China Unicom deploys SDN-based IP radio access network from Huawei

Telecom network vendor Huawei last week said China Unicom Sichuan Branch has deployed software-defined networking-based IP radio access network (SDN IPRAN).

This is the world’s first commercial software-defined networking-based IP radio access network, said Huawei in a statement.

Sichuan Unicom has a transformation strategy of one core and four centers in 2014. The one core is big data, and the four centers are high service, high operations and maintenance (O&M), flexible billing, and big traffic.

Huawei in a statement said the high O&M center adopts a platform-based strategy to reduce O&M costs, improve customer experience and provide better services and technologies.

China Unicom will benefit because SDN is designed to serve as the platform-based strategy for Unicom’s High O&M center, enhancing the competitiveness of its LTE services. The application of SDN technology on the IPRAN simplifies network O&M and implements service quality visualization, which helps build packet bearer network for wireless services.

China Unicom and SDN deployment

During the deployment of Sichuan Unicom’s SDN IPRAN, deployment and service provisioning efficiency increased by 60 percent compared with traditional networks. Virtual management of large volumes of end devices reduces the network management scale and improves O&M efficiency.

The control plane is decoupled from the forwarding plane, implementing new service provisioning regardless of forwarding devices. This shortens LTE service go-to-market periods and helps respond to market requirements and supports new LTE service development and innovation.

The IP Flow Performance Measurement (IP FPM) technology provides real-time service performance measuring per service per user, with precision reaching 10-6, helping carriers locate specific network performance bottlenecks.

“We expect these innovations to improve network operation efficiency, promote rapid innovative service delivery and go-to-market, further improve user experience in UMTS/LTE services, and create more value for our customers,” said Qiao Guiping, general manager of Sichuan Unicom.