 billion frame agreement for Nokia to provide China Mobile with cloud services, mobile, fixed, IP routing, optical transport and customer experience management technology, as well as support and global services during 2016.



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

China telecoms market monthly update - Part 1

Mobile subscribers for March 2017 (millions):


            Total subs       Added March   4G subs  Added March
China Mobile 856.485           2.787   568.074           9.471
China Unicom 266.265           0.641   122.726           6.613
China Telecom 221.53           3.010   137.640           5.930
Total 1,344.28        6.438   828.440           22.014

Comment on the above

There has been a slight acceleration over the last few months in China Mobile's new mobile additions and the March numbers were the highest since 2.831 million in September 2016 and the second highest of the last 15 months. However, the numbers for the first three months of 2017 are surprisingly similar to those of the first three months of 2016, so year on year the collective total for the first quarter was virtually flat. The standout number for the quarter was China Telecom's net addition of 3.01 million, which was not only higher than the China Mobile number for March but also almost 1 million higher than its own previously highest over the last 15 months of 2.02 million.

On the 4G side, while China Mobile continues to lead in new additions the level is now only about 50% of its average monthly additions in 2016. By comparison, China Telecom net additions in March were its second highest for the last 15 months and the China Unicom figure was by far its highest for the same period. Clearly, since both companies' share of net 4G additions during the month are higher than their share of cumulative 4G subscriptions to date both must be gaining share against China Mobile, but the gains are at a very slow rate.

Companies with 61% stake in Singapore telco M1 seeking sale

On April 21st Reuters reported that sources had told it that the three principal investors in Singapore operator MI, namely Malaysia's Axiata Group, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation, which collectively own around 61% of the $1.36 billion valued telco, had been contacting a number of telecoms firms, including China Mobile, and private equity companies, cash-rich business groups in China and Japanese tech firms, to gauge their interest in bidding for their majority ownership of the business.

M1's share price has nearly halved over the past two years due to its weak business performance amid increased competition, which is about to get even more intense once TPG Telecom of Australia, which has been awarded Singapore's fourth mobile licence, launches its services in 2018. Despite being by far the world's largest telco in terms of subscriptions served, China Mobile has historically been very tentative in terms of overseas expansion and so far has focused on investments in operators that serve neighbouring countries to China, i.e., in 2007 it bought a minor operator in Pakistan and in 2014 bought an 18% stake in Thailand's True.

Foxconn, with growing interests in electric vehicles, invests in CATL

On March 30th Taiwan News reported that Foxconn of New Taipei City, Taiwan and the world's largest electronics equipment manufacturing subcontractor with over 1.3 million workers and revenue of $136 billion in 2015, would invest NT$4.4 billion ($147 million) for a 1.19% stake in six year-old Chinese electric vehicle battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL). CATL is based in Ningde, a 3rd tier city of 252,000 people in the north of the south western coastal province of Fujian, which faces across the Straits of Taiwan to Taiwan.

CATL was founded by Robin Zeng, who has a doctorate in Chemistry and also previously founded Amperex Technology (ATL), also headquartered in Ningde but now majority owned by TDK of Japan, focused on consumer lithium-ion battery development and production for Apple, TDK, Amazon, HTC, Lenovo, Huawei and Coolpad. Under China's 13th 5 Year Plan (with 2020 targets including halving battery costs to below  RMB 1 (14.4 cents) per kilowatt hour, and improving energy density by two-thirds), CATL is one of three government-nominated Chinese battery makers (along with Guoxuan and Lishen) that will receive around $15 million in support funding if it meets those targets.

According to a Reuters report, CATL overtook global rival LG Chem of South Korea in battery output in 2016 and is close on the heels of two other international leaders - Japan's Panasonic and Warren Buffet-backed BYD of Beijing. CATL is aiming to grow its battery capacity six-fold by 2020 to 50 gigawatt hours, which if achieved would by then possibly put it ahead of Tesla Motor's Nevada Gigafactory. CATL electric car battery clients include German luxury car brand BMW, Chinese brands Yutong (Xiamen King Long United Automotive) and BAIC Motor.

In addition to its recent investment in CATL, Foxconn has increased its investments in self-driving electric vehicles in recent years, signing, in March 2015, a strategic partnership agreement with dealership chain China Harmony Auto and Chinese Internet specialist Tencent Holdings to launch the joint venture Zhejiang I-car Internet and Intelligent Electric Vehicle in Zhengzhou City, Henan province to develop connected smart electric vehicles.

In November 2016 it was reported that the above start-up had signed an agreement with local government officials to build a $2 billion assembly plant in the Chinese city of Shangrao in the south eastern province of Jiangxi, with the capacity to build up to 300,000 electric vehicles annually, as well as a production line to assemble battery packs for EVs.

Tencent, Harmony Auto and Foxconn have also formed a partnership to establish another EV start-up, China Future Mobility, to develop connected and automated electric cars. According to China Harmony Auto's financial report released in mid-2016, Future Mobility expected to unveil its first model next year and put it on sale in 2019. In late January 2017, it was reported that Future Mobility planned to invest RMB11.6 billion ($1.7 billion) to build a new factory in 2019 in Nanjing (the capital of Jiangsu province) with the capacity to produce 300,000 cars a year, with its first car likely to have a price tag of about RMB300,000 ($43,700).

Foxconn currently China Harmony Auto's second largest shareholder


A recent report by Taiwan's United Daily News also noted that two Foxconn subsidiaries (Eson Precision Industry, a module manufacturer, and BizLink Holding, a supplier of automotive equipment cabling and both important suppliers to the electric vehicle market) were key suppliers of Tesla electronic vehicle components, and speculated that Foxconn could play an important role in any future electric car developments by Apple.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Nokia selected for digital city project in Chengdu

Nokia has announced a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China's Tianfu New Area Chengdu Administrative Committee under which the parties will collaborate on establishing a new digital city that will include the construction of data centre and related telecom infrastructure.

The new digital city project in the Chengdu prefecture of Sichuan province will also involve the deployment of a trial network for internet of things (IoT), the incubation of IoT applications and devices, big data and the deployment of an optical network to serve the Tianfu New Area.

Nokia noted that in December 2015 it announced plans to establish a global R&D centre in Chengdu that would focus on developing technology for areas including next generation telecom networks, IoT, big data and the cloud. The centre is now operational and houses several hundred of R&D staff.

Nokia added that the digital city agreement for Tianfu New Area is the latest smart city engagement for the company worldwide, and highlights the company's strategy to expand its customer base beyond the traditional telecommunications market. In late 2016, Nokia released its Smart City Playbook, which is intended to define best practices for smart city projects.


Tianfu New Area, established in December 2011, is intended to create a modern urban area for residents, industry and commerce, with a focus on developing modern manufacturing and high-end service clusters. Tianfu New Area encompasses parts of Chengdu High-tech Zone, Longquanyi District, Shuangliu County, Xinjin County, Jianyang City, Pengshan County of Meishan City and Renshou County. The plans include the construction of the New Century Global Centre and Chengdu Tianfu International Airport.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

LightCounting reports record optical networking market in '16

Market research firm LightCounting finds in its latest Optical Communications Market Forecast report that while demand for optical networking equipment, modules and components attained record levels in 2016, the market was weak in the first quarter of 2017.

LightCounting reports that Huawei led the market in terms of growth in 2016, but significantly reduced purchases of optics in the first quarter of 2017 and forecasts that this weakness is likely to continue in the current quarter. However, the research firm believes that this a temporary slowdown in the optical market.

Looking at data for overall capex of the Top 15 service providers globally, LightCounting notes a sharp decline in Asia in 2016 due to lower spending by the big three Chinese operators, while spending in the U.S. and Europe remained stable versus 2015. Even so, 2016 was a record year for optical communications equipment revenue, which typically accounts for around 10% of service provider capex.

China

China Mobile was the largest consumer of optics in 2016 and added 30 million FTTH subscribers and deployed more than 50,000 ports of 100 Gbit/s DWDM optics into its core network. In addition, upgrades of China Mobile's metro and metro access networks drove demand for 10 Gbit/s optical components and modules. LightCounting notes that while some upgrade projects were completed in 2016, many are ongoing.

The research firm also cites a presentation by China Mobile at OFC 2017, in which the operator said that traffic growth rates in its network rose from 46% in 2013-14 to 88% in 2015-16, compared with a growth global rate of around 30%. Therefore, China Mobile, along with China Telecom and China Unicom, are expected to continue their high levels of spending to address above average traffic growth. LightCounting states that the capex-to-revenue ratio for Chinese service providers is around 25%, compared to 15% for all other operators.

LightCounting estimates that deployments of 100 Gbit/s DWDM ports in China in 2016 translate to a 70% increase in network bandwidth, and predicts that Chinese service providers will increase bandwidth in DWDM networks by a further 40% in 2017. However, it believes that deployments will increase in 2018 to keep pace with traffic growth.

Cloud DCI

Regarding DWDM deployments in the cloud/data centre interconnect (DCI) and enterprise segments, LightCounting observes that while this is a relatively small market in terms of total bandwidth, it is growing much faster that the service provider segment. As a result, bandwidth demand from cloud companies connecting data centres is expected to be very high in 2017.

LightCounting notes that Amazon and Facebook report that traffic inside their data centres is increasing by 100% annually. While growth in traffic between data centres is expected to be slower, based on the rate of construction of new data centres the research firm predicts 100% bandwidth growth for DCI traffic 2017. This increase in DWDM bandwidth demand for cloud DCI is expected to compensate for lower demand in China.

Friday, April 28, 2017

ZTE Engages in MEC Pilots with Chinese Carriers

ZTE announced that it is implementing mobile edge computing (MEC) pilots and technical verification trials with major carriers China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, ahead of plans to deploy the technology commercially in 2018.

ZTE stated that it launched MEC pilots in collaboration with China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom during 2016. Specifically, it worked with China Telecom company Ningbo Telecom on a campus network to implement local traffic offloading. In addition, in Beijing and Zhuhai ZTE and China Mobile conducted an indoor positioning project. ZTE also carried out smart parking projects leveraging MEC and narrow band IoT (NB-IoT) technology in the city of Ningbo.

Additionally, At MWC Shanghai 2016, ZTE demonstrated a 5G MEC-based virtual reality (VR) service in partnership with China Unicom.

ZTE noted that it has developed a suite of MEC solutions that encompasses core technologies and patents spanning areas such as virtualisation, container, precision positioning, shunting and close-to-user content delivery network (CDN). ZTE also provides an integrated 4G/5G MEC solution with network slicing capability. The solutions are designed to address multiple scenarios, including service localisation, local caching, Internet of Vehicles (IoV) and Internet of Things (IoT).

MEC technology integrates wireless networks and the Internet and implements computing, storage and processing functionality on the wireless network side, while open APIs enable data exchange between the wireless network and service processing servers. This allows carriers to reduce the load on the transmission network and process information more quickly at base stations, improving efficiency and services to end users.

http://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/press-center/news/2017ma4/0427ma2


  • In June 2016 at MWC Shanghai, ZTE and China Unicom demonstrated a MEC solution for 5G based on cloud-aware, soft-network architecture. ZTE displayed an integrated solution featuring its QCell indoor coverage and MEC products designed to enable big data applications.
  • Earlier in 2016, ZTE and China Mobile showed a joint 5G-oriented network architecture and network slice prototype system that utilised the latest generation Intel Xeon processor. The prototype system featured 5G network function componentisation and requirement-based orchestration and enabled dynamic 5G applications network slices including for mobile broadband (xMBB), IoT and MEC.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

China Unicom teams with Nokia to Trial VSR platform

Nokia announced that it is conducting a live trial in China Unicom's commercial network using the Nokia Virtualized Services Router (VSR) and involving more than 5,000 residential subscribers, designed to enable China Unicom to simplify and accelerate the delivery of broadband utilising a new flexible network based on virtualised network functions (VNFs).

The initial trial with China Unicom is being carried out in the Chinese province of Shandong, with plans to expand to the other parts of the country over the next two years as it moves to the next phase, which will include delivery of IPTV services.

Nokia noted that China Unicom is adopting software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) to enhance efficiency and increase flexibility, openness and scalability as it evolves to a cloud-ready network. The trial of the Nokia VSR platform is designed to demonstrate improved operational efficiency and faster creation and delivery of new services.

The China Unicom trial involves using the VSR solution as a next-generation, virtualised broadband network gateway (BNG) to support residential subscriber management functions and advanced service capabilities. As part of its initiative to transform its metro service edge, China Unicom plans to migrate BNG services to the virtualised platform to gain the benefits of a cloud environment.

The trial specifically includes Nokia's field-proven VSR designed for x86 server environments, with the vBNG functionality based on the Nokia Service Router Operating System (SR OS). Nokia VSR is designed to deliver a range of BNG service functions for an enhanced end-user experience, as well as providing high throughput. For the trial Nokia's VSR is also being used to deliver functions, such as network address translation (NAT) to facilitate the migration to IPv6.

http://www.nokia.com/en_int/news/releases


  • In September last year, Nokia announced the expansion of its partnership with China Unicom covering the supply of its high-capacity core router, the 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS). Nokia stated that China Unicom had initially deployed the 7950 XRS into metro networks in six provinces - Beijing, Shandong, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Inner Mongolia and Qinghai - and under the latest agreement planned to deploy it in an additional four provinces, namely Heilongjiang, Henan, Zhejiang and Hunan, to improve services for fixed and mobile broadband subscribers.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

ZTE reports Q1 revenue of RMB 25.74b, up 17.8% YoY

ZTE has announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017, as follows:

1. Operating revenue for the first quarter of RMB 25.74 billion (approximately $3.74 billion), up 17.8% compared with RMB 21.86 billion in first quarter of 2016.

2. Operating profit for the first quarter of RMB 764.1 million, up 143.2% compared with RMB 314.2 million in first quarter of 2016.

3. R&D expenditure for the first quarter of RMB 3.33 billion, up 9.2% versus RMB 3.05 billion in first quarter of 2016.

4.  SG&A expenditure for the first quarter of RMB 3.47 billion, up 4.2% compared with RMB 3.33 billion in first quarter of 2016.

5.  Profit attributable to shareholders of RMB 1.21 billion (approximately $175.7 million), up 27.5% compared with profit of RMB 949.5 million in first quarter of 2016.

6.  Cash as of March 31, 2017 RMB 29.25 billion, versus RMB 32.35 billion as at December 31, 2016.

Additional results and notes

ZTE reported negative net cash flows from operating activities for the first quarter of 2017 of RMB 971.2 million, compared with positive net cash flow from operation of RMB 3.94 billion in the first quarter of 2016.

The company noted that the higher first quarter profit derived from sales growth for carrier network solutions and smartphones. More specifically, ZTE stated that in the first quarter it achieved over 25% growth in shipments of set-top-boxes as part of its Big Video business, while shipments of in-house developed chipsets rose 70% year on year during the quarter.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

China Telco Data and Market Update - Part 3

China telco subscription data for February, other China market news updates and operator results for 2016 - Part 3

Alibaba maintains explosive momentum with a 53% revenue growth

Alibaba results for the 5 years 2012 to 16 ended March 31st 
(RMB millions):


Latest financial Q3 and YTD 2017 results

On January 24th Alibaba stock was up 3% following Q3 FY2017 results that beat market expectations on both revenue and earnings. Specifically, Alibaba reported:

1.  Revenue up 54% to RMB 53.25 billion ($7.67 billion), ahead of analyst calls by about $375 million (5%). CFO Maggie Wu said that with three quarters already ahead of expectations Alibaba was raising its growth-rate forecast for the full year from 48% to 53%, versus 33% growth for FY 2015/16.

2.  Net earnings of RMB 17.12 billion ($2.57 billion) and adjusted EPS of $1.30, 17 `cents, or 15 % more than the markets were expecting; free cash flow during the quarter was RMB 31 billion ($4.9 billion).

3.  Core e-commerce revenue for Q3 generated by its Taobao and Tmall business systems was RMB 46.58 billion ($6.71 billion), up 45% YoY. Alibaba claims it now has over 493 million users, of which 443 million are classified as active buyers, a significant proportion of China's estimated 731 million Internet users, of whom 95% do their business via mobile phones.

4.  Although still quite a small percentage of its total business Alibaba's cloud computing revenue grew 115% from Q3 2016 to RMB 1.76 billion ($254 million) and was up nearly 50% sequentially. Apart from the encouraging growth rate the cloud business loss in Q3 was $49 million, a significant improvement on its Q2 loss of $66 million, suggesting it could become profitable within the next three quarters. The cloud computing unit added 114,000 paying customers during the quarter to a total of 755,000 customers. At the same time Alibaba launched data centres internationally, following its Chinese customers to new markets as well as acquiring new customers outside China.

5.  Mobile MAUs were up 43 million to a total of 493 million.

6.  Revenue per annual active buyer continued to increase reaching $35 in the December quarter; on the mobile front, revenue per mobile user, which had also been increasing for several quarters, reached $24 in the quarter.

7.  Digital media and entertainment business rose 273% to RMB 4.1 billion ($585 million) as Alibaba continued to integrate its Youku Toudou multi-screen entertainment and media company and other investments in film, music and sports.

8.  Other activities accounted for RMB 845 million ($122 million), up 61%.

Other Alibaba strategic developments

In its January 24th releases Alibaba noted that Koubei , a 12 years old Alibaba affiliate focused on enabling local commerce, had closed a $1.1 billion financing round in January. A major part of Alibaba's e-commerce strategy is now being devoted to its so called 'online-to-offline' initiative, or O2O,which attempts to blur the line between physical and electronic retail.

On January 9th Alibaba announced that, together with the founder of the target company, Shen Guo Jun, it was leading an offer of $2.6. billion to delist from the Hong Kong stock exchange and privatise the Intime Retail Group, a company registered in the Cayman Islands that operates 29 department stores and 17 shopping malls across urban China, mainly in Zhejiang province. Alibaba already owned 28%, acquired in 2014 for $692 million In the official announcement Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang commented:

-    "China’s total retail sector is a US$4.5 trillion economy and is growing at 10.7% a year. Alibaba is working with offline retailers to transform conventional approach, create new consumer shopping experience and use actions to embrace future opportunities under the new retail model".

-    "We don’t divide the world into real or virtual economies, only the old and the new. Those who cling on to the old ways of retailing will be disrupted, and brick and mortar businesses will be able to create value for consumers if they are integrated with the power of mobile reach, real-time consumer insights, and technology capability to improve operating efficiency".

On February 21st it was announced that Alibaba had agreed for its delivery affiliate, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, to work with the 4,700-store Shanghai Bailian Group, one of China's largest supermarket and department store chains, to employ its various e-commerce technologies to improve the traditional physically-based retail sector in areas such as customer relations, payment and logistics. This is similar to its tie-ups with other players such as electronics chain Suning Commerce Group and the Sanjiang Shopping Club (in November 2016 Alibaba invested around $300 million to acquire 30% of Sanjiang SC).


Alibaba is now beginning also to accelerate its international expansion. In April 2016 the company invested $1 billion to acquire a majority share of Lazada.com a privately owned German e-commerce company with sites in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In early February 2017 sources claimed that Alibaba and its affiliate company ANT Financial were leading an additional investment of up to $200 million in Indian e-commerce and digital payment platform Paytm (a company in which they had already invested $680 million and owned 42%). The deal that would essentially give them a majority stake in the company. Paytm competes in the emerging Indian e-commerce market with companies such as Amazon India, Flipkart and Snapdeal.

See also