Huawei and Nokia target Indian telcos to deploy cloud technology

Natalie Bannerman
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Huawei and Nokia are in discussions with Indian telcos on the virtualisation of their networks

Huawei and Nokia are in discussions with India’s top telcos to deploy cloud-based infrastructure, using SDN and NFV technologies.

The move will transform the existing legacy networks belonging to the Indian telcos by reducing operational and maintenance cost, improve network use and lay the foundations for 5G migration, according to reports Economic Times newspaper.

Experts have said that deploying cloud technologies at the core of the network, which is responsible for real-time voice and video applications, is the best first step in the process.

In a market where pressure from competition is at its highest, operators that embrace cloud technologies are in the best position to explore new revenues because of the increased network agility and the ability to create new network services. In addition, entry into new markets and adding new services to their existing portfolio are also potential revenue streams.

Moving to the cloud also enables telcos to launch mobile broadband and ultra-low-latency services like IoT, augmented reality, virtual reality, 4K video and automated transportation which all have high demands on traffic. Current demands for cloud are largely being driven by voice over LTE and the rapid adoption of data services.

Chandan Kumar, Huawei’s marketing head in the country, told Economic Times in India: “In Indian markets, operators are already discussing clouds, and we are in talks with all major operators, for cloud based discussions, and we should definitely have some traction. The main idea is to make the networks and the IT products agile, making sure that all the services are put on air.”

Nokia is also said to be in talks with a number of Indian operators, “There’s good interest and engagement from the operators’ side for cloudification of their core elements,” said Sanjay Malik, head of Nokia India. 

Kumar added that operators are set to save approximately 20-36% on the capital and operational expenditure, saying: “The cost of network cloudification is lesser than legacy solutions in terms of the capex, and definitely opex will be reduced as operations would be automated. 

Huawei estimates that 80% of India’s core network will be moved to the cloud by 2021. It’s says that Tier 1 operators are focusing on a hybrid network that is a mix of legacy and cloud based technologies, but they will eventually move to direct networks.

“The Indian telecom industry will adopt cloud solutions at a grand scale in 2018. Further, 2019, maybe the year when operators will say we only want cloud versus the legacy services,” said Kumar.