Recently, Chinese ICT company Huawei announced strategic initiatives to stay a step ahead in the upcoming revolutionary technology, the IoT.
As the world becomes more connected, Huawei forecasts that there will be 100 billion physical connections in 2025, which represents a ten-fold increase compared to today.
At the same time, the number of virtual connections will exceed 1 trillion, a 100-fold increase over the current number.
Huawei-Vodafone NB-IoT initiative
To cement its base, the Shenzhen-based company and Vodafone Group have opened an Open IoT Lab to work on the development of products and applications relating to Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology.
The facility is the first of seven that Huawei plans to open. The lab will provide a pre-integration testing environment for application developers and device, module and chip manufacturers. It will also offer support to developers and partners.
The narrowband technology provides improved network coverage for IoT communications, supports deeper coverage, a large number of connections, while lowering power consumption.
It is viewed by the industry as the most appropriate solution for enterprise applications in a range of different areas, from utility meters, sensor monitoring to asset-tracking.
Huawei and Vodafone are already working with a number of companies to develop NB-IoT applications. The first devices connected by NB-IoT technologies are expected in late 2016 or early 2017.
Currently, Huawei offers a comprehensive portfolio of IoT solutions. In addition to traditional network equipment, Huawei also offers a unified business management platform and communication chipsets to provide carriers with effective support for their commercial deployment of NB-IoT solutions.
To date, Vodafone, Huawei and u-blox have already completed the successful commercial trial of the pre-standard NB-IoT technology.
Moving forward, Huawei plans to invest in innovation and is committed to building a robust, open ecosystem to drive NB-IoT technology innovation and commercialization.
Huawei’s five IoT solutions
First, Huawei’s four-in-one smart home gateway, which allows users to shift their businesses from traditional home broadband to smart home services such as home health, home entertainment, home security, and home automation.
Second is an IoT gateway that supports IoT edge intelligence for the industrial Internet. Third is a Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) solution.
Fourth is a cloud-based IoT connection management platform and fifth, the Huawei LiteOS, a lightweight open source IoT operating system.
Huawei generated CNY 27.6 billion or $4.25 billion revenue in 2015, an increase of 43.8 percent year-over-year, fuelled by customer demand for new ICT solutions.
Huawei and China’s largest search engine Baidu have jointly built China’s first Internet data center (IDC) optical transport network that supports T-SDN.
Since all Baidu services are inter-IDC, the load on the core switch located in the super IDC is heavy, adversely effecting traffic scheduling between IDCs.
Huawei’s T-SDN bandwidth on demand (BoD) feature provides flexible transmission pipes for Baidu to handle burst traffic between IDCs.
Huawei’s cloud initiatives
Huawei officially unveiled three stages of network evolution towards an “All Cloud” architecture enabled by the NFV technology.
This move is expected to telecommunication operators transform their networks so they can support growth, deliver high service levels and reduce costs.
Huawei believes that the advent of 4.5G and later 5G, IoT, video and cloud services will place telecom operators at the center of delivering a Real-time, On-demand, All-online, DIY, and Social (ROADS) experience for enterprise and consumer customers.
However, the demand for these services with intensifying competition to roll out services faster will place pressure on operators’ networks.
Many operators will be challenged with the rigidity and complexity of their networks which limit their ability to meet customers’ needs. To gain greater agility and flexibility, Huawei suggests that operators need to leverage SDN and NFV technologies.