Huawei deepens 5G partnership with Telefonica

By Sacha Kavanagh 6 July 2016

Huawei 5G

Above : David Wang, President of Huawei Wireless Network and Enrique Blanco, Chief Technology Officer, Telefonica Group, Signed Joint Innovation Agreement on 5G&NG-RAN

Huawei and Telefonica signed a Joint Innovation Agreement on 5G and the next generation radio access network (NG-RAN), building on a strategic MoU signed by the two companies last November. Separately, Huawei revealed details of a CloudRAN implementation with China Mobile.

Under the terms of their new agreement, Telefonica and Huawei will jointly co-operate on a number of projects: CloudRAN, 5G Radio User Centric No Cell, 5G Core Re-architect and Massive MIMO. The underlying aim is to improve spectrum efficiency and build a cloud-native architecture.

David Wang, President of Huawei Wireless Network, said: “Telefonica has certain insights about the future trends of the mobile network. Huawei is investing massively in the 5G key enabling innovative technologies. The cooperation between Telefonica and Huawei will help to build a better connected world.”

The concept of a ‘no cell’ or ‘cell-less’ RAN is that mobility is linked to the user and not the network. It’s a radical idea that only Huawei and Telefonica seem to be talking about at the moment, but such an approach makes sense because the cell edge becomes blurred in a network with massive MIMO support.

Separate to the Telefonica announcement, Huawei also announced that China Mobile has deployed its CloudRAN architecture to help improve network performance, handle issues related to interference at the cell edge in ultra-dense networks, and improve the mobile broadband user experience.

China Mobile has deployed Huawei’s CloudRAN network in a number of locations across China, including Nanjing, Dongguan and Anhui. It plans further implementations in cities with ultra-dense networks, including Shanghai, where the user experience at the cell edge is diminished in the 4G network due to co-channel interference.

Yang Chaobin, CMO of Huawei Wireless Network Product Line, said: “The CloudRAN solution marks and accentuates a key direction for network evolution. Huawei CloudRAN network provides an abundance of diverse multi-technology integrated options coupled with resource coordination and scheduling.”

CloudRAN is Huawei’s proprietary name for its cloud radio access network solution. Known variously as Cloud RAN, Cloud-RAN, C-RAN or cRAN, and also sometimes Centralized-RAN, the concept was first introduced by China Mobile in 2010. It’s a cloud-based architecture for the RAN that supports current and future mobile standards and is based on the concepts of virtualisation, centralisation and coordination.

Huawei’s CloudRAN enables operators to implement coordination of resources and cross-site scheduling over a large area. It incorporates network functions virtualisation (NFV) and centralised control for resource management and scheduling. The aim is to enhance network efficiency and performance, including a seamless user experience in ultra-dense networks through reduced inter-cell interference.

Huawei has been researching 5G since 2009 and is one of the leading lights in the field, with numerous partnerships with the world’s largest mobile operators. It revealed CloudRAN in April this year, but is not the only player: Ericsson, Nokia and others are all in the game.

Useful reading : What Is The Flat Distributed Cloud (FDC)

About Sacha Kavanagh

Research Analyst/ Technical Writer

Sacha has more than 20 years’ experience researching and writing about enterprise tech, telecoms, data centres, cloud and IoT. She is a researcher, writer and analyst, and a regular contributor to 5G.co.uk writing guides and articles on all aspects of 5G.

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