The 7th Ultra-Broadband Forum (UBBF 2021), jointly hosted by the UN Broadband Commission and Huawei, officially opened today in Dubai. As the world’s largest summit in the fixed network field, this year’s UBBF focuses on the theme “Extend Connectivity, Drive Growth”. At the event, leading global operators and equipment vendors exchanged ideas on a wide array of topics — including network infrastructure construction, regional digital economy, successful solution application, and expansion of industry growth space. They also shared best practices and discussed how to deepen business cooperation.
This year’s UBBF takes place over two days, during which several keynote speeches and sessions focused on fixed networks are held simultaneously. Professionals from governments, enterprises, operators, and academia discussed and exchanged ideas relating to the current status of ultra-broadband network development and the new challenges faced, while also sharing related insights and success stories.
“Connectivity is more than just an expansion of functions; more importantly, it is an emotional bond,” said Ryan Ding, Executive Director and President of the Carrier Business Group, Huawei, in his speech. “More than 170 years ago, the world’s first submarine cable was laid, sending the first communication signal across the ocean. This was a huge step forward for humanity. About 20 years ago, connection speeds exceeded 32 Kbps, and video began to surpass text as the major form of traffic, allowing us to communicate like never before,” he added. He also stated that connectivity “makes the world a better place.”
The value of connectivity is being redefined by society, and industry development is ramping up. In his speech, Peng Song, President of the Global Carrier Marketing & Solution Sales Dept at Huawei, defined and elaborated on Huawei’s Coverage/Architecture/Fusion (C.A.F) model. Peng highlighted how connectivity should be extended inside every home and every enterprise, and converge with the cloud to “meet both present and future requirements”. Building the competitiveness of connectivity based on the C.A.F model is the key to new growth.”
- Coverage: Connectivity extending to each room will significantly improve the value of home broadband. The ever-changing demands of homes and enterprises require operators to extend connectivity to every room, every device, and every enterprise production system, and transform private lines to private networks once broader coverage becomes available. This will grow the number of connections, increase user stickiness, and ultimately create more business opportunities.
- Architecture: Network architecture is the cornerstone for business success both now and in the future. Future-oriented new architecture requires more elastic networks, greener services, and lower OPEX. Huawei will continue to explore new technologies — such as OXC, SRv6, and ADN — to strengthen the foundation of architecture.
- Fusion: Connectivity will bring huge opportunities. Building network competitiveness based on the C.A.F model is critical for operators. Digitalization is the biggest opportunity for the ICT industry. It has evolved from being a concept to a practice. It is undeniable that cloud is the core of digitalization, but connectivity also plays a key role. Without connectivity, “cloud would become nothing but a large data island.” According to Peng, “Fusion” is important because connectivity needs to be cloud-centric and help enterprises migrate to cloud. Connectivity and cloud need to be converged. Operators can play a big role in this process.
Kevin Hu, President of Huawei’s Data Communication Product Line, explained that digitalization, while enhancing convenience, also introduced many challenges to existing networks. For example, due to the limited space inside a CO equipment room, it is difficult for existing nodes to provide comprehensive service processing capabilities. The fixed homing relationships between resources and networks make it challenging to flexibly schedule inter-DC traffic. The hybrid service operations of existing networks are ill-equipped to meet today’s differentiated service requirements. To address the network challenges facing customers during digital transformation, Huawei introduced its Intelligent Cloud-Network Solution featuring four new capabilities — all-service super edge CO, tenant-level hard slicing, SRv6-powered network programmability, and cloud-network integration. This solution maximizes the value of operator network resources and the complementary advantages of the cloud and network, helping operators build a DICT service architecture that features cloud-network integration.
At the conference, Kevin Hu also introduced the NetEngine series intelligent routers for all scenarios, helping operators build intelligent cloud-networks in the digital era. These devices include intelligent cloud access routers (NetEngine A800 series), all-service aggregation routers (NetEngine 8000 M series), and intelligent backbone routers (NetEngine 8000 X16).
Currently, Global operators are continuously increasing their investment in optical fibers, improving broadband quality, and developing services such as FTTR and OTN premium private lines to boost revenue from fixed networks. As a fundamental element of green and smart cities, all-optical target networks have gradually become an industry consensus. However, in the process of building all-optical target networks for smart cities, operators still face difficulties such as high costs, slow service provisioning, and difficult management of FTTH ODN construction. In addition, device deployment, network evolution, and new service development also represent pressing concerns.
At the conference, Bill Wang, Vice President of Huawei Optical Product Line, said, “To overcome these challenges, Huawei has launched the Digital QuickODN (DQ ODN) and Edge OTN series products. These products have been designed to help operators quickly build all-optical target networks that are visible and manageable from end to end, greatly reduce operator O&M costs, and provide a high-speed entrance to the digital world for various industries and households. They can help operators expand the enterprise market, improve home broadband experience, reduce costs, and increase revenue.
At the conference, the following notable speakers delivered keynote speeches and shared their insights and successful application cases of Huawei solutions and products in the fixed network domain: Doreen Bogdan-Martin (Director of ITU’s Telecommunications Development Bureau), Bocar A. BA (CEO of SAMENA Telecommunications Council), Ricardo Varzielas (CFO of MTN GlobalConnect), Per Morten Torvildsen (Chairman of the Board of GlobalConnect), Bader Abdullah Allhieb (Vice President of STC’s Infrastructure Department), Alaa A. Malki (CTO of Mobily Etihad Etisalat), and Waqar Mahmood (CTO of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan).
In 2014, to promote the sustainable development of the global ultra-broadband fixed network industry, Huawei launched the Ultra-Broadband Forum (UBBF) with the Broadband Commission (jointly established by ITU and UNESCO) and top regional operators. The forum aims to build a high-level dialogue platform focusing on ultra-broadband experience sharing, cross-industry cooperation, and promotion of the entire industry, in order to unleash the potential of ultra-broadband and benefit operators, consumers, and content providers.
UBBF has been successfully held each year since its inception in 2014, and has become the most important event leading the development of the ultra-broadband industry.
Image – Ryan Ding, Executive Director of the Board and President of the Carrier Business Group, Huawei, spoke at UBBF 2021.