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Issue 12


TELUS & Bell

Telenor: Fastest ever mobile network swap in Europe KPN International expands the European information superhighway to 100G Smart: Innovatively making Telco 2.0 a reality

Megabits & Maple Leafs

It's all about success! We aim to help you hear what operators would like to share in person, see how industry peers succeed in the fierce market, delve into their secret to success, and learn from the winners in the industry. Sponsor Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. Publisher Huawei COMMUNICATE Editorial Board Consultants Hu Houkun, Xu Zhijun, Ding Yun Yu Chengdong, Chen Wei Editor-in-Chief Gao Xianrui ( Editors Pearl Zhu, Xue Hua, Julia Yao, Jason Patterson Michael Huang, Joyce Fan, Xu Ping, Cao Zhihui Li Xuefeng, Pan Tao, Chen Yuhong, Zhou Shumin Contributors Zhu Guangping, Dang Wenshuan, Hou Lin Wang Jian, Zhang Qinfa, Ella Wong, Stephan Jonge Shi Xiaomin, Luo Zuoguo, Zhai Haipeng Lu Xingang, Shou Lingfang E-mail: Tel: +86 755 28786665, 28787643 Fax: +86 755 28788811 Address: B1, Huawei Industrial Base, Bantian, Longgang, Shenzhen 518129, China Publication Registration No.: Yue B No.10148
Copyright Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. Disclaimer The contents of this document are for information purpose only, and provided as is. Except as required by applicable laws, no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, are made in relation to contents of this document. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no case shall Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd be liable for any special, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages, or lost profits, business, revenue, data, goodwill or anticipated savings arising out of or in connection with any use of this document.

User experience matters

According to IDC, global smartphone shipments in 2011 rocketed 61.3% from the 2010 total (which was 75.7% y/y), reaching 491.4 million units; it is clear that smartphones are here to stay. For users, the smartphone is nothing less than an unprecedented feat of engineering that has made what were once the dull spaces in our lives (bus rides, airport waits, etc.) easier to bear. For operators, smartphones have been invaluable contributors to mobile broadband uptake. But unfortunately, for both sides, these wondrous devices have become too much of a good thing. Smartphones have evolved into quad-core superphones, such as Huaweis Ascend D quad, that are both expanding user expectations and squeezing operators networks. Carriers are now facing user discontent where there was none before, and it is getting worse. Subscribers might tolerate delayed voice calls, but they might easily lose patience during the long wait for a picture to load or video to buffer. Even when these media functions are smooth, they can consume an entire data cap in a few hours to a few days. In the MBB era, subscribers are being enticed to ask for more. But when it comes to user experience, its always the human elements that matter speed, quality, freedom, simplicity and sharing. Operators, who usually bear the brunt of complaints for a bad user experience, tend to view network growth and evolution through the lens of technology. LTE network & terminal ubiquity will certainly reduce user complaints, but neither can be achieved overnight and both cannot guarantee a premium user experience. Operators will need to take a more comprehensive approach, centered on user experience, that encompasses end-to-end bandwidth integrity, innovative business modeling, tiered tariffs, diversified terminals, and premium customer services. In Canada, which stands in the front line of MBB development, Bell Canada is committed to building the best network, not only in terms of technology but also user experience. CTO Stephen Howe explains that in terms of quality, we look closely at specific customer-centric metrics, compare ourselves to our competitors, and work hard to ensure that were better. In the same market, TELUS is expanding its business models to bring better user experience to the home. Its CTO Ibrahim Gedeon envisages that in a connected home or future-friendly home, all the devices will see each other and leverage common data space; or they could be on the cloud. User experience is now the driving force for telco industry development, which means that subscribers ultimately decide whether or not an operator grows or dies. For any industry player, its the user experience that matters.

For electronic version and subscription, please visit

Ding Yun CEO of Carrier Network Business Group

Issue 12



Voices from Operators

01 Bell Canada: Mobility rings true
With the worlds highest smartphone penetration rate and a population density in the bottom 10, staying on the right side of profitable is far from easy; Bell Canadas CTO sits down with WinWin to discuss how the operator is doing just that.

05 TELUS more
TELUS combines an outsiders aggression, savvy and acumen with an insiders experience to compete & grow in a mature market. With an LTE launch imminent, the operators top tech guru shares his insights with WinWin into what makes TELUS work.

09 Beyond the specs: User experience
Users now have the final say in steering industry development; it is vitally important that they are given the means to quickly and easily access mobile networking. This will drive current and future industry development, resulting in a flourishing information age.

13 The connected possibilities of

mobile broadband
This adapted white paper discusses strategies and concepts that will help carriers stay ubiquitous and profitable in the mobile broadband era.

33 KPN Intl expands the European

information superhighway to 100G

Coherent 100G is boosting KPN Internationals bandwidth & network stability, enhancing customer service while staying on the cutting edge.

Tao of Business
19 Traffic operation: Converting data into value
Traffic operation utilizes a smart pipe to build up an information exchange platform that aims to offer better information services so that data traffic increases in a monetized fashion.

37 Smart: Innovatively making Telco 2.0

a reality
Despite an ARPU of four U.S. dollars per subscriber, Philippine-carrier Smart Communications is a global leader in service innovation for its 46 million subscribers.

40 China Mobile Hubei: 23 VAS transformation: Vision into action

Operators must transform their VAS infrastructure, service offerings, and business models if they wish to turn threats from Internet and OTT providers into opportunities.

Smart operations, tangible value

Modular Internet cache has enabled Hubei Mobile to smarten its operations through reduced & rerouted network traffic, which has enhanced its network speed, user experiences & subscriber base.

28 Second-screen: The next phase of television

The era of passive television viewing is fading as viewers increasingly comment and interact on their second screens. Learn how operators and vendors can profit from this trend.

43 Telenor: Fastest ever mobile network

swap in Europe
Telenor and Huawei made history by completely swapping the operators home-market mobile network in record time, but it was far from easy.

The Bell-Huawei partnership has worked well over the past four years because Huawei has been able to deliver the key enabling products that we need to grow our wireless network at such a critical time in our development.
Stephen Howe, EVP & CTO of Bell Canada

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Mobility rings true

Canada, despite its laidback reputation, represents the front line in the struggle against the data surge. With the worlds highest smartphone penetration rate and a population density in the bottom ten, staying on the right side of profitable is far from easy; Bell Canadas CTO sits down with WinWin to discuss how the operator is doing just that.
By Julia Yao

hen last we spoke with Stephen Howe (November 2008), then CTO of Bell Mobility, the world was a very different place. The impetus for that interview was his companys recent commitment to an HSPA network launch, and today the article reads as positively quaint. The conversation focused on roaming charges, network sharing, and Canadas then modest wireless penetration rates. The word smartphone did not come up once, nor did the various iterations of social media, data surge, signaling storm, or pretty much any of the other issues that currently give our readers sleepless nights. Today, Bell is already seven months into its LTE era, and Mr. Howe (now EVP & CTO of Bell Canada) is back to talk with us again about where Bell has been and where it is going. WinWin: What benefits has HSPA+ network deployment yielded for Bell and its customers? Howe: Our HSPA+ network has enabled Bell and our customers to take full advantage of a truly global ecosystem in wireless communications. Our customers

have gained access to the latest superphones, data services, and international roaming capability, while Bell has been able to leverage leading-edge network features and cost advantages. WinWin: What role did Huawei play in helping Bell with its HSPA+ achievements? Howe: Huawei was instrumental in delivering a significant portion of our RAN (Radio Access Network) with the flexibility and support that enabled us to complete a full network overlay in less than twelve months. WinWin: Bell is committed to delivering the best networks how would you define this in terms of customer experience? Howe: Bell works to deliver the best network quality, broadest coverage and fastest possible download speeds to our customers across Canada. Our HSPA+ network supports speeds of up to 21Mbps as a baseline capability. In late 2010, we introduced dual-carrier HSPA, which now delivers up to 42Mbps to a majority of the Canadian

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Our HSPA+ network now covers over 1.5 million square kilometers and 97% of the Canadian population. One key lesson so far has been that the preparation work we executed with our initial HSPA+ implementation ensured a very manageable program in the deployment of LTE.

population, and in September 2011, we introduced LTE, also in partnership with Huawei, with initial speeds of up to 75Mbps. Our HSPA+ network now covers over 1.5 million square kilometers and 97% of the Canadian population, and we offer LTE service in 14 urban centers many more than our largest wireless competitor. In terms of quality, we look closely at specific customercentric metrics, compare ourselves to our competitors, and work hard to ensure that were better. One example would be our recently-launched HD voice service that provides crystal-clear sound quality and greatly decreased background noise. WinWin: Bell commenced commercial LTE operations in September 2011. What have you learned thus far? Howe: One key lesson so far has been that the preparation work we executed with our initial HSPA+ implementation ensured a very manageable program in the deployment of LTE. WinWin: What have you encountered that you did not expect? Howe: Given that we are in the early stages of global LTE deployment, we are pleasantly surprised with the very high level of stability of LTE infrastructure. WinWin: What are your plans for LTE and what role do you see Huawei playing in those plans? Howe: Bell was recently involved in a signing ceremony with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in which we confirmed our partnership with Huawei on our LTE deployment going forward. We will continue to

roll out LTE in additional markets in 2012, including rural and remote locations, contingent on the Canadian governments decisions concerning 700MHz spectrum availability. Huawei plays a major role in our network expansion as our key LTE RAN supplier. WinWin: Canadas smartphone penetration rate is the highest in the world. How is Bell managing with the signaling surges that these phones create on the network? Howe: Bell Mobility has taken a three-pronged approach to deal with this issue. 1. Proactive forecasting of signaling demands and setting reasonable engineering limits so the network is provisioned adequately to support demand. 2. Working with our vendors to develop, test, and implement new network features that deal with smartphone challenges more efficiently (for example, were partnering with Huawei on the Enhanced Fast Dormancy feature to reduce signaling messages). 3. Proactive verification and characterization of smartphone application behavior. Bell has worked with OEMs and application developers directly on optimizing application behavior, and we will be participating in a forum being established with Huawei and network operators to create test procedures and actions to reduce the unique network impacts of smartphones. WinWin: Bell purchased CTV (Canadas largest TV broadcaster) and a significant interest in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), Canadas largest sports and entertainment company. How does content fit into Bells strategy?

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Howe: The acquisitions of CTV and ownership stake in MLSE (with the latter transaction expected to close in mid-2012) support Bells strategy to invest in worldleading broadband networks to deliver the best content to any screens our customers choose. As Canadas largest communications provider, Bell is delivering sports, news, business and entertainment content across traditional television with Bell TV, online with Bell Internet, and to smartphones and tablets with Bell Mobility. Bell has certainly taken a leadership in Mobile TV, thanks in large part to our acquisition of Canadas No. 1 broadcaster and its more than 30 specialty channels. Our interest in MLSE and its NHL, NBA and MLS pro sports teams will also ensure access to the best live sports content going forward. WinWin: How has Huaweis partnership with Bell worked out over the past few years and what do you expect for the future? Howe: The Bell-Huawei partnership has worked well over the past four years because Huawei has been able to deliver the key enabling products that we need to grow our wireless network at such a critical time in our development. I anticipate that we will build on this momentum as the wireless network evolves, and foresee opportunities for Huawei to grow their business with Bell in other areas of the network.

WinWin: Bell and Huawei have set up a Joint Innovation Center. What do you hope for it to achieve? Howe: We expect the Joint Innovation Center to bring forward opportunities and challenges that remain unsolved in the Bell network and the networks of other operators. Well work with Huawei to define, develop, test, and implement solutions that will help not only Bell but other Huawei customers around the world. Bell is one of the biggest spenders on R&D in Canada (in fact second only to Research In Motion) and were excited to work with a global leader like Huawei to move mobile innovation forward. WinWin: What would you consider Huaweis key strengths in helping Bell achieve its objectives? Howe: Huaweis key strength is its global perspective as a major telecom infrastructure provider, which fits Bells desire to bring the worlds best technology to Canadians. This international view enables Huawei to consider a broad range of inputs as they make decisions to develop product and services, and has created a strong desire in the company to deliver technology insight and capabilities that lead the global industry. Huawei also provides an exceptionally talented pool of experts who understand the importance of teamwork qualities that are shared by our team at Bell. It has been a very positive and productive relationship. Editor: Jason Patterson

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Spectrum is a resource, period. Its a finite resource. You can treat it with respect and optimize it or you can abuse it and always be lacking.
Dr. Ibrahim Gedeon, CTO of TELUS

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Canada may account for nearly half of the North American continent, but its population is less than the state of California; profit and ubiquity would seem mutually exclusive for a newcomer to the national stage. Nevertheless, TELUSs aggression, savvy and acumen have pushed it into a dead heat with its incumbent rivals. With an LTE launch imminent, TELUSs top tech guru shares his insights with WinWin into what makes TELUS work.
By Jason Patterson

ELUS may be a top-three operator in Canada, but its history has been that of an upstart. It has been committed to growth since its inception, with the numbers getting staggering since the year 2000 (nearly USD20 billion invested in capital and acquisitions). Recent efforts have included an aggressive push into IPTV (314,000 customers in 2010, an 85% y/y increase) and healthcare technology, as well as its announced reductions (up to 60%) in roaming charges. An LTE (AWS spectrum) launch is on the horizon, though TELUS also plans to bid for 700MHz to better compete nationwide, and compete it will, if only with itself, as TELUS boasts the far-and-away most efficient spectrum utilization (80 to 90%

better than its primary competitors) in North America. Dr. Ibrahim Gedeon has a network software and design background. He has held key roles in the IEEE and twice been named to Global Telecoms Business magazines top-100 list of the most influential people in the industry. He is currently CTO at TELUS and recently sat down with WinWin to discuss where TELUS has been and where it is going.

Learning from the past

WinWin: Since the year 2000, TELUS has grown from a regional operator to a top-3 telco in Canada.

Courtesy of A-Frame Inc.

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How would you describe this journey? Gedeon: TELUS is four regional companies coming together; three in western Canada and one in northern Quebec. We have a national plate to offer. The acquisition of Clearnet (a Toronto-based operator) enabled us to offer national coverage. Really, the positions of No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 are plus or minus ten percent on any given day. So, I would say that it is a three-horse race for the top spot in wireless. We are the incumbent in western Canada and northern Quebec for wireline. So, I think our growth is matching the Canadian appetite for bandwidth, value-added service, and in particular what we call future-friendly services. WinWin: How would you characterize the impact of wireless on TELUS? Specifically, TELUSs shift to UMTS (2008). How has the decision impacted Canadian consumers? Gedeon: I believe that, at a high level, it normalized technology. So, the top 3 carriers, at 95% market share, now have more or less the same protocols. Its been a great thing for us. I believe that we did it at the right time and the shift has actually seen unparalleled growth in the access to the global ecosystem of HSPA+. In the old days, CDMA was very North American and LTE is still in its infancy. HSPA+ allows us to have a mature ecosystem. WinWin: Network traffic has changed considerably during the 3G era. For instance, 80 percent of wireless traffic is still active at night, how does this affect your network? Gedeon: Actually, thats interesting. In the old days the paradigm was mobility is a business service, wireless is a business service. Thats not the case now. Its definitely a consumer service and its an always-on service. Dealing with it at night, per se, does not really impact us as we design for trends. Whether its applied or modeled, it doesnt really matter; its a design issue. But, there are little things that are emerging. In the old days, you would design for coverage on the highway, but now you design for coverage of a residential place. So, Id say that the increase in data is helping us reshape our design parameters, our assumptions, and how we run our networks. competition is alive and well, but we dont have to compete at all levels. So, the common infrastructure is working well and, as you know, Huawei has been one of our partners that has enabled a network-sharing agreement. WinWin: How does TELUS plan to avoid a repeat of Canadas 2G-3G dropping and interruption when your LTE network is launched? Gedeon: As you know, the beauty of LTE we have given a lot of thought to NGMN and GSMA on it. And circuit-switch fallback (CSFB) is one way to make certain that the call does not fail when switching between technologies. The session is maintained because it is the same core, more or less the data-call packet core I think that for users, because the connection times are so fast, they are not really complaining. People are not really complaining like they used to do in the old days. And a data session, unlike a voice session, is kind of a real-time event but its more forgiving. And there are some features that we have deployed in our core and our access, with our partners, to ensure seamless interworking between 3G and LTE. WinWin: Among its many healthcare-related solutions, TELUS offers an integrated bedside terminal that combines healthcare, communication, and entertainment-related features. Does TELUS plan to offer more home media appliances in the future? Gedeon: I think that, when we took on IP as a transformation in 2000, we realized that a screen is a screen. So, why should the doctors screen be different from the person viewing the TVs screen or different from the nurse looking for the medications screen? So, our plan is to leverage integrated solutions that align with our technology and services strategy. In a connected home or future-friendly home, all the devices will see each other and leverage common data space; or they could be on the cloud on the TELUS cloud. So yes, we are planning to roll out some things, not just in the health space but in the health & entertainment space. WinWin: What progress is being made in the SME space and what plans do you have for the future? Gedeon: The SME space is tricky because everyone has different definitions. Some people go by number; some go by revenue per employee; some go by number of employees in general. What weve realized is that weve done a good job segmenting small & medium business and we realize that traditional business services are actually needed, as are consumer services. Small businesses now have TVs, which is not something that was there before now with the news and the always-on. Everybody has a TV in the reception area, so our plans are very simply directed-focused touch,
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Moving forward
WinWin: TELUS is partnering with Bell for some of its network infrastructure. How is that partnership progressing, considering that Bell is also a competitor? Gedeon: I think its working great. Its a great example of how people can leverage fixed resources finite resources to provide different customer experiences. So,

directed-touch, and definitely leveraging our network infrastructure partners who enable our cloud, and we are also working on cost-effective CPE because what is happening is that a small business with three people is now trying to get the same look and feel as a bank with a thousand employees. WinWin: With smartphone and tablet usage booming, can you comment on what your users will experience in the future? Gedeon: One thing thats happening with wireless and wired bandwidth being so readily available and affordable, people like having a mobile broadband experience. So, its via Wi-Fi, via HSPA+, via LTE, via DSL, via GPON; and I think that you have a lot of smartphones and tablets which are very different in their own spaces. You are getting a lot of crosssubstitution in terms of devices, between the TV, the tablet, the PC, and the smartphone. But, from our point of view, users really wish to be connected with their applications, regardless of where they are. So that puts a lot of pressure on our wired and wireless networks to ensure their seamless mobility.

How does Huawei fit in?

WinWin: TELUS was instrumental in bringing Huawei to Canada. How has TELUSs relationship with Huawei grown since then? Gedeon: I believe that our relationship with Huawei started with the HSPA RAN with the wideband CDMA RAN. It has evolved now to broadband. We are now looking at enterprise and content services. I would say that the relationship has been fantastic, blossoming in the right direction. And we have also established joint R&D centers in Canada, which is something that both our CEOs have asked for. So, were on the right track on both sides, I would say. WinWin: How has Huawei been able to help TELUS and what are your expectations for the future? Gedeon: Huawei has actually been very responsive, from a TELUS point of view. They have applied their innovation and R&D to solve our challenges. I would see that as our relationship continues to grow, Huawei will increase their level of investment in Canada for TELUS, particularly on the hard-core R&D side, to alleviate some of the problems such as small sites, antennas and whatnot. WinWin: Tell us more about the joint R&D centers. What exactly are you trying to accomplish with them? Gedeon: There are some unique characteristics about the traffic in Canada with the advent of smartphones wireless in particular. Its very important for us to look at the applicability for the Canadian space; in particular, on the enterprise side, once you throw in words like cloud services and whatnot. So, that being the case, it was important to show our commitment to Huawei and vice versa to the Canadian marketplace and academia and the government by establishing these joint R&D centers. WinWin: How does the Joint Innovation Center fit into your plans for NextGen Wireless? Gedeon: Its very important when you look at NextGen Wireless to approach it as NextGen Wireless. A lot of our peers and competitors still go with coverage, optimize, capacity. What TELUS does is realize that actually you have to do all three at once. So as you roll out a network, you think of coverage, you think of capacity, and you optimize the RF. And when you do all three at the same time, you realize that actually you are in a much better spot than when you are doing the three in series. This is traditionally what most telcos do. Editor: Gao Xianrui

Bytes nipping at your heels

WinWin: The data surge that we are currently dealing with may never end. What are TELUSs plans to deal with it? Gedeon: Well, we are buying from Huawei for LTE. So, thats one way of dealing with it. I believe there are a lot of ways that we can have an impact. On the wireless side, there are only so many bits per Hz that you can push, at the end of the day. There are some clear data points on that one. Our plans are very simple... leveraging our fiberized cell sites and working with our partners on fixing the signaling and capacity issues. WinWin: Can you comment on your spectrum efficiency? Basically, TELUSs spectrum efficiency is No. 1 in North America; how is it that you are making this possible? Gedeon: Spectrum is a resource, period. Its a finite resource. You can treat it with respect and optimize it or you can abuse it and always be lacking. I think a lot of our roots theres a huge chunk of TELUS that started as a competitive outsider with Clearnet; when TELUS bought Clearnet, we became the competitive outsider. Theres a lot of efficiencies and optimization, starting with 5GHz spectrum only; lets do a healthy DNA for spectrum efficiency. Today, I would say that we are probably the best in terms of spectrum efficiency in North America, if not the world. And theres nothing wrong with that; even with the new auctions coming up, the spectrum in the usable band will always be finite.

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User experience
Users now have the final say in steering industry development; it is vitally important that they are given the means to quickly and easily access mobile networking. This will drive current and future industry development, resulting in a flourishing information age.

Beyond the specs

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Despite the current fixation on bandwidth, in the future, network speed will no longer be measured by the bandwidth a service needs, but by the wait time experienced by users. Zero wait time for the end user is the new paradigm that will shape Internet development.

ver the past twenty years, the information age has developed at an astonishing pace; technological transformations and applications have grown in both scope and variety. Today, the exponential growth of digitized information, combined with the skyrocketing popularity of mobile networks, has led to a surge in the sheer volume of digital content. Concurrently, as the digital divide has narrowed, people around the world are now able to more freely communicate and share information with each other. This new digital era is marked by an important new factor user experience. Users now have the final say in steering the development of the industry, so it is vitally important that they are equipped with the means to quickly and easily access mobile networking. This, in turn, drives current and future industry development, which will result in a flourishing information age.

thousand-fold increase in bandwidth in a mere 20 years. However, despite these extraordinary developments, people are still clamoring for more. Despite the current fixation on bandwidth, in the future, network speed will no longer be measured by the bandwidth a service needs, but by the wait time experienced by users. Zero wait time for the end user is the new paradigm that will shape Internet development.

Assured high-bandwidth media, including augmented reality

The development of the Internet has witnessed the transformation of web content from mere text, images, and sounds into high-definition videos and other next-generation forms of media presentation, such as 3D technologies, ultra high-definition technologies, and augmented reality. These vivid media will be increasingly used across various applications such as e-commerce, social networking, and broadcast media.

User experience drives industry development

In todays world, millions of services and applications are close at hand, enabling a 24/7 online lifestyle. While the underlying network infrastructure is at the heart of this ubiquitous connectivity, user experience is limited to a few points of interface. Since user experience and the demand for continuous service drive technological development, it is of utmost importance that the experiences that operators provide be optimal. The following elements best illustrate what comprises an optimal user experience.

Instant ubiquitous connection

It took twenty years to bring the number of fixed Internet users to two billion, but only five years to bring the number of mobile Internet users to one billion. Thanks to smart terminals, users can now get online anywhere, anytime; the mobile Internet sets users free. Similarly, la carte services will continue to be provided, television programming in particular, as people will have the ability to watch programs at any time, much more freely than they do today.

Zero waiting redefines network speed

In telecommunications, increases in speed are often exponential. Rapid advances in technology have taken us from dial-up to fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), enabling a

Ergonomics enters the virtual

Input methods have evolved from the keyboard & mouse to the touchpad to motion sensing. In other words, computer input is now user-centric rather than machine-centric; it now taps into human form & function. In the future, ergonomics

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Bandwidth insufficiencies are currently the greatest hindrance to mobile networking. Compared with fixed networking, mobile still has a long way to go in terms of user experience, which can only improve through gigabit-level MBB.

will become even more natural, as speech, gestures, and even emotional cues will be interpreted.

The Internet as a community

Google introduced mathematical logic to its search services, enabling users to access the massive amounts of information on the Internet with relative ease. However, Google does this merely at the tool layer, which Facebook transcends by dealing with the social nature of humanity; by emphasizing it, Facebook addresses users emotional needs to some extent while satisfying their need to share. The Facebook phenomenon indicates that a community experience, which Google+ is currently trying to emulate, will be a basic feature for both consumer-oriented services and enterprise-targeted applications. The pursuit of a better user experience is a major driver for telco industry development. A better user experience equates to more speed, better quality, greater freedom, enhanced simplicity, and easier sharing; in some ways, these factors reflect our fundamental human nature.

user experience, which can only improve through gigabitlevel mobile broadband, with architectural innovations and continuous cost reductions supporting the sustainable development of mobile broadband services.

Intelligent optical network management with all-optical access

In the telecom industry, copper wire, despite the operational inefficiencies involved, has been managed manually for over 100 years. Unfortunately, said management is now the most expensive part of network maintenance. As the industry begins to evolve toward optical access, enhanced cable deployment, maintenance, troubleshooting, fault correction and intelligent optical network management are all core measures that can be used to promote its development.

All-IP & all-packet

Over the past two decades, IP technologies have developed at unprecedented speeds. Telecom networks today are a hybrid of time-division multiplexing (TDM) and Internet Protocol (IP), with the latter being the inevitable trend. The telecom industry needs to further this transformation through service migration, network convergence, network interconnectivity, and operation and maintenance (O&M) changes to usher in the all-packet era.

Issues affecting telco development

User experience and progress in network technologies are inextricably linked. User experience drives network development, and network development enables user experience. As an improved user experience coincides with cutting-edge mobile networking, a new round of opportunities will avail itself to the telecom industry which, as a whole, needs to closely adhere to the following ten principles to take full advantage.

Cloud-based data centralization & data centers

Data has replaced voice as the primary network content, enabling data centers to replace voice switching. This development adds new meaning to the term flattening, which is an ongoing topic in network evolution. New technologies, such as virtual and distributed storage as well as parallel computing, based on cloud computing, enable exabyte-scale computing and storage capacities.

Broadband ubiquity for the gigabit era

Bandwidth insufficiencies are currently the greatest hindrance to mobile networking. Compared with fixed networking, mobile still has a long way to go in terms of


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Open IP networking and cloud computing have elevated the importance of information security and privacy protection. E2E security architecture is needed to provide security solutions applicable at both the user and enterprise level.

Open and flexible OSS/BSS

User requirements have transformed telco industry priorities from cost efficiency to value creation, from a closed system to an open system. Modernization and renovation of operational and business support systems (OSS/BSS) for value creation and an open industry ecosystem has emerged as a high priority as it would efficiently support product design & development, product market entry, and value distribution in an endto-end manner. Said systems must support both la carte and user-designed service packaging, including bandwidth selection, if finicky users are to truly feel in control.

delivery channels have been disrupted, which represents a tremendous strategic opportunity that can be seized through the integration and distribution of said content in an on-demand and cross-platform (mobile phone/PC/TV/tablet) manner.

Supply-chain integration & cloud utilization

Cloud computing has completely transformed the business model of the IT industry. However, broadband is a prerequisite for its deployment. Operators have innate advantages in localized services, network assurance, security, and trustworthiness, which they can combine with IT application and communication capability integration efforts to yield end-to-end ICT solutions suitable for the enterprise market, especially small and medium-sized businesses. This integration also allows small enterprises to enjoy the ICT capabilities of larger ones.

Business modeling amenable to customer analysis

In the Internet age, user requirements are individualized and dynamic. Thanks to All-IP architecture, network automation and statistical multiplexing have been achieved, while quality of service (QoS) assurances can now be more dynamic. Bulk data analysis can yield unexpected insights into both networks and users; an operators business model must be able to adapt to them.

Trustworthy info service to ensure cyber security/privacy

Open IP networking and cloud computing have elevated the importance of information security and privacy protection. In light of this, operators need to build end-to-end security architecture (which includes basic architecture, data protection, application protection, and legal compliance) to provide security solutions applicable at both the user and enterprise level. Although the concept of an information society has been bandied about for years, actual informationbased development has just begun. The ongoing pursuit of better user experiences will continuously drive the transformation of information services. Therefore, the development of telecom networks and technologies will also enter a new development phase. The combination of both user experience and network technology optimization will undoubtedly drive information service synergy and promote new applications & technologies. Editor: Jason Patterson

Network resilience & intelligence with bandwidth-on-demand

Network and bandwidth management are becoming more intelligent and resilient, which bodes well for ondemand services where users can freely select bandwidth and services based on their own needs. In addition, the provision of on-demand services will improve network efficiency and utilization.

Digital media content/distribution channels must be integrated

As digital content flourishes and networks serve as channels on which digital media is distributed, traditional content

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mobile broadband
The following article has been adapted from a Huawei-authored white paper that outlines the current state of the ICT industry and summarizes how operators can keep their heads above water.

The connected possibilities of

Mobile is changing user behavior

those for desktop PCs. Mobile Internet usage is expected to overtake desktop Internet usage by 2014. The future is already here its just not evenly distributed William Gibson, 2003 In an increasingly upwardly and horizontally mobile world, it is paramount that no one is left behind. Road warriors and remote workers currently attract a lot of industry attention, but the world will only truly be connected when rural artisans in India and favela residents in Brazil are also empowered. To support this connected world, technologies will have

SMS/MMS Email/IM Music Games+ Images

onsumers and their devices continuously and dynamically adapt to their social context. The connected world, particularly the Internet, has significantly changed consumer behavior, and this is only the beginning. Consumers increasingly spend more time reading digital text than print media; e-commerce is also growing much more rapidly than brick & mortar sales. In Europe and North America, more than half of the population shops online. Mobile subscribers overtook fixed in 2002, while sales of Internet-enabled phones now exceed

Revenues (USD mil.)

2011 127,181 22,630 11,383 7,492 2,725 1,103 111,215 42,493 1,109 807 3,938 2,477 1,481

2016 156,284 51,607 15,438 28,200 4,559 3,854 235,291 92,252 4,390 2,023 36,869 25,504 8,616

Total revenues



TV and video Mobile Internet Portable Internet Location-based services Social networking Mobile payments & banking Applications store E-publications

336,035 2011

Fig. 1 Global mobile applications and services revenues


APR 2012

to be multi-purpose, multi-standard, and inclusive. A vast web of virtual relationships and digital interactions between people and things will require flexible, distributed broadband technologies as the backbone with cloud infrastructure, intelligent networking, and multiple layers of IT and support systems binding everything together. Near-field communications (NFC) and ad hoc connectivity protocols, such as those laid out by Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA)-defined guidelines and the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI); voice and sensory-based recognition; Unified Communications (UC); and M2M will undoubtedly merge to revolutionize how mobile services are offered.

will take only two years for it to reach one billion, with another two years needed for the next billion; this will represent almost 40% of global mobile subscribers. With their data-centric nature, tablets and other consumer devices will increasingly contribute to data revenues. Tablet sales are expected to exceed 300 million units by 2016, totaling 700 million units overall in the hands of consumers, along with over two billion smartphones, and some 250 million e-readers.

Mobile services/apps are changing consumers lives

For operators, MBB has developed in a relatively short period of time as the second or third largest revenue stream after voice and SMS. On a global basis, mobile Internet revenues overtook SMS in 2011 and there is plenty more to come. Mobile Internet end-user revenues were USD111 billion in 2011, according to analysts, a figure that will reach USD235 billion in 2016 (Fig. 1). Mobile broadband revenues from portable users people using laptops or tablets will rise at a slightly faster rate from USD42 billion to 92 billion over the same period. Traffic will grow exponentially, with video as a major driver. Many operators now report that streaming video already generates up to 50% of total traffic (Fig. 2).

Smartphones: Portals to the connected world

New technologies first arrive in the smartphone segment, giving these devices the industrys most powerful hardware footprint. Today, they have more computational power than the largest computers did twenty years ago. Most now include an intuitive user interface (UI), advanced multimedia, and other Internet-friendly features; all have helped increase their consumer appeal, making them the fastest growing segment of the mobile phone market. More than 700 million consumers currently enjoy the use of a smartphone, and this is only the beginning. While it took a decade for smartphones to reach the half-billion user mark, it

MBB as a business enabler

In a connected world, traffic surges may never stop, but not only because of consumer appetites for smart devices. It will stem from a whole new layer of everything-everyone-

Data traffic (MB mil.) SMS/MMS Email/IM Music Games+ Images TV and video Mobile Internet Portable Internet Location-based services Social networking Mobile payments & banking Applications store E-publications

2011 3,819 154,746 134,127 194,350 1,126 272,149 266,069 2,516,359 11,123 159,969 34 138,359 32,796

2016 8,613 461,412 1,525,170 2,342,882 3,546 5,986,223 3,562,927 22,309,310 127,491 1,510,667 296 1,053,610 451,046

Total data traffic



3,885,023 2011

Fig. 2 Global mobile consumer data traffic by application, 2011 and 2016

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everywhere interactions. The term digital interaction seems appropriate for the emerging connected world, but it must demonstrate three core characteristics: Ultra Broadband A mobile network must provide sufficient bandwidth to support any app, including HD or 3D video, without inconveniencing others. This will be the defining challenge for mobile network capability. Ubiquitous Connectivity Everyone and everything can be connected to this digital world through a ubiquitous mobile network. It will significantly change peoples lifestyles and their world by supporting intelligence and mobility. Value is created as the mesh grows. Zero Waiting High-quality user experience and highlyefficient digital interaction will be delivered with minimal delay. Business value will derive from the user experience. User experience is absolutely central to the evolution of this rapidly-evolving information age. The exchanges and interactions enabled by ubiquitous connectivity cannot and will not thrive if the user experience is unaddressed. Technologies must be multi-purpose and inclusive, whatever an individuals place in society or location. Licensing fees A more nurturing approach to communications is emerging, with policymakers and regulators growing increasingly supportive. The launch of 3G involved multibillion dollar license fees, but now and in the future governments will accept much lower payments for MBB spectrum as they now better appreciate the societal benefits of ubiquitous coverage. Mandated investments Tech-related mandates in areas such as smart metering and eCall (a European crash notification service scheduled for 2015) all will create new digital interactions and revenue streams. Smart sustainable cities There is growing public and private sector interest in investing in critical infrastructure or collaborative projects focused on building smart cities; this is partly driven by environmental/energy-related issues. Collaborative labor Collaborative work methods will strongly influence the digital world, whether through remote work, virtual organization, or distributed work groups, or for that matter, collaborative robots (Cobots). A thirst for simplicity Consumers and businesses are hungry for the benefits of a digital world, but they want a simplified rather than complicated lifestyle. Service, not technology Internet & MBB democratization will change consumer behavior, with mobile phones and other related devices becoming personal assistants.

Mass market opportunities

We have already come a long way, but many factors remain that will influence how the connected world takes shape and grows. Technology clearly remains central, but there are many political, economic, and social factors that will influence public and private choices in technology, including the views of infrastructure stakeholders. Some of these include:

Enterprise opportunities
In the connected world, the same connected devices will probably be used to manage both our personal and

Note: April 2011 vertical markets global survey involving 182 telecom industry respondents Source: Informa Telecoms & Media. Informa UK Limited 2012. All rights reserved

Energy & utilities Financial services Health Media/broadcast Public sector/public safety Transportation Automotive Pharmaceuticals Others Agriculture
0 5


45.1 44.5 42.9 42.3 39.0 22.5 11.5 9.9 7.7

10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50

Fig. 3 Which verticals are actively targeted?


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professional lives. Consumerization of the enterprise (where consumer technology finds legitimate uses in business) is now a fact. Dual-role smartphones, mobile device management, and personal clouds are part of an expanding catalog of services now on offer to enterprises from the very smallest to the very largest and their employees. Secure on-demand access to digital enterprise assets is becoming a prerequisite, as cloud computing disrupts traditional buying patterns for enterprise ICT. But the shift to at-will, OPEX-driven purchasing models is expanding the addressable enterprise wallet share, to the benefit of operators. Worldwide, 130 operators now offer cloud services. In 2011 alone, operators launched 170 new cloud services and invested more than USD13 billion in cloud infrastructure, with 250,000 square meters of data center space now under construction to support operators cloud infrastructure. A major overhaul of operators enterprise portfolios is underway. Connectivity-centric service portfolios were stagnant before MBBs arrival. Certainly, there was a will to deliver better, cheaper connectivity, but few revolutionary ideas about how businesses could work smarter. Today, MBB is a catalyst on two levels it is reinventing existing enterprise services and creating entirely new ones.

Vertical opportunities
Vertical industry ICT as opposed to generic enterprise ICT is an exciting new frontier for operators. It involves the creation of services customized for a particular industry, although they may employ common applications and

technologies. According to a recent survey, 90% of operators believe that services for connected verticals can enhance their top-line revenues, and they are now reorganizing to target them. Globally-connected vertical activities are legion smart grids, connected trains, digital oil fields, mobile health, and mobile government, to name a few. MBB, cloud computing, and M2M are the key technologies in play. Vertical sector diversity (Fig. 4) is stretching operators technological and go-to-market skills but is also providing an opportunity for well-targeted enterprise services. Clever use of cross-industry standards and platforms will be important if economies of scale are to be achieved. In the last two to three years, M2M has emerged as a potential game changer for the mobile industry and will be another driver of the connected world, most notably through the Internet of Things a network where the end-user may in fact be a machine. Smart cities and smart devices offer some of the most exciting opportunities in M2M. Transport and utilities are two of the central tenets to the smart city concept and both will use wireless technology. There are already 50 million smart meters in use, a figure analysts expect to grow seven-fold by 2016. Transportation also holds huge potential for wireless connectivity. Fleet management is an established M2M application, but intelligent transport systems and connected cars will, in the long run, become much larger markets. Most M2M applications have primarily involved exchanges of small data amounts, albeit often in large numbers. However, new high-bandwidth applications are beginning to emerge, particularly where LTE is in use. In

Major regions including Western Europe and North America have already earmarked around 500-600MHz of spectrum in the bands shown, but other markets lag behind with barely 200MHz or less. Source: Informa Telecoms & Media. Informa UK Limited 2012. All rights reserved

2600MHz (FDD): 15% 2300MHz (TDD): 15% 2100MHz (FDD): 12% 2600MHz (TDD): 14% 700MHz (FDD): 11%

1900MHz (TDD): 10% 800MHz (FDD): 12% 1900MHz (FDD): 1% 900MHz (FDD): 3% 1800MHz (FDD): 7%
Fig. 4 Spectrum soup: LTE connections by frequency band by 2016

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Scandinavia, journalists have expressed interest in using LTE for live video broadcasts as an alternative to satellite links. The healthcare and retail sectors also hold great potential for videobased applications. The growing use and availability of highdefinition video and augmented reality also have extreme relevance and applicability to M2M communication, even though their initial applications lie in the consumer sector. capacity where needed, both in peak traffic areas or cell edges, but they create a new network architecture and place new demands on operations. By coordinating spectrum between macro and small cells, capacity can be increased by over 100% for each small cell added in the assigned spectrum band. SON Simplified installation and set-up enable quick and easy deployment of small cells for infill coverage or target hotspots, with self-organizing network (SON) capabilities automatically handling everything from neighbor cell relations to cell load management and smart handover between the small cell and macro networks. Cloud-RAN Baseband processing functions for the BTS are separated from the radio and antenna unit through the creation of baseband pools. These can then serve hundreds of low-cost radio cell sites that can be flexibly and strategically deployed for optimum coverage and capacity. Backhaul Adequate and flexible backhaul will be crucial to small cell success and thus an important concern for mobile operators. Those with fiber access will benefit from its virtually unlimited bandwidth, whereas greater flexibility can be provided through traditional point-to-point or point-tomultipoint microwave systems. HetNet Diverse small-cell and macrocell architectures that support multiple radio access technologies will be required to address varying levels of demand and coverage requirements, and must coexist in a heterogeneous network (HetNet) environment, fully integrated and managed by sophisticated radio planning. Many operators have already embraced small cells, through their growing use of wireless LANs and femtocells, for data traffic offload or extended coverage. SON support in a multi-vendor small-cell environment will be crucial in any HetNet. Spectrum utilization Spectral efficiency is increasing with LTE and LTE-A, enabling operators to service more users with the same amount of spectrum. Infrastructure technologies, including software-upgradable base stations and future-proof platform scan, further alleviate operator concerns for future spectrum utilization. New spectrum With significant TDD spectrum available worldwide, TD-LTE is rapidly gaining ground on FDD; it will represent as much as 40% of the global addressable market for LTE by 2016. However, frequency allocation is fragmented (Fig. 4). Without convergence, mobile operators, network equipment vendors, and device vendors cannot achieve economies of scale to stimulate and support grassroots network usage. Spectrum fragmentation and shortages will add to technology costs, while the dream of global roaming will remain elusive if spectrum is not harmonized. Multi-band devices Device manufacturers must address the proliferation of LTE spectrum bands. As the technology matures and operators clarify their target bands,

Innovation-enabled possibilities
Surging data traffic is placing unprecedented demands on mobile networks. Advances in radio access technology are already delivering increased network capacity, higher speeds, and more efficient use of spectrum, providing an improved user experience but also fuelling the growth cycle of ever more sophisticated devices and data-rich applications. New technologies will be required to enable faster, more efficient networks as well as new revenue streams. Given the right tools, an ultra-mobile broadband environment is achievable.

Faster and more efficient networks

Continued evolution in the RAN and traditional network bottleneck areas such as backhaul will be accompanied by numerous technical innovations that will further enhance network performance, coverage and quality, such as small cells, SONs, and cloud RAN. LTE By the end of 2011, 49 LTE commercial networks were in operation, with a further 346 planned for launch before the end of 2016. LTE-A Mobile operators are already discussing LTEAdvanced (LTE-A). A key reason for this is that LTEAdvanced will enable carrier aggregation the use of discrete parts of the spectrum. Most operators own fragmented spectrum assets, so LTE-A can potentially make better use of them. LTE-A is the first technology to unify spectrum across many different bands, potentially allowing mobile broadband without restrictions. In addition to improved peak data rate and spectrum flexibility, LTE-A will support heterogeneous networking and cooperative communications. Single RAN As operators evolve towards LTE and beyond, a growing number are migrating to a single RAN, enabling support of multiple radio access technologies on a single base station platform. This will improve the cost structure for future MBB growth and ensure continued support for legacy technologies. A single RAN platform enables more efficient spectrum utilization while consolidating areas such as backhaul, helping speed All-IP migration. Small cells Traffic growth is not evenly distributed, growing even faster in peak traffic areas. Spectrum has to be re-used more intensively through cell splitting and small cell usage; both use spectrum more efficiently. Small cells boost


APR 2012

device vendors can more easily support additional bands. As MIMO matures, adaptively tuneable antennas will facilitate multi-band integration into small form-factor devices such as mobile phones, with an optimal number of perhaps eight bands for an LTE device to ensure global roaming.

Revenue through operational excellence

As operators deploy faster and denser networks, their need for new revenue streams is becoming critical. Operators must also seek ways to monetize existing networks and spectrum more efficiently through next-generation access technologies that exploit faster computing platforms. Current technologies that increase revenue can be segmented into two main categories technologies for new revenue and technologies for better monetization of existing infrastructure. PCC In the core network, operators can use policybased management (through the Policy Charging and Rules Function PCRF) to create new pricing plans based on services or tiers. Social media bundles are particularly interesting, as operators can monetize occasional or lowARPU data users by offering them unlimited access to these services at a low cost; more traditional tiered plans may depend on volume, time, or even speed of access. SDPs and IMS-based services In the service layer, several launch technologies are available, including IMS, Rich Communications Suite (RCS) and HD voice, which is expected to offer higher-quality telephony. Service Delivery Platforms (SDPs) are also widely used to power operatorbranded content portals, especially in developing markets where operators have a very large subscriber base. SDPs are also starting to be used to consolidate service creation and control for multinational operators, even across continents. API policy Operators can attract new revenue streams by opening APIs to third parties, primarily for enterprise services, enabling them to become matchmakers between Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and enterprise customers or SMEs and making them relevant in a market where they were not before. This is particularly interesting as operators hold subscriber data unavailable to any other company in the value chain; this data can provide value for both end users and upstream partners. Mobile operator partnerships with OTT companies (including Skype, Spotify and Facebook) have been very well accepted and have helped reduce churn. New business models LTE networks are packet-based and more suited towards data and web services, giving mobile operators the advantage in the creation of new services and partnerships, enabling them to make the best use of their own assets and those for others; this will prove essential for success in a changing world.

BSS/OSS Whether it be LTE, LTE-A, or high-speed IPbased network infrastructure, all will require a new generation of IT support systems to help foster a renewed focus on user experience, business intelligence, and network congestion. Management of multiple services is becoming increasingly complicated as it involves a wide range of BSS/OSS, IT, and network elements. Service management needs to be holistic and carried out in an end-to-end fashion if operators are to provide an integrated service experience. Various sources of user data via analytical tools will also need to be joined if operators are to manage the experience and provide a customer-centric view of what takes place. Cloud-based services Full advantage must be taken of cloud-based services. Telecoms are already building, buying, or partnering on a massive scale in order to support cloudbased services, with 80% of investments and acquisitions involving data-center infrastructure. Cloud services create major opportunities to empower customers, but they depend on both IT and telecom expertise. Network reach, control, and complex service-management capabilities all must be delivered if cloud services are to function. However, partnering will remain important, with SaaS relationships playing a strong role along with infrastructure vendors and professional services providers. Operators cloud-enablement services come in two categories go-to-market services and operational services; the latter uses the cloud operational model to manage the operators own services. Operators can exploit the cloud to improve their own operations; this might include cloudbased M2M service management and billing. A good mix of all of the aforementioned strategies will help cloud services go mainstream and empower the connected world.

The mobile broadband industry will create new possibilities, dramatically improving not just quality of life but also productivity at work. The three core characteristics of the connected world ultra-broadband, ubiquitous connectivity and zero waiting will underpin and support the emerging mobile broadband world. User experience is another key factor absolutely central to this connected world, supporting customer retention and the building of business value. However, optimal user experience despite finite wireless resources will require both continuous improvement processes and recognition that something that is merely good is not good enough. Mobile broadband must be redefined in terms of the business opportunities it creates rather than the technology challenges it solves. In terms of ICT transformation, technology innovation and business model innovation will need to walk hand-in-hand. Editor: Jason Patterson

APR 2012


Tao of Business

Converting data into value

Traffic operation utilizes a smart pipe to build up an information exchange platform that aims to offer better information services so that data traffic increases in a monetized fashion. In other words, it converts 1s and 0s into value.
By Luo Huiming

Traffic operation


APR 2012

With the uptake of smartphones and the mobile Internet, operators are seeing their data service traffic skyrocketing. As revenues from value-added services based on voice communications, such as SMS and RBT, continue to decline, data traffic is becoming the most valuable growth point for any carrier.

Key factors behind traffic operation

services based on online content. This can be facilitated by categorizing users, with each group offered one or several types of services/content. However, this would not rule out one subscriber falling into several different categories.

iven the critical importance of data traffic to operators revenue and success, it is imperative that they accelerate their shift from bit pipe to smart pipe and from voice traffic operation to data traffic operation.

Smart pipes: Three goals

Improved subscriber experience
First of all, a smart pipe needs to make access point name (APN) switching more convenient. WAP APNs are used for accessing WAP-based sites, while net APNs access Internet services. Some operators set up multiple APNs, each for a single service category, which can hamper the end-user experience when browsing or surfing, more so than ever with smart terminals. For instance, a certain high-profile smartphone allows only two APNs WAP APN for MMS and net APN for Internet services. However, with net APN, subscribers cannot access services owned by operators as a net APN cannot upload the subscribers phone number for compulsory verification; if subscribers switch to WAP APN, they cannot access non-HTTP Internet services, which is equally troublesome. The best remedy would be to eliminate APNs and have operators networks assume the service access and charging differentiation roles instead. Another major cause of subscriber frowns is a lack of transparency in network operations. One involves applications, which often go online without the subscribers awareness or permission, leading to data quotas being reached faster than expected. Illegal plug-ins in the applications are often the culprits here, as are game settings that involve online updating of rankings and so forth. Numerous applications trigger automatic clandestine uploads; this can be countered by offering applications as a

Smart pipes
A smart pipe can mobilize and optimize network resources in an intelligent and automatic fashion, as per differentiators such as services, content, subscribers, and time of day. A smart pipe enhances network utilization, reduces the cost per bit, improves subscriber experience, and maximizes profit. With smart road charging, for instance, tiered pricing is set up for different periods of the day for each single road, as per road traffic status, number of lanes, and routes between home & work; commuting time and fares both increase for key roads at key times of the day. Through the leverage of time expended and cost (including fuel consumption), smart transportation can automatically regulate routing and speed for vehicles so as to minimize the total time expended and cost to society. This is a dynamic process, and would be somewhat similar for data traffic.

Information operations
As opposed to voice communication operation for homogeneous subscriptions, traffic operation focuses more on diversified data being funneled to individual users. But to accomplish this, operators need to understand subscriber interests/preferences and provide personalized information

APR 2012


Tao of Business

While most operators do not produce content, they have an advantage that no producer has the pipe. Operators can utilize the operational models of TV or Internet channels to present personalized service channels to subscribers rather than the same content as portal websites.

subscription or by prompting the user each time an upload is requested (though frequent prompts of this sort would probably lead to them being ignored). Another major area of network opacity is network switching. Due to soaring traffic levels, most operators have low-cost Wi-Fi for traffic offload. However, in areas not covered by Wi-Fi, terminals may automatically switch to 2G/3G data networking without notifying the user, leading to costs and complaints. A user prompt or a flat rate (regardless of the technology used) would help alleviate this issue, but the latter would require the operator to calculate the average cost per bit for each network technology and choose an appropriate compromise.

based charging. WWW adaptation, among other technical approaches, helps effectively reduce the cost-per-bit through content compression, thus improving subscriber experience.

Information operations: Generating profit

While smart pipes can pave the way to network profitability, the key to monetization lies in information operation.

Tapping into the value of information exchange

While most operators do not produce content, they have an advantage that no producer has the pipe. Operators can utilize the operational models of TV or Internet channels to present personalized service channels to subscribers rather than the same content as portal websites. That would be an operator niche and the most effective way to construct an information exchange platform, which would resemble an online library where items are displayed in order of user preference. But for this virtual library to be profitable, operators need to build an information platform that accurately bridges the gap between subscribers and content creators. Specifically, operators need to recommend unique and personalized services, as per different cell phone features, to reduce the time users spend searching. For smart devices, operators could offer applications that offer one-touch access to preferred content and news related to it. For subscribers wary of applications or feature phone users, they can recommend personalized services on portal websites, while hot content under a particular service category can be recommended for new subscribers; this would give operators the best shot at a favorable first impression.

Enhanced network utilization

Approaches to enhance network utilization include bandwidth optimization, bandwidth-on-demand, fairusage policies, and flexible charging. With bandwidth optimization, bandwidth is flexibly assigned by subscriber profile and service category; bandwidth would go up for high-value subscribers/services and be lowered for those with lower ARPU. Bandwidth-on-demand is suitable for subscribers who need one-off bandwidth purchases beyond their cap, while fair-usage policies hinder freeloaders through tiered pricing, throttling, and the like. Finally, flexible charging involves charging less for bandwidth during off-peak hours, which would motivate bandwidth hogs to change their consumption habits.

Effective cost reduction

Traffic costs can be reduced through traffic optimization and web adaptation. With the former, the end result is more users occupying the same bandwidth; this not only reduces latency, it also increases revenue through content-


APR 2012

Operators have been most adept at the forward charging model. Precision marketing gives them a way into backward charging, as they shift towards being a trade venue organizer who segments the venue into different categories according to subscriber hobbies/preferences.

Increased revenue from CPs/SPs

Operators can also increase revenues from content and service providers (CPs/SPs) through precision mobile advertising, which is facilitated through analysis of the reams of data operators have on hand concerning user behavior, purchasing power, preferences, location, and segmentation. Operators not only have the data but they are also much more likely to have the facilities to make sense out of it, a key advantage for them heading into the next decade.

New business models

Historically, operators have been most adept at the forward charging model (charging subscribers), while Internet service providers (ISPs) have been best suited to backward charging (charging partners for services). However, the aforementioned precision marketing gives operators a way into backward charging, as their position will shift towards being a trade venue organizer who operates by first constructing the venue and then segmenting the venue into different categories according to subscriber hobbies/preferences. Targeting personalized information for subscribers, this kind of operation distinguishes itself from the supermarket shelf model of homogenous services. Specifically, this would involve the personalized library mentioned earlier, which might take the form of a web portal customized with content and links from frequently visited websites. Considering how slow web surfing can be on a handset, this could prove highly lucrative. Regarding the forward charging model, operators tend to charge for voice services based on call duration and for data based on traffic volume (or duration in some cases). In other words, operators charge because they are being inconvenienced, not because they are providing something

valuable to the user. For backward charging, operators would cooperate with content and application providers to provide subscribers with diversified (valuable) information and/or content. Operators usually have two approaches to recommending information/advertisements. One is adding an ad link in the content provided (after doing their own user analysis), while the other is providing information about subscribers hobbies/preferences (ideally without violating privacy policies) to CPs/SPs, who then send out the ad links. The former method is potentially more lucrative for the operator, who, as the pipe owner, inherently has more information than can be provided to the CP/SP. In other words, operators already have the advantage; they just need to leverage it more effectively. Editor: Pearl Zhu

APR 2012


Tao of Business

VAS transformation

Vision into action

Operators must transform their VAS infrastructure, service offerings, and business models if they wish to turn threats from Internet and OTT providers into opportunities.
By Kristofer Kimbler & Mac Taylor


APR 2012

VAS transformation is a multi-dimensional process that exceeds the mere basic evolution of service platforms and offerings. The lack of appropriate business models relevant to service creation, operation, and monetization issues leads to poor ROI and revenues from VAS platforms.

VAS transformation: Overview

Telco business transformation

n the mature markets, although regarded as a threat, Internet and over-the-top (OTT) services, as well as smartphones and tablets, are todays main drivers of mobile data usage/revenue. High-bandwidth M2M services will continue to expand thanks to the cost-efficient service delivery enabled by cloud technologies and the proliferation of powerful MBB-connected devices. However, operators have been connecting these services/devices to the Internet through a gigabyte pipe with a generous flatrate data package, which has eroded their bottom line and enabled said players to literally invade their space. Therefore, operators need a clear strategy to combat these challenges and a comprehensive plan to leverage new opportunities. This can only be achieved by rationalizing and harmonizing network & IT infrastructure; optimizing operations and business processes to reduce OPEX; adopting new open business models based on partnerships with CPs/SPs; and creating new service offerings and applications to compensate for falling revenues from core voice and messaging services. Operators in emerging markets suffer from intense internal market competition and low ARPU, but are as yet less threatened by the OTT and Internet players. They can learn from the mistakes made in North America, Europe and other mature markets. They still have time to proactively transform their businesses to take advantage of the coming revolutions in their territories.

business transformation. It is a multi-dimensional process that exceeds the mere basic evolution of service platforms and offerings; many operators in mature markets learned this lesson the hard way. They invested in new VAS infrastructure, including SDP, but neglected to adopt appropriate business models relevant to service creation, operation, and monetization issues, which has been a key reason why ROI and revenues from VAS platforms have not met expectations. As a central part of their VAS transformation strategy, operators recognize that they need to maximize revenue from data services and content. Furthermore, they want to drive more revenue through data service innovation by competing in vertical markets traditionally addressed by other industries and service providers, such as IPTV, M2M, mobile money, mobile health, and cloud-based ICT solutions for small-medium enterprises (SMEs).

Operator requirements for VAS transformation

Operators in both mature and emerging markets have a clear set of business objectives that are the basis and justification for a VAS transformation program. Timeto-market (TTM) for new services should be reduced as much as possible. To quickly respond to competition and counter threats from new services, operators must conceive, create, test, launch and market new services and content offerings in a timely manner. Service-related CAPEX and OPEX must also be reduced to be more in line with competitors in the OTT and Internet space. Service innovation is vital to continued success. Beyond traditional telecommunication services, operators also need to enter different vertical markets with mobile, cost-

VAS transformation
VAS transformation is an integral part of an operators

APR 2012


Tao of Business

VAS investment requires engagement beyond platforms and products. Huawei has formulated a VAS Transformation Program to facilitate this process in terms of service innovation, platform consolidation, operational strengths, and more.

effective counterparts of already existing services and applications. Operators also need to increase the VAS contribution to total ARPU, which means that service offerings must be expanded and improved along with adoption rates. Finally, operators must bring data revenue more in line with data traffic, without alienating customers. In other words, they have to introduce services and offerings that will help them increase revenue from mobile broadband.

Huawei VAS Transformation Program

Program objectives
Successful VAS investment requires much deeper engagement on the business and operational level; provision of best-in-class service platforms and VAS products is just not enough. Therefore, Huawei has formulated its comprehensive VAS Transformation Program to facilitate this process in four respects. Service innovation Service innovation remains a key pain point for most operators; many have made substantial investments in 3G and 4G networking but still offer 2G service portfolios, while nearly all innovation in the mobile space is coming now from OTT players and the Internet. Operators must therefore extend their offerings through new voice, messaging, data, and content services that will yield a smart pipe that generates profits for years to come. Operators also can enter vertical market segments such as healthcare, education, security, and the automotive industry. Platform consolidation To stay innovative and differentiate, operators can only create new value for their customers by leveraging all service and network assets, including basic service enablers such as voice & messaging

and advanced ones such as mobile cloud & M2M. This can be achieved through a horizontal SDP architecture that aggregates and orchestrates all these VAS assets. Going forward, migration of service platforms and other service layer systems to the cloud will further increase flexibility and rationalize costs. Operational excellence Outsourcing has been proven to reduce OPEX and risk in the telecom field. Vendors can host platforms/services and offer them to operators as managed services; today the concept has been even extended to the service operation and business planning level, to achieve tangible gains in service revenue. This model has been very successful and is growing more popular in the mobile content business. Ecosystem & business models To date, operators have generally been unwilling to share revenue with third parties; this needs to change. To significantly expand their service offerings, operators need effective partnerships with application developers, service providers and vertical industry experts. These market players must be given a strong business incentive (service revenue sharing and business intelligence sharing) to enter such partnerships. Only then will operators be able to create a true ecosystem that will expand and diversify their service portfolios.

Huawei cloud-based service platform

All Huawei service platforms and service solutions are based on state-of-the-art SDP architecture and cloud technology. They share SDP service enablers and management capabilities, while providing unique functionality necessary for specific service areas, such as M2M, IPTV, or mobile broadband. This approach enables radical reductions of CAPEX and OPEX for operators who wish to quickly enhance their service offerings. The cloud itself is a powerful service enabler for broad classes of services and applications. It will certainly reshape


APR 2012

The cloud itself is a powerful service enabler for broad classes of services and applications. It will certainly reshape operators IT Infrastructure in the coming years. There is a great synergy between SDP and the cloud.

operators IT Infrastructure in the coming years. There is, in fact, a great synergy between SDP and the cloud. Huawei SDP can provide computing infrastructure (virtualized OS with underlying computing hardware/ storage). It can also provide the necessary service enablers, such as authentication, charging, messaging, or location for applications & value-added services created in the cloud. Developers can build applications through SDPs service creation environment/service execution environment (SCE/SEE), without installing any tools on their own computers, and then deploy these applications without any specialized system administration skills. SDP can also provide the exposure, management, orchestration, and charging capabilities necessary for effective delivery of cloud-based services to end users. With software deployed online, providers rent applications to customers through a subscription-based or pay-as-you-go model. From this perspective, SDP can become both the front-end and facilitator of cloud-based services. Of course, the entire SDP architecture itself can be deployed in the cloud as well, which makes cloud-SDP synergy even more powerful. From this point of view, the cloud becomes a foundation for the next generation of SDP architecture, which, along with the cloud, will certainly generate new added value for operators. In the near future, other service layer systems and platforms such as SMSC, MMSC or maybe even IMS can be absorbed by the cloud to create homogenous, highly-elastic, and cost-effective next-gen mobile service architectures. Leading mobile operators such as Vodafone are already working on such projects.

on its SDP and ancillary service platforms. With these tools, operators can quickly generate new revenue while gradually rolling out third-party services provided on their service platforms. They can therefore secure control over the key cornerstones of their business. A good example of this approach comes from the Telefnica Group in Latin America; after deployment of a group-wide SDP, they quickly introduced an initial set of services provided by Huawei and subsequently launched several more from third-party application developers, with a TTM now shortened from six months to six weeks, or even several days in some cases. Huaweis segmented services have already proven successful for numerous operators in terms of both commercial and user value. Examples include Digital Shopping Mall (DSM), Color Ring Back Tone (CRBT), Mobile Newspaper (MNS), Rich Communication Suite (RCS), Time-Shifted TV, Turbo Button, Parental Control, eHealth, and mSecurity. Turbo Button is probably the best example of how a simple value-added service that leverages mobile broadband (MBB) can both improve user experience and generate significant revenue. It basically works just like it sounds. Users who normally subscribe to basic data packages and need a larger chunk of bandwidth for a limited period of time can pay a little extra for it. It can be thought of as bandwidth-on-demand. Users just click the button and more bandwidth is provided instantly. This service has proven quite successful for MegaFon (Russia), which has earned up to USD1.6 million extra a month through this service.

Multi-segment service innovation

To enable ser vice rollout and timely platform investment monetization, Huawei has created a broad portfolio of ready-to-deploy services and applications based

E2E managed VAS services & hosting

The professional service and operational models provided by Huawei are essential for operators who are looking to improve their operational efficiency, shorten

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For operators, the key advantage of revenue sharing is the elimination of CAPEX related to costly and time consuming procurement, which consequently has a drastic effect on TTM.

TTM, and reduce OPEX. Huawei provides managed services which allow operators to outsource both their platform and VAS operations. Huawei also provides local service development and customization services that allow operators to create on-demand VAS products and enhance platform functionality, without launching change requests and tender processes. Professional services also include thirdparty management and business consulting, the latter of which involves market analysis, service planning, marketing planning, service performance evaluation, and business process optimization. Huawei actively supports operators in partnership ecosystem development. Partner management services include partner acquisition & qualification, partner lifecycle management, application development, and system integration support, as well as settlement & reconciliation. Tata is the number five operator in India, with 85 million subscribers. As a relative newcomer to the telco industry, Tata has limited knowledge and experience in VAS product operation and marketing. After deploying Huaweis SDP platform, Tata decided to outsource the platform operation and certain business functions (partner management & service marketing) to Huawei. Within a year of operation, this decision proved quite efficacious. Tatas CP/SP network exceeded 300 members and its SDP platform generated over USD39 million in revenue, with over 200,000 content downloads per day.

New business models Sharing revenue & risk

Today, operators are reluctant to incur all the risks related to VAS product launch, while VAS vendors yearn to share in the revenues generated by their products for

operators; this creates strong incentives on both sides to assume a revenue-sharing model. Revenue-sharing is a cornerstone of the Huawei VAS Transformation program. For operators, its key advantage is the elimination of CAPEX related to costly and timeconsuming procurement, which consequently has a drastic effect on TTM. Huawei has already signed individual and group-wide VAS revenue-sharing agreements with several operators. Huawei has raised the revenue-sharing model to the next level of maturity through joint-service innovation, market analysis, and service planning with a diverse body of telecom operators. Huawei also provides business consulting while revenue-sharing is in place, which increases the value proposition of the model and makes it much more attractive for operators since Huawei has the superior understanding of its own line of products and solutions. Telefnica in Latin America and MTN in Africa have successfully launched ring back tone (RBT) and other VAS services on a revenue-sharing basis with Huawei, which bears all the costs of RBT solutions (hardware/ software), system integration, and service operation. The services have been launched across 13 and 21 countries for Telefnica and MTN, respectively, and the model has proven mutually beneficial, as MTN Nigeria has reached an impressive 30 percent penetration for RBT, which translates into millions of dollars of additional revenue per month. Both operators are now ahead of the game in the developing world, following a smoother path that should enable them to better maintain their leadership when their markets finally mature and the situation tightens. In other words, with Huawei, they will remain leaders for the next decade. Editor: Joyce Fan


APR 2012

Tao of Business

The next phase of television

By Mark Copas


The second-screen trend

BM predicts that by 2016, eight out of every ten people will use some kind of mobile device as their primary interface with the world of information, c o m m e rc e , a n d h e a l t h . T h e e m e r g e n c e o f smartphones and tablets is fundamentally changing the way TV is watched. Secondary activities such as socializing, shopping, and even online profile updating (health, finance, political affiliation) are also being done while the TV is on. With a second screen (a phone, tablet or computer), TV viewing is becoming more social and interactive. Viewers can flood the Internet with program-related chatter, contact content producers, or just find out more about what is going on in front of them. You can already see this in action today, as many teenagers watch TV with a second screen while chatting with their friends multiple friends. Grown-ups have been getting in on the action as well. In the U.S. this year, both the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards were major second-screen events. Other programs reality shows, game shows, political events are particularly ripe for this sort of interaction. The rise of the second-screen experience is closely tied to the rise of tablets and smartphones. Content owners are also starting to seize the opportunity for this type of interaction, as evidenced by their own first steps into this space through Getglue, Miso, and Disneys various efforts. However, even these are somewhat limited. Text-based and incompletely integrated with social networking (SNS), they are still very rudimentary. IPTV vendors and operators have also been very slow to take leverage this opportunity.

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Tao of Business
Table 1. Mobile benchmarks for Western Europe (comScore MobiLens) Smartphone User Penetration (%) All 5 (Avg.) Used smartphone (any purpose) Apps (not pre-installed) Browser Games Texting Music SNS Site or Blog 45.2% 39.2% 39.2% 28.1% 84.5% 27.5% 26.4% UK 52.6% 49.8% 50.6% 35.4% 91.8% 27.4% 38.0% France 41.4% 35.2% 37.7% 16.5% 86.5% 24.1% 23.8% Germany 38.2% 34.7% 32.2% 25.9% 80.2% 27.3% 19.9% Spain 52.5% 43.0% 42.0% 31.3% 81.8% 36.2% 28.9% Italy 44.4% 34.8% 35.1% 32.3% 82.1% 24.7% 23.3%

Three month average ending January 2012; User age: 13+

The sheer volume of people accessing SNS contextual data has become significant in Europe (Table 1), and it is a safe assumption that most other regions are following suit, if not moving faster. All primary service providers are looking for a golden bullet service that will significantly reduce churn. The integration of SNS with television is that bullet.

Social networking
SNS has exploded across the globe even as an instrument of political change. It is a very powerful tool for good, but it also has the potential to be an even more powerful tool for raising revenue and creating a cohesive personal digital network, made by me for me. The minute the TV becomes my TV, churn is arguably reduced as the service being delivered becomes immediately personal; therefore creating an aura of mineness that is hard for a competitor to penetrate. Pete Cashmore, editor of Mashable (a key information portal for social media services), suggests that in the information economy our friends will become the content curators of our information consumption, filtering movies, books, and TV shows, and making recommendations for our leisure time online. According to Forrester, SNS may become more influential in branding and relationships than corporate websites and customer relationship management systems. In what they call the era of social context, sites will start

to recognize your personal identity and social relationships to deliver a more personalized and customized experience in cyberspace. The latest statistics from FutureScape show that young adults are already using second-screen, irrespective of whether television providers integrate it. Up to 50% of Americans aged 18-24 discuss TV programs while watching them. In a survey of 8000 respondents across Europe, 38% discuss TV content via SNS during viewing, including 53% of those aged 16-24. Content creators are already creating their own interactive second-screen social apps to help drive awareness and brand loyalty, which means that operators need to get in the game and exploit the revenue opportunities there before they are seized by more nimble competitors.

TV as it should be
The idea behind second-screen service is that all things are interlinked, not just in the home but in your social circle as well. This represents a huge extension of the connected home. Its your own personal community, digitally & physically connected. If an author plugging her latest novel peaks your interest, click your tablets onscreen link to download it. This can extend to apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, and anything else that relates to what you are watching. The user interface (UI) should help you buy it in a single click, representing a huge revenue-sharing opportunity for
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The number of people accessing SNS contextual data has grown significant in Europe, and it is a safe assumption that most regions are following suit, if not moving faster. All service providers are looking for a golden bullet service to significantly reduce churn; SNS-television integration is that bullet.
Mark Copas, Head of Video Solutions, CSD Global Centre of Competence (Huawei)

operators looking to exploit impulse buyers. The second-screen service should not only know what you are watching, it should also understand it. So, when it picks up in-show references to subjects such as Lady Gaga, Emperor penguins, Late Victorian sideboards, or Usain Bolt, it should put them up as live tags on the adjunct screen. Clicking the tag should bring up relevant links (Wikipedia entries, Google search results, iTunes offerings, etc.) for the user to indulge. The service should know what you and your friends are watching. You can all discuss what you are watching, or not (no self-respecting man would want the other guys in his bowling league to know that he is watching Desperate Housewives). If you think theyll enjoy what youre watching, you can invite your friends to join you. If you are wondering what they are watching, you can sneak a look. And, you can all chat together while you all watch, in real time.

What should we do?

The industry at large should start to look beyond what the industry has deemed the low-hanging fruit. Services such as RCS and IMS are expensive, difficult to deliver and implement, and of dubious profitability as there are free apps out there that can and do replace them (Skype is a prime example of this). App integration also requires hipness, which is not easy for the incumbents, where the decision makers are typically over thirty years old.

Localization can also be a minefield for the multinational operators, as what works in one country may not work in another (think about Facebooks rather modest traction in Japan). The UI needs to move away from the old way of personalizing the web experience via Cookies and recently browsed lists; these are crude and unreliable. Personalizing web content should be more related to profile, language, profession, or interests, based on friends and preferences. The optimal user experience should be inferred by what you and your friends like, not by what the search engine is paid to show you. This reflects exactly what IPTV is all about. Operators should facilitate a user-based interface, generated for the user, by the user, that is more my TV than the TV. This view is completely analogous to the IPTV idea of My Channels and catchup TV (time shifting). Think about integrating the two experiences for a seamless multi-visual, multi-aural, multicultural media experience created by you and your friends for you and your friends.

A practical solution
ZeeBox has been launched in November 2011 in the U.K. as a free second-screen app or online URL for PC/ Mac, iPad, and iPhone, with Android soon to come. It has been developed by the same people that developed iPlayer for the BBC, although Zeebox is not a BBC product. Zeebox brings together second-screen, SNS, education, and shopping, in a single user experience.

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Tao of Business

The second-screen service should understand what you are watching. When it picks up in-show references, it should put them up as live tags on the adjunct screen. Clicking the tag should bring up relevant links for the user to indulge.

If operators wish to reduce churn and create a whole new user community, they must look at developing something like this for their own platforms. It completes the multiscreen, multi-room, connected home experience and it pulls fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) together. It combines web, music, TV, and subscriber-generated content completely into a single screen or across all screens for the first time. It is truly unique in its approach. So, what of Zeebox since its launch? Zeeboxs own study of 4800 13-to-65-year-olds found that 57% often or almost always send emails or browse social networks while watching TV. Zeebox also reports thousands of downloads in the U.K. (over 250,000 in the first week) with numbers growing by one-third every day. This would seem to indicate that users, particularly trendsetters, are migrating to this type of multiscreen interaction in a big way. In January 2012, Sky, the U.K. satellite operator, took a 10% equity stake in the company, indicating its status as a potential game changer. Sky has also announced a new OTT strategy in February 2012, which represents a major threat to both the traditional British operators and the likes of Netflix. Skys huge content resources, access to premium sports, and its willingness to pay for them, along with its telco services, including FBB and voice, can do major damage to British Telecom (BT) and its ilk, with other satellite operators possibly following suit in their own markets. If done right, this opportunity can change the game, especially for operators who may not be able to match their rivals in terms of hot content. Social media integration will probably prove more of a draw across all age groups.

Whats in it for you?

So, why would operators want to deploy this? Assuming subscribers already have the basic technology in house, they can either buy the app or the operator can provide it as part of the subscription pack. Sky provides SkyGo (an app that enables TV viewing on a PC) in a similar fashion. In any number of ways, this gives the operator a truly unique, enhanced quad-play solution, or does it? Quad-play does not just mean the ability to watch TV or VoD on a smartphone or tablet. It infers the ability to be fully immersed in the experience no matter the terminal, with all services available; this should include your social network. The key here is integration with local SNS, not just Twitter and Facebook, so the experience can truly be local and/or legal (in some countries). This actually gives the operator a more diverse platform for advertising, reference selling, impulse buying, and single-click shopping. Operators can integrate with the likes of Amazon and Spotify (for a fee) or they can take a page out of Googles playbook and have the advertiser/ supplier pay for premium visibility or prominence in the shopping mall and/or tabs. Partnerships can also be offered to content providers looking to promote new program launches where related content is highlighted (backgrounds & access to the cast of the show). Current market analysis indicates that users are more likely to interact via a second screen rather than the TV itself, so operators should avoid reinventing the wheel here. A second-screen app, combined with a multiscreen video service, gives an operator wide scope of direct userinteraction methods, both with the user and between users.


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The minute the TV becomes my TV, churn is arguably reduced as the service being delivered becomes immediately personal; therefore creating an aura of mineness that is hard for a competitor to penetrate.

As we know, OTT is the biggest concern for most operators. How do they control it without appearing restrictive? You can try creating your own social media hub, but even the likes of Google are having a hard time breaking into this space (people only have so many hours in the day and may not be inclined to maintain more than one online identity). By embracing and integrating with these hubs, operators can enhance their service offerings while gaining control over the user interface to an OTT service they would not otherwise have. This type of service opens the door to revenue-sharing opportunities with a variety of vendors. Operators could integrate location-based information with customer preferences and profiling information; offer anonymized information with advertisers; integrate and synchronize their own customers mobile phone books with their social network and IM lists; offer billing services that better integrate customer insight data and promotional activities; or create social bundles that give unlimited access to social media outside of the usual data tariff. The latter represents innovative thinking as it makes for securable, predictable revenue that would not be in hand with the standard tariff system. Of course, a large operator could buy its own SNS, as Telefnica and SKT have done (in fact these purchases show just how important this has become). Overall, these options could very well be the future of television. Second-screen TV is here to stay and operators should help their customers to embrace it; it really does change the game. Editor: Jason Patterson

APR 2012



KPN International
Expanding the European information superhighway to 100G
By Sun Yan Editor: Michael

A leading coherent 100G commercial application has enabled KPN International to further boost its bandwidth and network stability, serving customers even better while keeping its network on the cutting edge.


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KPN International is committed to providing users with reliable, fast and innovative services. The leading coherent 100G commercial application enables us to secure large bandwidth and high stability requirements on our network and serve our customers even better.
Jasper Snijder, Managing Director of KPN International

s an incumbent operator in the Netherlands, KPN has overcome numerous network transformation and service launch challenges. To facilitate popular services such as broadband, video, and enterprise private-line services, KPN has started its transformation to All-IP architecture and repositioned itself as a full-service provider, which has required a major evolution of its network infrastructure. KPN International is a fully-integrated business unit of KPN responsible for sales to enterprise and wholesale customers with international data, IP, and communication service needs. In 2005, KPN International (hereafter called KPN) built a 10G backbone network covering Western Europe. Since then, the operator has grown its network in stages, upgrading it from 10G to 40G, and then to 100G in 2011. KPNs WDM backbone is now one of the

largest in Europe, providing a wide spectrum of services such as wavelength, international private line, VPN (MPLS and Ethernet) and IP transit, plus a multitude of value-added services.

Leading the market: 10G to 40G

With infrastructure migration imperative, KPN began with transport network restructuring. In June 2005, KPN signed an exclusive contract with Huawei for CWDM and DWDM for the access layer and national trunks, respectively, laying a solid basis for broadband network operation which enabled the operator to further engage in the international private line, bandwidth wholesale, and IP transit booms. In the second half of 2005, KPN began its Europe-wide 40 10G WDM backbone network

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KPNs WDM backbone is now one of the largest in Europe, providing a wide spectrum of services such as wavelength, international private line, VPN (MPLS and Ethernet) and IP transit, plus a multitude of value-added services.

rollout with Huawei as its partner. Over four months, KPN deployed a network of 3,000 km connecting more than twenty major European cities, including Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Brussels, Frankfurt, and London, making it one of the largest WDM backbone networks of its kind in Europe. In this context, the operator had ample bandwidth to launch and accelerate its international private line, international voice, VPN, and wavelength services. From 2006 to 2008, global IP traffic grew explosively. Global backbone WDM traffic increased by more than 40% annually, and slightly faster in Europe (44%); 40G interfaces for core routers had matured, and routers with 40G linecards were being deployed worldwide. With 40G transmission commercially available on a limited basis, KPN saw great potential in 40G leasing. In September 2008, KPN secured an order for 40G service between Amsterdam and London. The 40G network, however, had to span the English Channel, which presented an enormous challenge. The possibilities for setting up intermediate wavelength regeneration sites seemed remote, as the channel averages 180 km in width. Huaweis diverse experience in 40G deployment won KPN over once again. Both parties worked to assess KPNs networks and compare different solutions. Finally, 40G eDQPSK technology, with its excellent transmission capability and compatibility with KPNs existing infrastructure, was finally chosen. Huawei helped KPN upgrade its


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sites and install 40G service boards. In only three weeks, KPN established a stable 40G transmission link spanning 214 km of the channel.

Promising the future: 40G to 100G

In 2010, IEEE 802.3ba, the 40G/100G Ethernet standard, was officially released, which helped jump-start the development of its industrial chain; 100G applications were maturing thanks to joint efforts between vendors and operators. By early 2011, KPN had been serving customers in 22 European countries through its WDM backbone network. Service growth, however, had led to bottlenecks, with the AmsterdamLondon link being one of the major choke points, while users of the Amsterdam-Luxembourg link were demanding 100G speeds to smoothen their interactions with content providers and system integrators. After its successful 40G rollout, KPN expected that a 100G upgrade, based on its platform, would also be possible, with Huaweis help. Early in 2008, Huawei launched its 100G prototypes and worked with more than ten operators to verify 100G on live networks. In the two years that followed, Huawei improved its 100G solutions. When KPN foresaw that their network would lead to bottlenecks, they started discussions with Huawei to test the 100G solution on the

platform to increase the capacity in what were then bottlenecked links. KPNs networks had mixed 10G and 40G services, with greater demand on nonlinearity resistance. In addition, their network used both G.652 and G.655 fiber, creating CD and PMD tolerance problems. Huawei recommended its 100G coherent detection solution for the upgrade. The cooperation between both parties culminated in a successful upgrade of the Amsterdam-London and Amsterdam-Luxembourg links; the former extends over 500 km, including the aforementioned link across the English Channel, and functions without electrical regeneration, while the latter spans more than 600 km, including the urban fiber. Thanks to these efforts, KPN can now call itself one of the first operators to deploy 100G commercially. KPN International is committed to providing users with reliable, fast and innovative services. The leading coherent 100G commercial application enables us to secure large bandwidth and high stability requirements on our network and serve our customers even better, said Jasper Snijder, Managing Director of KPN International. Due to Huaweis leading WDM solutions, our international network remains at the cutting-edge, providing high performance to accommodate fastgrowing service demands. In the future, KPN is expected to continue expansion of its ultra-broadband services through migration of its busiest links to 100G.

APR 2012



By Pearl Zhu Editor: Jason Patterson

Innovatively making Telco 2.0 a reality

Despite an ARPU of four U.S. dollars per subscriber, Philippine-carrier Smart Communications spent its twentieth year (2011) in an enviable position; they enjoyed a 50 percent share of the domestic mobile market, totaling 46 million subscribers.


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mart has innovated its way to the top in the Philippines through a number of firsts, including Smart Money and Smart Load. Smart Money, which was launched in 2001, now services more than 8.5 million users. The technology behind it would eventually power MasterCards Payment Gateway, which allows banks and telcos around the world to offer their own versions today. Smart released Smart Load in 2003, enabling electronic airtime to replace prepaid cards (then the staple of the developing world). This airtime load engine now powers the 1 billion+ SMS messages that Smarts 46 million+ subscribers send each day. Today, Smart is working with Huawei on its Smart Netphone program (which earned it a finalist slot for a 2011 TM Forum Business Innovation Award), based on Huaweis SDP (Service Delivery Platform) platform, which represents nothing less than an attempt to take Telco 2.0 from the hype machine to the living room. Smart wants to provide subscribers with not only services but also advertising and e-commerce. They want to be the facilitators of direct brand engagement with consumers.

that is inexpensive, easy to use, and able to deliver fresh and relevant services to the masses. This implies an innovation platform, a foundry that would allow Smart to test the waters, create services and find out how well they respond to the needs of the public. Thats where Huawei SDP comes in. According to Alex D. Ibasco, Chief Innovation Officer at Smart Communications, his company needs to deepen its relationship with customers; in other words, Smart needs to become a part of their lives. Smart needs to become a conduit for people to access whatever they need, whether it be a good or a service.

SDP comes in
Netphone: Cost-effective, easy-to-use, relevant
Smart has insisted that their projects produces something cost-effective, easy-to-use, and relevant. Their solution has been to employ the phonebook as a basis for creating new service relationships. Smart wants to learn about their subscribers favorite brands and facilitate their interactions with them. If a subscriber has a hankering for some fast food, he or she might use a web browser to go to the chains cavernous website and try to navigate it to order. Smart is trying to change all that. They want users to simply go to their phonebook, select the restaurant and order. Of course the question is how would they do that? This is where Smart has worked with Huawei; Huawei has provided them with SDP, an endto-end platform that enables operators to better respond to user needs for new and innovative services/applications. In other words, it is designed to offer a digital shopping mall for users. In addition, Huawei has provided a network address book on the backend, which represents the Netphone phonebook for each individual consumer. A global cloud directory has also been created that Smart can populate with individual and corporate contact information. Hypothetically, a subscriber could enter a friends name or brand name into the

Internet for everyone

Smart has been able to sustain a 60 percent EBITDA, but voice and text are no longer the only games in town. Smart aspires to bring the Internet to everyone, not just the young and upwardly mobile; but this will take more than just an inexpensive smartphone (70 percent of its subscribers buy phones that cost less than USD100). As most of its potential users only have experience with a handsets phonebook, call, and text features, the complexities of a smartphone may seem intimidating. All of these extra features would be a hard sell if people lack the money to buy addons such as ringtones. Smart needs to do more than simply answer the question of what happens after voice and text. They need a project where the end result is a data platform

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With a history of innovation over the past twenty years, Smarts tagline of Smart Simply Amazing is clearly more than just words. Through innovations such as the Netphone, Smart is transforming from a telco to a business facilitator.

phonebook, and if the entry is present in the directory, it could be added to an individual phonebook. If a subscriber went into the phonebook and was unable to find the fast food restaurant in question, he or she could go to the global directory on the SDP and enter the name; it will then be displayed and the user will be prompted to add it. Adding it makes it available in the phonebook, where users can now simply say order (name of the restaurant) and an attractive widget for ordering from that restaurant will open. This process saves the trouble of navigating an endless search browser and the typically bottomless website of any fast food chain. Smart also does the same with other subscriber favorites, such as celebrities; subscribers can access their blogs and interact with them in one deft action. This procedure is also handy for other social activities such as adding friends.

An eye-opener
As an experiment, Netphone proved an eye-opener for the company. Its employees had heard the hype about SDP, but they did not really know what SDP could do. It was very hard to plan around it. This project has greatly broadened Smarts horizons. It has enabled them to think beyond voice and text. It has allowed the company to show its inventiveness by creating services on non-legacy technologies such as SMS. At this stage, Smart is already engaging Huawei to be part of the long-term planning process.

criteria. According to Ibasco, Smart needs partners prepared to invest in creating what could possibly amount to an entirely new platform; partners that think for the long term and are prepared to discover new things and grow along the way. Smart and Huawei hit it off as partners. Neither tried to adapt an all-encompassing system to local conditions. Instead, both did things in small, agile steps; this enabled them to adjust to the inevitable bumps. Sm a r ts i n n ova t i o n a l s o d e p e n d s o n i t s connections with the industry. Smart is a founding member of the Wholesale Application Community (WAC), whose platforms and widgets facilitate the presence of other companies on the Netphone. Smarts aspirations are not limited to the telecom industr y. Smart is also part of the Philippines Long Distance Company (PLDT) group, which includes key utilities, transportation companies, and medical firms. These players can offer services through the Smart platform, enabling Smart to use its influence to reach every corner of the Philippines.

Innovating humanity
With a history of innovation over the past twenty years, Smarts tagline of Smart Simply Amazing is clearly more than just words. Through innovations such as the Netphone, Smart is transforming from a telco to a business facilitator. However, such change cannot be accomplished through mere technological advancement; the human element is involved. Smart has kept this in mind by not merely building a better mousetrap but by making it easier to get the cheese.

When setting out into the unknown, partnership criteria become more important than vendor


APR 2012

China Mobile Hubei

Smart operations, tangible value
Modular Internet cache has enabled China Mobile Hubei to effectively smarten its operations through reduced & rerouted network traffic, which has enhanced its network speed, user experiences, and subscriber base.
By Wang Xuejing Editor: Michael

APR 2012



Hubei Mobile can now control and manage its networks in a visualized manner, thus adding value to its broadband operations. After two months of operation, Hubei Mobile saw its peak traffic levels decrease by 30%, with customer complaints falling by 20%.

Dumb pipes leak revenue

s a subsidiary of the worlds largest mobile carrier (by subscribers), the network growth for China Mobile Hubei (Hubei Mobile) has been robust for many years. Its mobile network now reaches all cities, counties, towns, rivers, roads, and railways in central Chinas Hubei province. Though Hubei is an interior province not known for its affluence, it has not proven immune to the effects of the data surge, with all the network congestion and experience degradation that it entails. To go beyond being a mere pipe provider, Hubei Mobile needed a data monitoring solution that would help finance and facilitate service expansion and value creation for its existing networks. The operator also needed to upgrade its legacy infrastructure and differentiate its services and control policies. In other words, Hubei Mobile needed to smarten up its operations.

Smartening up in Hubei
Hubei Mobile planned a network upgrade that would enable the operator to visualize its network at a granularity they had never before achieved (the level of an individual user/data stream), which would enable a level of fine tuning that could truly be called smart. This would bring about an intelligent and controllable network that could promote the operators mobile Internet strategy,

add value to its pipes, and provide differentiated services to customers. This platform would be open and integrated, so that content providers, application providers, and service providers could all be utilized for the adding of network value, which would enable Hubei Mobile to better differentiate and increase control over its content. The first step forward involved an in-depth analysis of Hubei Mobiles current network, so that resources could be allocated more efficiently. Huawei deep packet inspection (DPI) was utilized at this point so that traffic flow and online user behavior could be properly considered. Results indicated that P2P traffic occupied 65% of the operators provincial outlet capacity, with HTTP traffic accounting for a further 25%. Clearly, the amount of bandwidth being hogged by P2P warranted reduction, so that web surfing, HTTP/ FTP download, instant messaging, online gaming, and email service could be enjoyed and not suffered. However, mere throttling of P2P traffic would not do, as Chinas consumer blogosphere is as lively as any countrys. Service degradation would drive current users and potential users into the arms of competitors. A platform was needed that would localize popular services/content; Internet cache proved ideal for this scenario, as it would both reduce the network resources consumed and accelerate the user experience. However, Internet cache is more of a means than an end. First, Hubei Mobile needed to determine which particular content would be its focus. For example, based on protocol analysis, the operator can classify its services with different


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priority levels; while speeding up the important ones, the operator can limit the traffic speed or volume of others.

Clear immediate benefits

Thanks to Huaweis DPI and Internet caching solutions, Hubei Mobile can now control and manage its networks in a visualized manner, thus adding value to its broadband operations. After two months of operation, Hubei Mobile saw its peak traffic levels decrease by 30%, with customer complaints falling by 20%. Us e r e x p e r i e n c e s h a v e a l s o i m p r o v e d . Comprehensive testing and user surveys across at least ten cities have revealed an increase of three-to-five fold in average network speed, resulting in improved browsing, streaming, and download experiences, leading to positive word of mouth.

Customizing solutions
Huawei was able to furnish Hubei Mobile with the instruments to better assess its networks, and the tools to improve them as needed. With Huawei, Hubei Mobile was able to determine the number of clicks for any video file of interest, and identify other popular content for any site automatically. For web browsing, unsurprisingly, Hubei Mobile determined that most traffic in this area was repetitive. Statistics indicated that 50% of web surfers were accessing only 10% of the webs content. For video streaming/download, Hubei Mobile found it to be accounting for 70% of its traffic. Internet cache proved efficacious in minimizing the resources consumed by both traffic categories. With Huaweis solutions, the operator was able to exchange storage for bandwidth. Specifically, in addition to caching popular websites, video streams, and files for download, policies could be defined that would control and/or restrict certain content or services; this led to tangible cost savings and service enhancements. Online gaming and instant messaging services, which can nickel & dime an operator to death, also required management. Hubei Mobile responded by introducing IDC services and relevant applications that would optimize network utilization.

Ongoing progress
However, this is not the end of the story. The data surge is showing no signs of slowing down. Even Hubei Mobiles new & improved network would soon have been overwhelmed by HTTP and P2P video traffic without further attenuation. But fortunately, Huaweis Internet cache solutions are modularized, meaning that Hubei Mobile has been able to supplement its capacity as needed. The operator is now considering the addition of cloud technology to its infrastructure, which would further flatten the network and bring an unprecedented level of resource optimization, enabling Hubei Mobile to maintain its lead, both locally and nationwide.

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By Luo Zuoguo Editor: Jason Patterson

Fastest ever mobile network swap in Europe

This is the biggest upgrade of the mobile network in Norway we have ever carried out. It will create a solid and flexible base for further developing the services offered by the Telenor mobile network and the quality of those services. Our aim is to provide customers with better, more innovative services across the country. This means better in terms of capacity, speed and stability. Ragnar Krhus, former CEO of Telenor Norway, November 2009.


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elenor (Norway), a global telecommunicator, owns the largest market share in its home territory. For its nationwide GSM/UMTS/ LTE network upgrade project, part of its BRAIN (Broadband Radio Access IP network) program, it chose Huawei, a leading telecom service provider but then a newcomer to Northern Europe, to be its partner, despite there being plenty of more prestigious competitors closer to home.

Opportunity favors the prepared mind

Northern Europe is second to none in the telco industry, in terms of infrastructure, business modeling, and overall expertise. Before 2009, Huawei had certainly struggled to establish a beachhead in the backyard of its international rivals; many thought that the firm was wasting its time. But, in October of that year, all that changed. Telenor Norway had decided to replace its dual-

vendor radio access network infrastructure, with Huawei being the leading candidate. It was tasked with delivering a more robust service lineup at reduced CAPEX and OPEX, so that Telenor could continue to provide the best services to mobile users. Huaweis technical prowess (SingleRAN), excellent ser vice deliver y capabilities, and willingness to go the extra mile won Telenor over. Both parties signed a six-year contract for Huawei infrastructure and service provision. This is the biggest overhaul of the Norwegian mobile network weve ever made, and creates a solid foundation for further development of services and quality of service in Telenors mobile network. The main goal is to give our customers better and more innovative services across the country. With better, we mean capacity, speed and stability, said Ragnar Krhus, former CEO of Telenor Norway. The selection of suppliers has been made after an extensive tender process of negotiations. Vendors have been assessed for technical requirements and specifications, future plans, commercial terms and conditions that may ensure a stable, effective and predictable cooperation. It was a close competition

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The BRAIN RAN project represented the fastest network implementation in European history. Roughly 600 sites were swapped monthly over a period of ten months. Telenor and Huawei jointly set a new benchmark for the industry.

between vendors, but ultimately it was Huawei who emerged as the winner outright. Technical quality, credibility in relation to the extensive replacement of equipment, as well as commercial conditions combined were crucial, he added. Signing this contract was a gamble for both sides, as this was Huaweis first network swap of its kind in Northern Europe. A failure would have told the world that Huawei was not ready to compete with its Western rivals on their own ground, while Telenor risked even more as Huawei was rebuilding its home-market network and primary revenue source.

Extreme challenges
Winning the contract was hard enough, but now the real challenge was about to begin. The BRAIN RAN project represented a complete swap of Telenor Norways radio access network, which was composed of 6379 GSM/UMTS co-located physical sites and 9000 GSM/UMTS logical nodes. Huawei had ample swap experience, but not in a situation quite like this. Scandinavias mobile networking may be second-to-none, but not because local conditions are especially suitable for it. Norway lies between 58 and 71N, with over one-third of that lying above the Arctic circle. Local temperatures can dip to -40C for months at a time, with weather conditions changeable at an instant. Norways

mountains and fjords may be breathtaking, but they are enough to give an onsite engineer nightmares. More than 2500 sites required helicopter access, which often involved a lot of waiting for conditions to be right. Even if the weather was clear, the snow often covered up landmarks and even made the sites themselves resemble so many strange outposts on another world. Another hindrance to this project was manpower. Nor thern Europe may produce outstanding engineers, but not in great numbers. Norway has only five million people and only thirty telecom majors graduate every year from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the second largest out of Norways eight universities. In contrast, more than 600 engineers were needed to deliver this project. Telenor, Huawei, and all subcontractors, had to broaden their horizons, with 25 nationalities eventually coming on board.

Diligence under adversity

These challenges made both Telenor and Huawei realize that the swap process had to be standardized, disciplined, and factory-like. As a production line, we should have centralized support, control, and clear processes to guarantee that the swap stays on track, in an efficient manner. Meanwhile, highlydisciplined swap teams and efficient post-swap performance optimization are key to driving a fast


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swap of high quality, said David Tang, Huaweis BRAIN RAN project director. Both parties made certain that these principles filtered down to the subcontractors as well.

Centralized swap room provides efficient support & control

Huaweis Norway office was inside the Telenor HQ building. Huaweis BRAIN RAN project members had originally worked one floor above Telenors project office, but both parties jointly established a sort of command center where all relevant resources would be integrated seamlessly and all relevant planning would be done. Telenor then equipped this swap room with PCs, swap hotline systems, IT infrastructure, and anything else necessary. This room would prove efficient in both coordination and planning, providing technical support for all swap-related problems. Several exclusive systems were set up to automate and streamline the swap process; all incorporated Huaweis comprehensive and proven swap procedures. All swap activities were synchronized and monitored through a dashboard system of sorts that could incorporate key data for every single site and swap; this allowed any discrepancies to be discovered immediately. Thanks to those applications, especially the swap room dashboard and consistency check systems, they not only assisted us in performing the swap efficiently, but also made it easier for the technical team to inspect and manage

problems, said Rocky Luo, Huaweis Fault Manager for the BRAIN RAN project. With the swap room dashboard (SRD) system, 55 activities and/or indices could be shared and monitored in real time for each node swap. If the swap team was even five minutes late to the work site, HQ knew almost immediately. Through a consistent checking system, 20 key steps and parameters could be checked and integrated for a single site, helping to eliminate the errors that creep up during a high-volume swap.

Procedural controls assure quality

A network swap is an all-encompassing process that involves survey, design, logistics, onsite engineering, optimization, and archiving. Huawei, Telenor, and its subcontractors jointly developed a project-level E2E SOP that integrated key actions, milestones and lead time; this clarified the responsibilities for each party. It also clearly defined all activities for a site swap, including the swap team set-out time in the morning, cell blocking, transmission rerouting, service verification, and alarm cleanup. Many sites proved technically complicated, with most of those covering important areas, so a joint team was established to work with these problem children. Kenth Sivertsen, a site expert from Telenor (and Relacom), always thoroughly explained the situation to Huawei, even onsite. Telenors HQ sites proved extremely important and extremely complicated. Telenor experts worked

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Telenor now offers a best in test mobile network which has strengthened its lead in Norway. Customer experience has been elevated thanks to overall improvements in service diversity and overall performance.

onsite together with Huawei for more than twelve hours on them, but the swaps were accomplished perfectly, without issue. Implementation of procedures is certainly important but all for naught if the swap team does not fully understand them, as is often the case. More than ten rounds of training sessions were held for the Telenor swap, as team members came from diverse backgrounds, both in terms of training and nationality/native language. However, these efforts proved fruitful, as quality was delivered along with timeliness; downtime was minimized and relatively few problems were encountered, providing a sound basis for further optimization.

Timely post-swap optimization, improved network performance

Swap execution is important, but so are postswap network optimization and documentation archiving. Without them, Telenor would certainly not have been able to deem its post-swap network excellent. Both OSS KPIs and drive-tests showed the new network to be vastly improved, with the latter indicating that data drops and dropped calls had decreased by 25 and 38%, respectively. Telenor is very impressed and happy with the performance of Huawei. It is very good that the project is on track. Telenor expectations for the project have been more than fulfilled, said RolvErik Spilling, former CTO of Telenor Norway. People might have had different opinions when

problems came, especially when doing technical troubleshooting. However, I never heard any blame between each other when problems popped up. We are always thinking about how to solve the problems, not blaming anyone. People are always smiling, said Telenor swap room manager Age Haland. On October 6th, 2011, a large group gathered in the swap center to witness a historical moment. Suddenly, the room turned to silence and tears started to roll as the last BRAIN RAN site went online, culminating a successful project delivered a remarkable seven weeks ahead of schedule, making it the fastest mobile network implementation in Europes history and enabling the delivery of diverse services of a premium quality to Telenors home market. Roughly 600 sites were swapped each month, with an 856-site peak output, over a period of ten months. Telenor and Huawei had jointly set a new record and benchmark for the industry. With the project finished, Telenor now offers a best-in-test mobile network which has strengthened its lead in Norway. Customer experience has been elevated thanks to overall improvements in network performance and service diversity, with the latter now encompassing HSPA+ data services. The project itself now serves as a new swap benchmark in Europe. It starts a new chapter in the cooperation between Telenor and Huawei. Both already look forward to their next leap forward, together.


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APR 2012