I.O.T. Seeing Strategic Opportunities Before the Epic Industry Booming

1The Internet of Things (I.O.T.) era has begun. Technological progress and the gradual maturity of the industry have pushed the development of the Internet of things into a new stage. It is the main development mode of this stage to build a perfect industrial ecology by utilizing the horizontal core links of the industry, and the main characteristics include: platform services, ubiquitous connection, and the intelligent terminals. IOT connects the network, the vertical industry applications and various open platforms. As we can see, these aspects will be the pillars for China Mobile’s IOT strategy.

Operators around the world are focusing on the Internet of things in the planning period. As of January 2017, more than 50 LPWA networks are being deployed or have been operational, and more than 40 are in the pipeline. Among them, NB-IOT dominates the mainstream, and 60% of operators are actively seeking IOT projects.

Internet of things (IOT) has a wide variety of services, which cannot be satisfied with a single technology. According to the characteristics and development of IOT services, LPWA connections will exceed 60%, requiring networks with low power consumption, low speed, wide coverage, large capacity and high security. NB-IOT network has application opportunities in public utilities, smart cities, consumer healthcare, intelligent translation, voice conversion, agriculture, environmental monitoring, intelligent buildings and other fields. NB-IOT network has entered the period of rapid deployment.

As the star application of the Internet of things, the Internet of vehicles shows great market potential. Driven by technology, the Internet of vehicles is developing towards intelligence and deep integration of network connection, which puts forward new requirements for the existing 4G network.

Some Trends in Technology Evolution

5G will be commercially available around 2020, with a clear trend of 4G application of 5G technology. The international 5G standard (Translation Version) has been fully launched, and the technical framework has gradually taken shape. The first phase of 5G standard freezing is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2018. Unified air port technology architecture, new multi-access, large-scale antenna, ultra-density networking technology, high-frequency communication, and new coding are the key technologies of 5G wireless.

Various countries have released 5G experiment and commercial plan, and commercial application will become a global consensus by 2020:

  •  China: technology research and development test stage (2016-2018), product research and development stage (2018 ~ 2020), language translation stage, 5 g commercial (2020);
  •  Eu: pre-commercial trials (2018), 5G commercial (2020);
  •  Korea: development and testing phase (2015 ~ 2017), the commercial test (2018 ~ 2020), 5 g commercial (2020);
  •  Japan: 5G technology test (2014-2017), 5G technology test (2017-2020), 5G commercialization (2020);

The 4G application of 5G technology represented by high-order modulation, MIMO and carrier convergence can effectively improve the spectrum efficiency and network capacity before the arrival of 5G, and effectively improve users’ business perception. TDD/FDD fusion networking construction, long-term LAA, LWA technology application, make it possible to cross-system, multi-language, cross-band multi-carrier aggregation, to provide users with better business experience.

Telecommunication network is accelerating to the direction of software, cloud and intelligence

The development of the industry is stepping into the Internet of everything era. Nowadays, ICT technology is changing rapidly, driving the evolution of telecommunication network to the direction of software, cloud and intelligence. In the future, the network architecture, product form, operation mode, support mode, language conversion, management process and other disruptive changes will take place. Major evolution directions include:

  • Software: equipment IT, software and hardware decoupling, flexible deployment, rapid configuration; Multilingual translation.
  • Cloud: DC becomes the core element of network and infrastructure pooling;
  • Intelligence: network programmable, intelligent scheduling, flexible business.

NFV/SDN will enter the stable development period and become one of the key points of the future network development. Gartner research report analysis pointed out that after 2015, NFV/SDN entered the commercial deployment stage, and gradually entered the development stage from 2016 to 2018, and then entered the stable development stage from 2020 to 2025. The global mainstream operators put forward their network transformation plans and goals.

AT&T Domain 2.0 plans to virtualize 75% of network functions by 2020. Telefonica released the UNICA network architecture, which has realized the cloud of 30% data center in 2016. China telecom proposed the target network architecture of CTNet2025, aiming to realize the virtualization of 80% network functions by 2025. China Unicom proposed CUBE-Net 2.0 to reconstruct the network system based on the data center.

The existing network planning is carried out around the client (end) and content (cloud) to form a stable convergence (pipe) network architecture, mainly focusing on the traffic distribution from south to north. With the software-based network function (virtualization), the new data center may become a new traffic concentration point, and the backbone transmission network architecture needs to be optimized and reconstructed around the data center and CDN nodes to drive the network traffic model to change from “north-south” to “east-west”, so as to enhance the ability to channel east-west traffic.

In that year, the traffic of Internet business was mainly centered on data center, which became the starting point and terminal point of traffic. In the future, business, IT and network resources will be deployed and implemented based on cloud technology, and cloud and network will be deeply integrated. Facing the future network transformation, the traditional telecommunication machine room (CO) accelerates the transformation and reconstruction to the data center, and the domestic and foreign operators have started the transformation pilot after the multi-language integration.

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