Showing posts with label Huawei. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Huawei. Show all posts

Monday, April 19, 2021

Dutch report: Huawei backdoor into KPN's mobile network

The Dutch newspaper Volksrant published a report alleging that Huawei had full access to KPN's mobile subscriber traffic as far back as 2010. 

The report states that although KPN was aware that Huawei had gained uncontrolled and unauthorized access to the core of the KPN mobile network, the company did not disclose the security threat to the public. 

The story is picked up by other leading European news media.

For its part, Huawei has denied the allegations, saying it never had access to the prime minister's phone conversations nor those of anyone else in the country. 


KPN picks Ericsson for 5G core


 KPN has awarded a five year contract to Ericsson to deploy dual-mode 5G Core software with full support services, including an accompanying systems integration program with third-line support services.

The secure cloud-native dual-mode Ericsson 5G Core will allow KPN to meet increasing data demands of customers in existing consumer markets, as well as pursue new 5G innovation opportunities in emerging enterprise segments supported by enhanced network slicing capabilities. 

Arun Bansal, President of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson, says: ”We are pleased to expand our 100-year partnership with KPN through our technology-leading 5G Core solutions. We will work closely with KPN to ensure that consumers and enterprises in the Netherlands can benefit from the emerging opportunities of 5G as it embraces digitalization. Ericsson’s cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core provides the cutting-edge, container-based, microservice architecture that will help KPN to both develop new business models as well as move onto the next level of network operational efficiency.”

Russia's MTS launches 5G in Moscow with Huawei

MTS, Russia's largest mobile operator, activated commercial 5G services at 14 iconic locations in Moscow in partnership with Huawei.

MTS is the first telecom operator in Russia to be granted a 5G license. It has given strategic priority to 5G network construction and service development. a

MTS is using Huawei's proprietary Super Blade Site solution. Given that over 40% of sites in Moscow are macro pole sites,  the Super Blade Site solution with antenna/AAU, RF and BBU products integrated in a blade which resolve difficulties in antenna installation space and site rent.

"5G has been and will remain a top priority for MTS. We are eager to explore and develop 5G applications for our individual and enterprise users to drive the national economy. At 14 pilot sites a big number of consumers can experience the 5G benefits — high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity for next-generation applications. This also gave us unique opportunity to monitor infrastructure performance and service quality under real usage" said Victor Belov, MTS Chief Technology Officer.

"With careful management of customer requirements and profound market insights, Huawei provides leading 5G solutions that best suit the needs of our Russian partners. We will continue to help MTS explore 5G applications and innovate together with industry partners in Russia by using cloud computing, big data, IoT, and other technologies," said Zhao Lei, Director of Huawei Eurasia CNBG.

https://www.huawei.com/en/news/2021/4/mts-launch-5g-commercial-2021

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Huawei's 2020 domestic revenue rose 15.4% while falling internationally

Huawei reported 2020 revenue of CNY891.4 billion, up 3.8% year-on-year, and net profit of CNY64.6 billion, up 3.2% year-on-year.

Huawei’s 2020 revenue from the Chinese market reached CNY584,910 million, up 15.4% YoY thanks to the rapid rollout of 5G domestically. 

Huawei's enterprise business also expanded rapidly in China thanks to new opportunities in digital and intelligent transformation, while the consumer business, except for smartphones, benefited from the popularity of a variety of consumer devices like PCs, tablets, smart wearables, and smart screens. 

2020 revenue by geography

  • China CNY584.9 billion, up 15.4% over 2019.
  • EMEA 180,849, down 12.2%
  • Asia Pacific 64,369 70,533, down 8.7%
  • Americas 39,638 52,478, down 24.5%
  • Americas 39,638 52,478, down 24.5%


"Over the past year we've held strong in the face of adversity," said Ken Hu, Huawei's Rotating Chairman. "We've kept innovating to create value for our customers, to help fight the pandemic, and to support both economic recovery and social progress around the world. We also took this opportunity to further enhance our operations, leading to a performance that was largely in line with forecast."

Huawei published a 169-page 2020 annual report in English, along with a webcast press conference lasting one hour and 48 minutes.

https://www-file.huawei.com/minisite/media/annual_report/annual_report_2020_en.pdf

https://www.huawei.com/en/annual-report/2020

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Huawei looks to license its 5G patents

Huawei announced plans to license its patent portfolio especially in the area of 5G, where it is looking for a royalty rate of US$2.50 per multi-mode 5G handset.

Huawei currently holds over 100,000 active patents in more than 40,000 patent families worldwide.

Jason Ding, Head of Huawei's Intellectual Property Rights Department, said, "Innovation has been at the core of Huawei's business since the company was founded. Our 2020 white paper lists the number of patent applications Huawei filed, or our R&D and innovation activities, in the late 90s and early 2000s." He also stated, "Huawei's worldwide patent applications were on par with other industry leaders in the early 2000s, and Huawei's success today is a result of its long-term investment in innovation and R&D."

Huawei estimates it will receive about US$1.2 to 1.3 billion from patent licensing between 2019 and 2021. 

"Huawei has been the largest technical contributor to 5G standards, and follows fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) principles when it comes to patent licensing," added Ding, "we hope that the royalty rate we announced today will increase 5G adoption by giving 5G implementers a more transparent cost structure that will inform their investment decisions moving forward."

Huawei also launched a new patent mini-site on its website, with patents organized into different portfolios. 

Huawei's patent mini-site here: https://patents.huawei.com

Monday, February 22, 2021

Telefónica tests Huawei's 600G and 800G WDM

Telefónica has completed a trial of single-wavelength 600G and 800G transmission using equipment from Huawei.

The testing used Huawei OSN 9800 devices on Telefónica's photonic mesh network in Madrid spanning 47 km. 


Juan José Marfil, the director of transport and IP connectivity at Telefonica, pointed out: "These pilots on the photonic meshes, in which signals are transmitted over optical channels without the need to switch to the electrical domain, are important milestones that build on the 400G speed that was achieved in 2019, also in Madrid. The goal is to begin implementing the 400G speed this year and subsequently optimize the Fusion IP Network to meet the needs for higher capacity and speed in view of the exponential growth of both connected devices and data transmission."

https://www.huawei.com/en/news/2021/2/telefonica-600g-800g-osn9800-madrid

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

China Mobile Shanghai and Huawei deploy 4.9 GHz indoor 5G network

China Mobile Shanghai and Huawei deployed the world’s first 4.9 GHz commercial LampSite network supporting a peak rate exceeding 3 Gbps. The installation at the Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC) represents the first time that an aggregate bandwidth of 200 MHz on the 2.6 and 4.9 GHz bands and distributed Massive MIMO have been simultaneously implemented in an indoor network. SNIEC is the venue for Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai.

To date, China Mobile Shanghai has constructed more than 13,000 5G sites, basically achieving continuous coverage in the city.

https://huaweihub.com.au/china-mobile-shanghai-and-huawei-debut-worlds-first-5g-4-9ghz-indoor-network/

Monday, February 8, 2021

Cambridge Science Park activates private 5G with Huawei

Cambridge Wireless and Huawei have launched a 5G mobile private network located within the Cambridge Science Park.

The 5G testbed will help innovators to develop and test 5G applications.

The first phase of the Accelerator will run until March 2021 and CW is calling for companies to apply for access. The successful applicants are able to use the indoor 5G private network, the latest 5G enabled devices and a brand-new innovation lab within Cambridge Science Park.

CW will also provide successful applicants with free access to master classes run by industry experts, project coaching and support, and networking opportunities with others in the 5G tech sector.

 “We are delighted to see this pioneering project being launched in Cambridge to help companies evaluate and enhance value added 5G capabilities into their products, services and environment,” said Abhi Naha, Chief Commercial Officer at CW.

Huawei Vice-President Victor Zhang said, “Openness and collaboration drives innovation. Huawei is working with Cambridge Wireless and innovation partners to incubate new ideas and applications to accelerate the building of a 5G ecosystem in the UK. The technology being developed in Cambridge has the potential to make significant advances in the fields of healthcare, transport and environmental protection and we are excited to see what progress is made over the coming months.”

https://www.huawei.com/uk/news/uk/2021/cambridge%20wireless%205g%20testbed

Monday, December 14, 2020

Huawei announces 220 GBaud symbol rate test


Huawei has successfully tested a 220 GBaud ultra-high-speed optical signal transmission, breaking the previous record of 192 GBaud. The highest symbol rate in a commercial product is around 95 GBaud for an 800G single wavelength transmission.

The achievement, which was performed by Huawei's Munich optical network R&D team, is described in a post-deadline paper (PDP) by Huawei at last week's virtual European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) 2020.

"Our experiment marks a significant milestone in fiber optical communication research. 10 years after the first generation of coherent optical products based on 28 Giga symbols per second, we were able to scale up the symbol rate by a factor of almost 8, using AI-powered advanced signal processing and the latest high bandwidth components. This will pave the way for future multi-Terabit interfaces for metro and backbone networks," said Dr. Maxim Kuschnerov, director of the Optical & Quantum Laboratory in Munich.

https://www.huawei.com/en/news/2020/12/ecoc2020-pdp-200gbaud-optixtrans-f5g


Thursday, December 3, 2020

WSJ: U.S. considers a possible deal for Huawei's Meng Wanzhou

The U.S. Department of Justice is in talks with Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer and deputy chairwoman of Huawei and daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei, about a possible deal that could lead to her return to China, according to Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and other media sources. Ms. Meng, who was arrested in Vancouver, Canada in December 2018, is wanted by the U.S. authorities for alleged bank fraud regarding the re-export of restricted U.S. technology to Iran. Her extradition to the United States has been tied up in the Canadian courts.  

https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-huawei-tech-canada/update-1-us-in-talks-with-huawei-cfo-meng-on-resolving-criminal-charges-source-idUSL1N2IJ32H

Canadian court rules extradition process can continue for Huawei exec

A Canadian court has ruled that the extradition process of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou to the United States to face fraud charges may continue. The question at hand was whether the case should be dismissed for failing to meet the criteria of "double criminality" -- whether the alleged activity also violates Canadian law.

In a press statement, Huawei expressed its disappointment and said it hoped Canada's judicial system would ultimately "prove Ms. Meng's innocence."

 Huawei's CFO is arrested in Canada, U.S. seeks extradition

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer and deputy chairwoman of Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver, Canada on December 1st at the request of the U.S. government, which is seeking her extradition, according to multiple news sources. U.S. authorities reportedly are investigating violations of economic sanctions on Iran.

Meng Wanzhou (Sabrina Weng) is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.


  • A biography on Huawei's website says Meng Wanzhou joined the company in 1993 and has previously held the positions of Director of the International Accounting Dept, CFO of Huawei Hong Kong, and President of the Accounting Mgmt Dept. She is credited with the founding of five shared service centers around the world, the completion of Huawei's Global Payment Center in Shenzhen, leading an eight-year partnership with IBM focused on Integrated Financial Services.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Huawei previews 800G module

Huawei previewed an optical module that supports an adjustable line rate ranging from 200 to 800 Gbps. It will use a proprietary Channel Matched Shaping (CMS) algorithm to increase range. 

Huawei also highlighted its Liquid OTN solution, saying it reduces per-site latency by 70%, and supports 100-fold more connections by breaking bandwidth into 2M hard slices. The company is also introducing a compact OXC product -- the OSN 9800 P32C.

“Optical networks should play an important role in 5G, home broadband, private line and cloud. An end-to-end target network for all-optical cities is the foundation for providing all premium services, so let's work together to embrace the next gold decade of optical network industry," said Richard Jin, President of Huawei's Transmission and Access Network Product Line.

https://www.huawei.com/en/news/2020/11/upgrade-optical-networking-2-solution-business

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Huawei to sell its Honor smartphone brand under duress

Huawei confirmed reports that it will sell off its Honor business assets to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co..  The Honor business unit offers phones in the low- to mid-end price range and ships over 70 million units annually.


Financial terms were not disclosed, however, a Reuters report estimated the business unit could fetch up to 100 billion yuan (US$15.2 billion).

Huawei said its consumer business has been "under tremendous pressure as of late" due to a persistent unavailability of technical elements needed for the mobile phone business.



Thursday, October 22, 2020

Huawei's growth rate slows to 10%

Huawei reported revenue of CNY671.3 billion (approximately US$100.42 billion) for the first three quarters of 2020, an increase of 9.9% over the same period last year. The company said it achieved a net profit margin in this period was 8.0%, in line with its expectations.

Huawei also said its global supply chain is being put "under intense pressure and its production and operations face significant challenges" due to COVID-19. 

https://www.huawei.com/en/news/2020/10/huawei-announces-q3-2020-business-results-business-performance

Huawei reports a 13% increase in 1H sales to US$64.9 biliion

The company issued the following statement: "As countries around the globe are grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, information and communications technologies (ICT) have become not only a crucial tool for combatting the virus, but also an engine for economic recovery. Huawei reiterated its commitment to working with carriers and industry partners to maintain stable network operations, accelerate digital transformation, and support efforts to contain local outbreaks and reopen local economies."

Huawei reported overall revenue of CNY454 billion (approx. US$64.9 billion) in revenue for the first half of 2020, a 13.1% increase year-on-year, with a net profit margin of 9.2%.

Huawei's carrier, enterprise, and consumer businesses achieved CNY159.6 billion, CNY36.3 billion, and CNY255.8 billion in revenue, respectively.  "The complex external environment makes open collaboration and trust in global value chains more important than ever. Huawei has promised to continue fulfilling its obligations to customers and suppliers, and to survive, forge ahead, and contribute to the global digital economy and technological development, no matter what future challenges the company faces."

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sweden bans Huawei and ZTE for 5G infrastructure

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) issued new license conditions that ban the use of infrastructure products from Huawei or ZTE in new 5G installations in the 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands.  Four carriers have been approved to participate in the auction for these bands: Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, Telia Sverige and Teracom.

The Swedish regulatory authority said if existing infrastructure for central functions is to be used to provide services in the concerned frequency bands, products from Huawei and ZTE must be phased out 1 January 2025 at the latest. A further condition is that if central functions are dependant of staff or functions placed in foreign countries, such dependencies must be phased out and, if necessary, be replaced by functions or staff placed in Sweden. This must be completed by 1 January 2025.

https://www.pts.se/en/news/press-releases/2020/four-companies-approved-for-participation-in-the-3.5-ghz-and-2.3-ghz-auctions/


Thursday, October 8, 2020

UK's Defence Committee urges faster removal of Huawei kit

 There is clear evidence of collusion between Huawei and the Chinese state, according to a new report issued by the UK's Defence Select Committee, which states that the goal of removing Huawei from the UK’s 5G networks by 2027 may need to be moved forward. The Committee concludes that "developments could necessitate this date being moved forward, potentially to 2025 which could be considered economically feasible."

Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood MP, writes: "Protecting the public and preserving our nation’s security are amongst the principle responsibilities of Government. The decision to embed a technology that compromises this would constitute a gross dereliction of these duties.

"The West must urgently unite to advance a counterweight to China’s tech dominance. As every aspect of our lives becomes increasingly reliant on access to data movement we must develop a feasible, practical and cost-effective alternative to the cheap, high-tech solutions which can be preyed upon and which come stooped with conditions which ensnare a state into long-term allegiance to China.

"We must not surrender our national security for the sake of short-term technological development. This is a false and wholly unnecessary trade off. A new D10 alliance, that unites the world’s ten strongest democracies, would provide a viable alternative foundation to the technological might of authoritarian states, whose true motives are, at times, murky. Democracies the world over are waking up to the dangers of new technology from overseas, that could inadvertently provide hostile states access to sensitive information through the backdoor."

https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/24/defence-committee/news/119865/the-security-of-5g-we-must-not-surrender-our-national-security-for-the-sake-of-shortterm-technological-development/

Thursday, October 1, 2020

UK's Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre cites flaws

 The UK's Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) Oversight Board issued its sixth annual report concerning risks arising from the involvement of Huawei in parts of the

United Kingdom’s critical national infrastructure. The report discusses a security flaw of "national significance" with currently deployed equipment and well as systemic problems in the way Huawei has mitigated previous problems.

The HCSEC report states it "has not yet seen anything to give it confidence in Huawei’s capacity to successfully complete the elements of its transformation programme that it has proposed as a means of addressing these underlying defects. The Board will require sustained evidence of better software engineering and cyber security quality verified by HCSEC and NCSC."

In addition, the Oversight Board stated it "can only provide limited assurance that all risks to UK national security from Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s critical networks can be sufficiently mitigated long-term."

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/huawei-cyber-security-evaluation-centre-oversight-board-annual-report-2020




Sunday, September 13, 2020

Huawei and China Unicom hit 4.7 Gbps per cell with indoor MIMO

Huawei and China Unicom achieved a peak rate of up to 4.7 Gbps for cells with 100 MHz bandwidth in a test of 5G indoor distributed Massive MIMO

This indoor distributed Massive MIMO test was deployed and verified in the China's National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) using multiple terminals, and results showed that the downlink peak rate reached 4.7 Gbps in 100 MHz C-band cells.

Dr. Li Fuchang, Director of the Wireless Technology Research Center of China Unicom Research Institute, said: "At China Unicom, we are committed to improving the quality of products and services through innovation to bring intelligent technologies to customer's lives and increase the efficiency of production for businesses. To achieve this goal, China Unicom has been working with Huawei to innovate on the indoor distributed massive MIMO technology. With the rapid development of user bases and applications, 5G traffic requirements will increase also rapidly. This solution will help us pursue flexible capacity expansion on live networks, laying a solid technological foundation for continuing to deliver premium 5G experience for customers and diversifying 5G vertical applications for various businesses."

 technology.

The indoor distributed Massive MIMO technology is one of the innovative applications implemented in the 5G Capital project, which was launched last year in Beijing by Huawei and China Unicom to demonstrate the transformative power of 5G.

Monday, September 7, 2020

SCMP: Huawei seeks to raise fresh funds from employees

Huawei has launched an internal funding program that is selling virtual shares to employees, according to South China Morning Post.  The program is seen as a way for Huawei to raise funds for its R&D programs amidst increasing pressure from U.S. sanctions. Huawei did not confirm the report.

https://www.scmp.com/tech/big-tech/article/3100548/huawei-seeks-raise-fresh-funds-employees-amid-us-trade-sanctions

Monday, August 31, 2020

NeoPhotonics cites business impact from Huawei sanctions

NeoPhotonics said the recent tightening of restriction on Huawei and its affiliates by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will have an impact on its financial performance.

In an investor update, NeoPhotonics stated that it is on track to achieve to meet the targts provided on August 4, 2020.  Shipments to Huawei are contributing approximately $40 million of revenue to NeoPhotonics in the current quarter. Beyond the third quarter, the NeoPhotonics is still assessing the full impact of the current BIS restrictions.

“Despite the near-term revenue impact resulting from the recent BIS restrictions, demand for our products broadly remains strong, driven by expanding high speed capacities, hyper-scale data center interconnects, network edge provisioning for increased cloud service usage and remote working,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “We remain excited about the growth prospects ahead of us. In particular, our highest speed over distance products for 400G and above applications continue to gain traction with leading network equipment manufacturers and are expected to represent more than 20% of total revenue in 2020, after only two years in the market. Of note, revenue from customers beyond Huawei is expected to grow 40-50% over the next year independent of potential customer share shifts. Coupled with the upcoming 400ZR and 400ZR+ high speed module opportunity which is expected to begin volume production in 2H 2021, the end market for these products, as defined by high speed ports, is forecasted to increase at an 80% five-year compounded annual growth rate through 2024,” continued Mr. Jenks.

“Beyond topline growth, we must also ensure our operations remain aligned with the demand outlook and pursue appropriate expense adjustments and structural actions to mitigate the impact of revenue declines. We are fortunate to have entered this period with both a strong financial position and a management team with a demonstrated track record of taking the necessary actions to navigate uncertain times. Through the continued growth of our existing product lines and the ability to pull operational levers as needed, we feel confident in our ability to return to profitability by the end of 2021 with a greater level of diversity across our customer base,” concluded Mr. Jenks.

https://ir.neophotonics.com/news-releases/news-release-details/neophotonics-provides-business-update-following-recent-us

U.S. further restricts Huawei's access to components

The U.S. Department of Commerce added further restrictions on Huawei Technologies (Huawei) and its non-U.S. affiliates to prevent access to electronic components and other U.S. developed technologies.

Specifically, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the Department of Commerce added another 38 Huawei affiliates to the Entity List, which imposes a license requirement for all items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and modified four existing Huawei Entity List entries. BIS also imposed license requirements on any transaction involving items subject to Commerce export control jurisdiction where a party on the Entity List is involved, such as when Huawei (or other Entity List entities) acts as a purchaser, intermediate, or end user.

The restrictions have immediate effect. The Department of Commerce said this amendment further restricts Huawei from obtaining foreign made chips developed or produced from U.S. software or technology to the same degree as comparable U.S. chips.

“Huawei and its foreign affiliates have extended their efforts to obtain advanced semiconductors developed or produced from U.S. software and technology in order to fulfill the policy objectives of the Chinese Communist Party,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “As we have restricted its access to U.S. technology, Huawei and its affiliates have worked through third parties to harness U.S. technology in a manner that undermines U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. This multi-pronged action demonstrates our continuing commitment to impede Huawei’s ability to do so.”

https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2020/08/commerce-department-further-restricts-huawei-access-us-technology-and

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Perspective: Implications of the Huawei Ban

by Brian Klaff, Marketing Director, Ethernity Networks

The banning of Huawei equipment from the 5G core networks of operators in the U.S., the U.K., and a number of other countries across the world is helping to shake up the industry and raise questions about 5G’s deployment future.

Leaving aside the politics, trade disputes, Coronavirus issues, and cybersecurity concerns, it’s worth taking a look at how we got to where we are today from a networking standpoint. How did operators become so dependent on Huawei, and what are their alternatives? What does all this mean for 5G and its users?

Huawei is an ASIC (applied specific integrated circuit) manufacturer, offering these ASIC-based appliances throughout the telecom broadband network. ASICs offer excellent performance at low up-front cost, and Huawei was known as a provider of end-to-end ASIC-based systems at especially low prices.  That drew many telecom operators to Huawei as their primary hardware provider.

Because 4G telecom networks are based on a traditional, monolithic infrastructure, the network core does the heavy lifting, delivering all the bandwidth necessary to run today’s end user applications. As such, it made sense for operators to rely heavily on a single primary hardware provider delivering high performance for a reasonable price.

There is certainly a big downside to this approach.  Huawei’s network is proprietary with no interoperability with other companies’ hardware. It’s an all or nothing decision when it comes to using Huawei equipment.

There is also a price to pay in the long run for choosing an ASIC-based system (not just Huawei’s).  ASICs are limited to their initial programming and must be replaced after field deployment every time there is a new protocol, security algorithm, or feature that becomes indispensable. As British operators are finding out, replacing field-deployed hardware is a proposition that is extremely expensive. So the low up-front cost of choosing Huawei can have steep long-term repercussions.


Why Huawei became problematic from a networking perspective
What worked for 4G isn’t necessarily the best in 5G.  Whereas 4G relied so much on performance from the core, 5G seeks higher bandwidth and lower latency by moving much of that performance to the edge of the network.  The 5G specification calls for a more open, disaggregated network, one that performs under the varying circumstances of the network edge with the ability to connect different elements of the network from different vendors.  When one company maintains so much control over an operator’s network and its security, there is reason for concern. Huawei’s vendor-locked monolithic offering scares politicians, and maybe even the telecom operators themselves.

As operators seek to take back control of their networks by diversifying their network hardware providers, the trend is to eschew Huawei in favor of alternatives.  Even in China, the three major operators have committed to more open networks, and they are also weaning themselves off Huawei in certain areas of their 5G deployments, for example by initiating the Open UPF program.

Operators’ options

Perhaps the easiest option for telecom operators is to swap in another ASIC manufacturer, such as ZTE, Samsung, Nokia, or Ericsson, for Huawei.  This will guarantee similar performance and be relatively inexpensive in the short term, but it doesn’t solve the issue of closed, inflexible networks.
One possible solution is virtualization, which has already overhauled data centers and can ensure the flexibility to choose functionalities and features from a wide range of software providers using standard, off-the-shelf commodity hardware.  NFV (network function virtualization) has been promised for many years already, but with 5G it is becoming a necessity in telecom.

By implementing networking and security functions through software instead of rigid hardware, operators gain the flexibility to choose the best-in-class solution for each network component regardless of vendor. They also gain the programmability to easily adapt to new protocols, algorithms, and features.  Software providers such as MetaSwitch, Mavenir, AltioStar, and Affirmed can offer NFV solutions to be run on CPUs on commercial off-the-shelf servers.

Even some of the traditional ASIC manufacturers, such as Toshiba, Nokia, and Ericsson, have recognized this need for agility.  They have started to embrace Open RAN (Radio-Access Network), and they are creating software-based solutions to address that specific segment of the 5G network.

The problem with a software-only approach is that the software runs on CPUs, which were designed to handle compute and control functions, not intensive networking and security functions.  As such, the performance of software-only networking solutions suffers greatly compared to ASICs, and it takes dozens of CPU cores to achieve similar performance.  This becomes exceedingly expensive, and even worse, it requires a lot of physical space and power, valuable commodities at the edge of the network.

A better option, one that combines the best of both worlds, is to opt for disaggregated, open networks using FPGA SmartNICs to handle the networking and security functions.  FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) are hardware processors especially efficient in handling many data processing tasks in parallel that are reprogrammable after being field-deployed.

By incorporating an FPGA onto a network adapter, it becomes possible to offload CPU-intensive data processing functions to optimized hardware while maintaining the flexibility of programmable software solutions. This gives operators ASIC-like performance and NFV-like agility in a compact network card that fits into a commercial off-the-shelf server. It reduces the number of required CPU cores to gain significant savings in capital expense, physical space, and power at the network edge.  For example, Ethernity Networks offers an FPGA SmartNIC that includes a complete router-on-NIC that reduces CAPEX costs on 5G User Plane Functionality (UPF) components by up to 80%.

What this means for 5G

A dirty little secret that the telecom industry doesn’t want you to know is that the 5G rollouts most local operators have been touting for the past year or so haven’t really been true 5G.   They have been what is commonly referred to as “4G Evolved,” applying some 5G principles to the 4G infrastructure to produce better-than-4G performance – but not yet reaching the level that 5G promises.

Operators were relying on their Huawei (or other ASIC-based) network equipment without fully committing to the necessary changes to bring about the 5G revolution.  In that regard, the Huawei ban represents a golden opportunity to hasten the implementation of true 5G networks.

5G infrastructure is a green field, with virtually no carry-over from legacy equipment.  As such, operators can now consider how to replace Huawei with an eye to the future, with less concern about the expense involved. 

True 5G is coming. There is no doubt.   Europe and North America lag behind Southeast Asia in mass 5G deployments, but there is still time to make the hard decisions that will determine the makeup of the networks.  The easy and less expensive route – simply turning to another ASIC-based solution provider – will waste the opportunity to disaggregate and bring out the full potential of 5G.

Instead, telecom operators should consider their options thoroughly and choose their vendors based not only on up-front cost, but on the goal of a network that is high-performance, flexible, long-term cost-efficient, and future-proof. To avoid the possibility that they will need to replace field-deployed 5G components in the next few years, they should opt for an open and programmable solution now.

Effects on end user experience

It has been suggested that only an ASIC provider such as Nokia or Ericsson can replace what Huawei offered in terms of local exchange and street cabinet broadband equipment, but that is not true.  FPGA-based solutions are ideal for this as well, offering high networking and security performance with flexibility to accommodate various protocol configurations, including DSL and passive optical network (PON), which are used for last-mile data transfer.

Moreover, the need to reduce power and physical space is a far more critical requirement at the network edge than in a typical data center, as edge sites have very limited physical space and a fixed power envelope.  An FPGA-based edge appliance can address all the performance and security requirements of broadband aggregation in a compact, power-efficient device.

If operators simply replace Huawei with another ASIC provider, the result will be similar network performance.  But while there may be no deterioration of service, the network would remain closed and rigid.  If they opt for software-only solutions to replace Huawei, they get open, multi-vendor networks but may struggle to achieve similar performance cost-effectively or meet timelines for full deployment.  This could lead to a deterioration of service or higher costs for end users.

But if providers choose solutions that rely on FPGA SmartNICs they can achieve both high performance and open, agile networks.  This would maintain quality of service, lower costs for both operators and subscribers, and shorten time-to-market.  That is why in China –  which is significantly ahead of North America and Europe in 5G deployment – all three of the primary mobile operators are insisting on FPGA SmartNIC solutions for their 5G UPF implementations.

Brian Klaff is the Marketing Director at Ethernity Networks.  With over 20 years of experience, Brian has concentrated on product marketing for the networking hardware industry since 2013, with special emphasis on the telecom sector. Prior to Ethernity, he held senior communications positions at Mellanox and Amdocs.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

China Telecom tests Huawei's 5G Super Uplink + Downlink CA

China Telecom Shenzhen is testing 5G Super Uplink and dual carrier aggregation (CA) downlink technology from Huawei.

The pilot site uses 200 MHz 3.5 GHz TDD spectrum and 20 MHz 2.1 GHz FDD spectrum in the uplink. Single-user concurrent tests were completed in standalone (SA) networking mode. The results of the test showed that the average uplink rate reached 470 Mbps and the average downlink rate 2.43 Gbps, which are approximately 1.3 times and double that with a single 100 MHz bandwidth, respectively.

Huawei claims 5G Super Uplink has notable advantages over uplink CA. Super Uplink enables integrated uplink scheduling between two uplink carriers in one cell. This scheduling mechanism is more efficient than uplink CA implemented between two cells. In addition, uplink and downlink bands are decoupled, enabling downlink carriers to be flexibly added to adapt to data traffic requirements. For example, CA can be disabled or implemented within one band or between two bands. As uplink CA depends on downlink CA and its bands must be a subset of downlink CA bands, uplink CA cannot be used in the cases of asymmetric uplink-only bands, further highlighting the greater flexibility of Super Uplink.

https://www.huawei.com/us/news/2020/8/shenzhen-telecom-5g-superuplink-dc