Displaying items by tag: China Unicom

China Unicom taps Huawei for cloud computing solution

Written on Monday, 29 January 2018 07:03

Huawei has partnered with telecom provider China Unicom to deploy the latter’s first private cloud resource pool based on Huawei’s CloudFabric solution. The move marks a significant step for China Unicom in enabling its business transformation in the cloud era. 

The development of cloud computing technologies and services has enabled China Unicom to expand its businesses. Traditional data centers are no longer aligned with larger numbers of servers and the requirements for quick provisioning of new services. In response to increasingly complex business demands, China Unicom has joined forces with Huawei to build an intelligent and simplified private cloud resource pool using the CloudFabric solution.

The private cloud resource pool, built exclusively by Huawei, encompasses an extensive data center network resource pool with Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) technology to increase the number of servers from 1,000 to over 5,000 and raise network resource utilization by 90 percent. In addition, Huawei used SDN controllers to facilitate automatic network configuration, significantly shortening the new service provisioning cycle from months to days. Operating efficiency also improved by more than 50 percent.

“Huawei is dedicated to innovation and research aimed at enabling Carriers' Cloud Transformation,” said Wang Lei, General Manager of Huawei’s Data Center Network Domain. “The CloudFabric system deployed by Huawei and China Unicom simplifies service deployment and O&M and enhances flexibility. As a leader in the ICT industry, Huawei's cooperation with China Unicom signifies a new phase of our joint innovation in the digital transformation era."

Huawei's CloudFabric solution has now been deployed at more than 1,200 data centers in over 120 countries. By building agile, open and secure cloud data centers for customers, Huawei is committed to helping operators and enterprises gain a competitive edge in the cloud service market.

Nokia and China Unicom are to offer Nokia Flexi Zone small cells and an AirScale low power radio head for deployment in 31 provinces in China. This will give China Unicom's subsidiaries new flexibility as they densify busy city 3G and 4G LTE networks and further enhance performance in suburban and rural locations.

“This agreement extends the long-term cooperation between China Unicom and Nokia,” said Gao Bo, head of Customer Business Team for China Unicom at Nokia Shanghai Bell. “We have developed a small cell portfolio that will allow operators to cost-efficiently densify and scale their networks, boosting 3G and 4G performance to stay ahead of demand. By combining this small cell technology with our extensive global services expertise, we can optimize any deployment for China Unicom.”

Initial small cell deployments will allow China Unicom subsidiaries to extend coverage and capacity to meet growing subscriber mobile data demands. According to China Unicom's most recent operating report, the company has seen the number of 4G subscribers on its network increase during 2017 by approximately 55 million to reach a total of over 160 million.

By deploying the Nokia Flexi Zone portfolio, China Unicom will be able to densify the network where it isn't possible to add a macro base station because of space or cost constraints. Small cells can also be used to extend coverage and capacity inside offices and homes, as well as in high-traffic locations such as train stations and shopping malls.

The ability to upgrade the small cell portfolio via software to deliver narrow-band IoT (NB-IoT) support means that the deployments will also lay the foundation for the future introduction of IoT and 5G services. Future implementation of NB-IoT will enable the connection of myriad sensors for the delivery of many smart city services, including smart transport and metering systems as well as the introduction of smart healthcare.

Nokia will leverage its extensive global services expertise to optimize small cell deployments for China Unicom, including network planning and optimization, equipment commissioning and care in warrantee services.

Published in Telecom Operators

China Unicom’s mixed-ownership reform has leapt forward in business cooperation with Chinese internet company Tencent and e-commerce platform Alibaba Group. This represents the first major business cooperation with strategic investors after China Unicom’s mixed-ownership reform plan was approved.

China Unicom & Tencent

China Unicom and Tencent recently jointly announced to leverage their respective rich resources and capabilities in communications, cloud computing and network security, and mutually open up these resources in order to accelerate and deepen integrated innovation in this powerful alliance to build a brand-new “cloud, pipe, terminal” Internet industry ecosystem platform.

China Unicom and Tencent will deepen cooperation in cloud computing and other business areas, mainly focusing on three aspects. Firstly, to fully carry out in-depth business cooperation in “public cloud”, China Unicom and Tencent will co-build cloud data centers to offer value-chain-wide cloud computing-based products, services and solutions to the market. Tencent will leverage its expertise to provide public cloud technology support to “WO Cloud” of China Unicom.

Secondly, the companies will fully carry out in-depth business cooperation in “dedicated cloud” and “hybrid cloud”. With emphasis in Tencent’s high quality online services, together with China Unicom’s highly intelligent and flexible DCI high-speed core network (SDN/NFV), it is aimed to achieve “customized on demand with flexible delivery” service capability in traditional telecommunication service (dedicated line + cabinet), along with the operator’s comprehensive offline service network, and riding on benefits such as mutual synergies, mutual diversion, mutual commitment in this resources-sharing cooperation.

An open and worldwide coverage full-chain cloud computing industry ecosystem is aimed to be formed and well positioned to provide a one-stop comprehensive solution to enterprise customers.

Thirdly, the companies will fully carry out in-depth business cooperation in network security services. China Unicom and Tencent signed a cooperative agreement on network security operation and enhancement and will co-build a network security platform, committing to building a more secure and reliable Internet ecosystem and to providing strong network security technical assurance for the healthy and orderly development of the Internet industry.

China Unicom & Alibaba

On October 20, China Unicom and Alibaba Group announced to mutually open up cloud computing resources and deepen cooperation in cloud business. Alibaba Cloud will comprehensively open the public cloud service capability to China Unicom, while both companies will continue to expand collaboration in e-government cloud and dedicated cloud (Apsara stack) areas including vertical markets, as well as further deepen cooperation in the hybrid cloud business.

China Unicom and Alibaba Cloud will deepen cooperation in three areas including public cloud, dedicated cloud and hybrid cloud. For public cloud, Alibaba Cloud will comprehensively open public cloud services capabilities to China Unicom, including computing, storage, security, big data and artificial intelligence.

Together with China Unicom’s expertise in customer services and network operation, both companies will leverage the branding of WO Cloud computing to provide customers with powerful, general and inclusive public cloud computing services. Meanwhile, both companies will continue to build synergy between cloud and network, and further strengthen the cooperation in cloud computing service enhancement and talent development.

For dedicated cloud, both companies will combine the strengths in cloud computing and big data platform in order to offer strong support for product innovation and business growth acceleration to enterprise customers.

China Unicom, together with Alibaba Cloud, will collaboratively build a joint development team and supporting system targeting the e-government cloud, vertical markets, etc., pushing forward digital transformation and promoting IT capability enhancement for enterprise customers.

For hybrid cloud, China Unicom will open up key data centers nationwide and form hybrid cloud computing one-stop solution combined with current Alibaba Cloud’s public cloud sites. This will meet users’ seamless on and off cloud connectivity demand, thus helping enterprise consumers to further realize business values and enhance business flexibility.

On the basis of seamless interconnection at the data center, both companies will jointly and deeply collaborate in research and development on the cloud computing-based SDN network structure, further enhancing China Unicom’s network utilization efficiency, which allows users to open up nationwide interoperable hybrid cloud in real-time.

Meanwhile, China Unicom and Alibaba will have deep cooperation in network security operation and capability enhancement, in which both companies will co-build a network security platform, committing to building a more secure and reliable Internet ecosystem and to providing strong technology support in network security assurance for the healthy and orderly development of the Internet industry.

Three of China’s state-run mobile operators have posted positive financial results for the first-half of 2017, after enduring a difficult 2016. China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile all made solid gains on their bottom line, largely due to the continued rapid demand for data and 4G uptake.

All three entities suffered a decline in earnings during 2016 - but in the first-half of this year they’ve made a combined profit of CYN 77.6 billion ($11.6 billion) compared with a combined profit of CYN127.6 billion for all of 2016.

Analysts have attributed the success of the state-owned mobile operators to significant 4G subscriber gains from January-June. The trio took its LTE user base to 885 million. In addition to this, it was further disclosed that both China Telecom and China Mobile are increasingly close to reaching the 70% 4G penetration mark, with China Unicom lagging behind by a reported 14%.

China Mobile remains the market incumbent with a 64% share of total subscribers, 67% of which are 4G users. The Chinese operators ended June with 3.47 million 4G base stations, the breakdown of which consisted of China Mobile (1.65M) China Telecom (1.05M) and China Unicom (770,000). It was also disclosed that China Mobile has announced its intentions to construct an additional 120,000 4G sites in the second-half of next year, whilst China Telecom has said it will deploy another 110,000 by the end of this year.

Mobile voice revenue continues to decline sharply due to the dominance of OTT’s, but all three operators still managed to grow mobile service revenue by 5%. It’s the universal demand for data which has contributed to the operator’s success so far this year. China Telecom has enjoyed a healthy increase of 24% in mobile data, accumulating CYN55.3 billion in the process. China Mobile reported a 34% increase in mobile data accumulating CYN185 billion, whilst China Unicom’s data growth increased by 21%, accumulating CYN43.5 billion.

The state-run operators have signed up 23.7 million 4G subscribers in July, which takes the country’s total to 908M. However, China Mobile has announced its plans to end 2017 by amassing 630M 4G subs, which analysts suggest is a target they should easily surpass. At this extraordinary pace, China will likely end the year with well over 1 billion 4G customers, which would also subsequently mean that China would have 40% of the 2.45 billion global LTE connections by the end of the year.

Published in Telecom Operators

China Unicom launches commercial Gigabit LTE network

Written on Monday, 28 August 2017 05:52

China Unicom, together with Ericsson, has commercially launched a Gigabit LTE network in China, allowing subscribers to “enjoy the services and benefits available with high-speed mobile broadband data,” an Ericsson statement said.

The Gigabit LTE network upgraded by Ericsson will not only provide China Unicom subscribers with an advanced LTE experience and enhanced customer satisfaction, but it will also make full use of network resources and improve profitability, the companies claim.

“This remarkable achievement will fulfill our strategy to offer the most advanced services to individuals and enterprises on the China Unicom network,” said Hao Liqian, General Manager, Hainan branch, China Unicom. “Our launch ceremony today [August 23] is important, innovative and fun, since we’re using Virtual Reality on a high-speed train over a high-speed network to prove the worthiness of this launch.”

As one part of the launch, passengers on the Hainan Island high-speed train were able to watch the ceremony through LTE broadcast technology and the Gigabit wireless network. Ericsson, as China Unicom's strategic partner, is the exclusive provider of the LTE broadcast solution, which is China's first LTE broadcast commercial deployment.

“We’re literally putting the network into the hands of the subscribers on day one,” said Chris Houghton, Head of Market Area North East Asia, Ericsson. “People will be able to immerse themselves in their video experience and not just understand, but feel, the difference with a Gigabit LTE network while they are moving at very fast speeds. It’s the perfect combination of thrilling speeds – physically and virtually.”

Ericsson’s LTE broadcast solution will “revolutionize video delivery” in mobile networks enabled by the combination of three new standards: eMBMS, HEVC (H.265) and MPEG DASH and will address the growing consumer demand for media services, the Swedish firm said. To accelerate the development of China Unicom’s video strategy, Ericsson supported China Unicom with eMBMS in the high-speed train scenario so that passengers could enjoy high-definition video without buffering on the network.

Recently, Ericsson supported China Unicom in setting up a 1Gbps network in Guangdong, Hainan, Shandong, and Beijing with peak speeds of up to 979Mbps. With that speed, it takes just 13 seconds to download a 1080P high-definition movie. There are more on-going 1Gbps trials in Sichuan, Hubei, Shanxi, Jilin and Jiangsu province. A high-speed mobile broadband network will enable businesses and services using artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other big data operations.

From an outside perspective, China Unicom appears strong, as one of the world’s largest carriers by user numbers, but the company’s earnings haven’t measure up to its fierce competition. The carrier, according to recent reports, is perceived as slow, often lagging behind its competition in terms of developing new technologies and services, including cloud and big data services, and mobile software. 

Therefore, Chinese search engine colossus Baidu and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group are amongst a consortium of 14 strategic investors expected to participate in the sale of China Unicom shares, according to a statement released by the Chinese operator.  Funds generated from a share sale are estimated to earn the operator around $11.7 billion, which it will subsequently utilize to upgrade its 4G capabilities and help accelerate its aims to develop 5G.

The Chinese government is reportedly attempting to drive investment in state-owned giants through private capital. The government selected China Unicom among other state-owned enterprises last year, a report by Business Insider says, to see “mixed-ownership reform”. 

Published in Telecom Operators

Chinese tech firms to invest in struggling China Unicom

Written on Sunday, 06 August 2017 08:25

Chinese state-owned telecom company China Unicom, formally known as China United Network Communications Group, is to receive about $12 billion investment from Chinese tech firms Baidu and JD.com in a move to boost the telco lagging behind its rivals China Mobile and China Telecom, a source told Business Insider.

The Chinese government is reportedly attempting to drive investment in state-owned giants through private capital. The government selected China Unicom among other state-owned enterprises last year, the report says, to see “mixed-ownership reform”.

From an outside perspective, China Unicom appears strong, as one of the world’s largest carriers by user numbers, but the company’s earnings don’t measure up to its fierce competition. The carrier, according to the report, is perceived as slow, often lagging behind its competition in terms of developing new technologies and services, including cloud and big data services, and mobile software.

Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Tencent would be among new investors contributing a total of about $10 billion into China United Network Communications, China Unicom’s Shanghai-listed unit, Reuters reported last month. With Baidu’s 10 billion yuan investment ($1.48 billion) and JD.com’s 5 billion yuan, the total investment in China Unicom is about 80 billion yuan ($11.8 billion).

The source told Business Insider that 15 billion yuan is likely to be raised from Tencent and invested into China Unicom, while Alibaba is likely to raise about 7 billion yuan. The biggest investor, however, would be China Life Investment, which would commit about 20 billion yuan.

The unnamed sources claim majority of the capital would be raised through new shares, while China Unicom would sell off its stake in the Shanghai unit. Thomson Reuters data suggests that it would be the most significant capital raising in Asia Pacific since insurer AIA Group’s initial public offering in 2010.

Published in Finance

China Unicom has identified IoT as its key focus area in order to drive future revenue growth. However, despite China Unicom enjoying growth in mobile traffic, the organization expects to see mobile traffic growth decline significantly in the next number of years and will focus on IoT applications.

At MWC in Shanghai, Asia’s premier ICT industry and exhibition – China Unicom expressed its intentions to accelerate its NB-IoT rollout as parts of its strategic plan to expand its range of IoT services. Shanghai Unicom is a subsidiary of China Unicom and the firm’s General Manager Shen Hongbo stated that he doesn’t expect to see the company generate income from mobile traffic – instead suggesting that future revenue streams will be driven by IoT.

Shen said: “We’re seeing a bottleneck in subscriber growth in Shanghai, and we don’t see a lot more income being generated from traffic. More revenue will be generated from IoT converged businesses as well as content-related operations. We will have to rely on IoT to grow our business.”

In addition to this, Shanghai Unicom’s GM claimed that the IoT sector will be driven low-power, low-speed data collection applications like smart metering. Unicom has estimated that China’s low-power segment is at 3 billion connections – whilst the high-speed segment will be less than 200 million. Shen added: “So we’re first looking at the low-power, extended coverage market. This will be our priority.”

In 2016, China Unicom selected NB-IoT because it felt it was a more mature technology and decided to deploy LPWA technology. Analysts have claimed that China Unicom’s decision to do so was conservative suggesting it was ‘safe to go with the flow’ especially with many operators opting for NB-IoT running on 900MHz band.

China Unicom’s NB-IoT network covering all of Shanghai went live at the beginning of May, and has thus far been hailed a success. It was also disclosed that in addition to Shanghai, China Unicom has launched NB-IoT in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Fuzhou with applications including smart parking, smart fire sensors and smart meter services.

Published in Telecom Operators

Nokia and China Unicom are conducting a live trial in China Unicom's commercial network using the Nokia Virtualized Services Router (VSR). The trial involves more than 5,000 residential subscribers and allows China Unicom to simplify and accelerate the delivery of residential broadband using a new, agile and flexible network which is based on virtualized network functions (VNFs).

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

China Unicom is adopting Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to enhance efficiency, agility, openness and scaling capabilities to evolve to a cloud-ready network. The successful trial of the industry-proven Nokia VSR will increase operational efficiency and enable faster creation and delivery of new services.

The trial uses the Nokia VSR as a next-generation, virtualized Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) for residential subscriber management functions and advanced service capabilities. As part of its initiative to transform its metro service edge, China Unicom plans to migrate massive BNG services to the virtualized platform to leverage the opportunities of the cloud era.

"We are proud to be a part of China Unicom's initiative to evolve its metro edge to a cloud-centric architecture,” said Sri Reddy, head of IP Routing and Packet Core business at Nokia. “The Nokia VSR provides delivery of broad and rich virtualized IP edge applications with superior performance and enhanced scalability. Upon completion of this network transformation project, China Unicom will ensure increased operational efficiency and deliver a superior customer experience for its subscribers."

Published in Telecom Operators

China Unicom and Deutsche Telekom announced a strategic partnership at Mobile World Congress 2017. From now on, both firms will jointly enhance their M2M competencies and promote the expansion of existing and new technologies such as NarrowBand IoT and the expansion of IoT platforms, with the goal to lay a firm foundation for continued growth and joint business opportunities in Europe and China.

The cooperation allows customers from Deutsche Telekom to equip and manage devices with M2M connectivity also in China and manage this connectivity via the same portal that they use for Europe and other regions. China Unicom customers will experience the same benefits on the China Unicom portal when they are offering M2M products and solutions in Europe.

This move is important because the demand for global M2M connectivity is increasing. According to the GSMA, China will account for 39 percent of all global cellular M2M connections by 2020, representing by far the largest M2M market. German technology and service companies are already investing heavily in tapping the potential of the emerging Chinese M2M and IoT markets.

On the other side, Chinese Internet and technology companies have entered the field of IoT through wearable intelligent terminals, smart home, mobile health care, and many other businesses, and are eager to offer their services also in Europe. The interconnection of the Deutsche Telekom and China Unicom platforms will offer simple access for German and Chinese M2M customers to the other respective network.

"With this agreement, we take a next step toward greater developments in the area of M2M connectivity for our customers. Our partnership with China Unicom accelerates business opportunities and paves the way for new services and applications for our globally operating customers," said Claudia Nemat, Member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management, Technology and Innovation. "Not only will this partnership underline both our technological advances but we will also be able to learn from one another. We are looking forward to exchanging ideas and sharing experiences."

"We believe this is a good time for China Unicom and Deutsche Telekom to cooperate both technologically and commercially to jointly explore the Business opportunity in both China and Europe," said Mr. Yimin Lu, President of China Unicom. "China Unicom looks forward to future development of M2M connectivity that we will be able to offer our customers operating globally through this partnership with Deutsche Telekom. By creating synergies, we intend to shape the pathway towards future M2M connectivity as the leading global provider."

Published in Telecom Operators

Huawei, together with China Unicom Group, completed field verification of the industry's first FDD-based Massive MIMO technology on January 17, using the existing two-antenna receiving terminal on the 20MHz spectrum to achieve a peak network rate of 697.3Mbps, 4.8 times that of traditional FDD LTE. The successful verification also demonstrated the innovation ability of both sides.

With the rapid development of mobile Internet applications, such as high-definition video and online games, MBB networks face a huge challenge in capacity. Massive MIMO can help operators greatly enhance wireless network capacity and user experience by maximizing existing sites and spectrum resources. Massive MIMO is the best technology to boost spectrum efficiency and is one of the key solutions for Huawei's 4.5G Evolution. Massive MIMO solutions have three typical characteristics: AAU hardware form, 3D user-level beamforming, multi-user MIMO.

AAU hardware form

The Massive MIMO solution requires large-scale antenna array elements and RF transceiver channels. If RF and antenna are separated, engineering feasibility and system reliability are both extremely challenging. AAU is an integrated active antenna solution from Huawei, which integrates RF and antenna elements to ensure the reliability of Massive MIMO solutions and greatly enhance the feasibility of the project.

3D user-level beamforming

Massive MIMO uses a large array of antennas to provide precise control of beam width and angle in both vertical and horizontal directions, enabling 3D user-level beamforming, therefore improves network coverage and reduces overall network interference.

Multi-user MIMO

Based on accurate 3D user beamforming, accurate channel estimation and user algorithms, Massive MIMO allows multiple terminals to simultaneously reuse the same spectrum resources, therefore further enhancing network capacity.

The joint field test, based on 20MHz spectrum, using an FDD LTE commercial terminal, demonstrated that the average mobile phone rate grows up to 87Mbps, which can support users to watch 4K high-definition video smoothly. The test also verified the network peak up to 697.3Mbps, 4.8 times that of the traditional FDD LTE.

According to the 3GPP standard, Release 10 defines an eight port multi-antenna technology in TM9 mode, Release 13 defines a 16 port multi-antenna technology and Release 14 defines 32-port multi-antenna technology. With commercialization of the terminals supporting the above protocols, the spectral efficiency of Massive MIMO will be further enhanced in the future. Based on the existing FDD LTE Massive MIMO prototype, Huawei will continue to optimize its products and drive the FDD LTE Massive MIMO industry chain to mature.

Cao Ming, President of Huawei’s FDD Product Line said, “Our goal is to bring considerable commercial value to operators through innovative technology. This successful field verification between Huawei and China Unicom, once again demonstrated the innovative capability of Huawei’s 4.5G Evolution technology. Huawei's Massive MIMO product has the ability to evolve to 5G to protect the operator's investment in the coming 5G era.”

Published in Telecom Vendors
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