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 During the Huawei Product & Solution Innovation Launch at MWC Shanghai 2023, Huawei unveiled its groundbreaking advancements in 5G intelligent core networks. President of Huawei Cloud Core Network Product Line, Mr. George Gao, took center stage to discuss upgrades to Huawei’s IntelligentCore that help carriers achieve greater service innovation, monetization and success in a rapidly evolving 5G landscape.

Unlocking new business value with 5G is critical, as operators have now transitioned their attention from constructing 5G networks to operating them.

Mr. Gao stated that in order to assist operators in dealing with challenges such as inadequate network flexibility, homogenous user experiences and stale applications, Huawei has implemented intelligent solutions in core networks. Additionally, they have collaborated with operators to implement various innovative practices.

“These practices empowered almost every aspect of core networks, from voice and video services to experience-oriented operations and intelligent O&M. In doing so, Huawei helped operators effectively improve user experiences and better monetize services,” he noted.

Furthermore, the objective behind this release is to offer operators valuable insights for constructing intelligent, streamlined and adaptable networks. This, in turn, will foster service innovation, facilitate the monetization of user experiences and accelerate the success of 5G businesses.

In this new phase, it is crucial to develop a wider range of services and applications that can effectively utilize the network and cater to these services. However, Mr. Gao highlighted that the current industry is unable to meet these requirements.

He stated, “With services expanding from business-to-consumer (B2C) to business-to-business (B2B), the network must be capable of supporting diverse services and providing reliable connectivity. Additionally, the network lacks flexibility and diverse service experiences.

“Furthermore, there are currently no standout applications for 5G. In the face of these challenges, we are continuously exploring ways to enhance the core network with intelligence. This will enable intelligent services and stimulate innovation in service offerings,” he added.

Four Areas of Improvement for 5G Intelligent Core Networks

As new and innovative applications emerge, they place higher demands on the network experience. In response, operators are seeking to improve traffic management and operation.

“This intelligent core network in the 5G era provides enhanced network capabilities, overcoming the limitations of accurately evaluating and controlling network experience in the 4G era. This allows operators to monetize services by delivering differentiated service experiences,” Mr. Gao said.

To address these challenges, Huawei has made improvements to its 5G core networks in four areas.

Mr. Gao explained that they have transitioned from voice-only operations to content operations. Huawei has implemented an intelligent media engine that enables the New Calling solution. This engine utilizes a plug-in media architecture and integrates the intelligent New Calling model as well as graphic and video processing algorithms. This allows for network-native intelligence in media processing.

He elaborated, “Huawei has worked with China Mobile to develop New Calling services that outperform the industry average by 20% to 30% and reduce artifact and frame freezing rates to less than 0.5%. This enhancement enables users to have richer content during calls and enjoy a superior communication experience. Secondly, Huawei has moved from flat videos to spatial videos.”

Mr. Gao also introduced an intelligent 2D-to-3D conversion engine called Vivision. This solution has significantly reduced the costs associated with producing 3D videos. Zhejiang Mobile was the first to adopt this solution and has successfully converted over one hundred 2D movies into 3D automatically.

“This has allowed users to have an immersive video experience on various devices, leading to growth in Zhejiang Mobile's user base and average revenue per user (ARPU),” he explained.

Huawei has also shifted from traffic monetization to experience monetization. Their ITE solution, powered by intelligent network pipes, enables intelligent service awareness, intelligent experience analysis and intelligent scheduling acceleration. This helps operators deliver and monetize differentiated user experiences.

“The solution has been piloted at Zhejiang Mobile and has shown promising results, doubling the bandwidth for live TV services and reducing latency by 25% to 45%.”

Additionally, Mr. Gao noted that Huawei has moved from passive response to proactive prevention. Their Core Network ADN solution incorporates advanced technologies such as digital twins, intelligent model learning, intelligent surge simulation and intelligent flow control parameter optimization. These technologies allow for the identification of network risks before they become problematic.

He said, “Huawei's DR switchover simulation and evaluation solution has facilitated over 10 cross-DC DR drills for millions of China Mobile subscribers. Overall, Huawei's upgrades to their 5G core networks have brought significant improvements in various aspects, enhancing user experiences and enabling operators to monetize their services effectively.”

Introducing New Calling Solution as Innovative Service for Carriers

To promote innovation in calling services and develop unique 5G services, Mr. Gao stated that they introduced the New Calling solution last year. The main component of this solution is the New Calling Service Enabling Platform, which is built on top of operators’ IMS networks     .

Mr. Gao shared that the platform consists of two parts, which are the New Calling Platform (NCP) on the control plane and the Unified Media Function (UMF) on the media plane.

He added, “We have partnered with China Mobile to develop New Calling services, and we have made significant progress. Services like Chinese-English translation, speech-to-text conversion and fun calling have undergone beta testing in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces.

“This year, China Mobile plans to establish a New Calling network that covers all 31 provinces in China, serving tens of millions of users. We believe that this network will lay a strong foundation for the success of New Calling,” he further elaborated.

According to Mr. Gao, carriers who adopt New Calling can benefit from various advantages, including a native entry point without the need for additional apps, the ability to reach phone numbers globally, trustworthy phone numbers and guaranteed quality of service.

“Although the New Calling industry is still in its early stages, there are some challenges that need to be addressed. We are actively collaborating with industry partners to find solutions to these issues. We are particularly interested in partnering with leading carriers outside of China to explore different service formats and application scenarios,” he concluded.

By Toni Eid, Group Editor in Chief of Telecom Review

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