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How 4K video bearer networks will pan out: Huawei's view

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NEW DELHI: Video services will account for as much as 80 per cent of network traffic in the future, and 4K video, as a leading factor in the development of video services, has already become the strategic high ground on which telecom operators and online OTT video content platforms are striving to attract customers and obtain competitive advantage.

In a white paper called The Experience-driven 4K Bearer Network released at its 2016 Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, Huawei said many mainstream telecom operations and OTT content providers around the world have already released 4K service strategic plans.

Compared with traditional video services, 4K video services require higher bandwidth, lower latency, and reduced packet loss rates. With the rapid growth of 4K video traffic, however, the expansion of telecom operators' networks is unable to meet fast growing bandwidth requirements, and the dilemma between providing a good video experience and ensuring return on network investment is becoming more distinct. The question of how to build a video service bearer network that can monitor user experience, allow service fault identification and demarcation, guarantee service quality, and benefit all parties is now of critical importance for the development of 4K services.

The white paper focuses on two issues that have drawn considerable attention from telecommunications operators: how to ensure a good user experience for 4K video and how to bear the service. The paper presents an end-to-end target network architecture and evolution solutions for various deployment scenarios. As the industry's first technical document to systematically set forth 4K bearer network solutions, the white paper should be of interest to telecom operators considering deployment of online 4K services  as well as establishment of  a positive business cycle in the 4K industry.

The White Paper is claimed to be the first to systematically introduce the User, Unified, Ubiquitous-Mean Opinion Score for Video (U-vMOS) benchmark, which objectively quantifies end-user experience. It offers a guide to build an end-to-end best-experience 4K bearer networks architecture helping operators to simplify network layers, deploy gigabit access efficiently, and improve capabilities in intelligent acceleration, network perception, as well as big data analytics. Based on this proposal, operators can effectively solve problems in commercial applications of 4K videos, such as long loading time, pixelation, stalling, and even difficulties in locating reported faults.

Creating a best-experience 4K bearer network can alleviate user experience degradation, as well as difficulties in service fault identification and demarcation. Telecom operators can provide 4K video themselves, gaining a competitive edge by their ability to offer differentiated services, or they can work together with OTT video content providers, providing them with a video distribution network that features BoD, quantifiable user experience, and manageable quality. End-users will enjoy not only top-quality 4K video, but also smooth online playback and carrier-class troubleshooting service.

As an advocate for experience-centric network construction, Huawei says that it has actively invested in 4K UHD video bearer networks and carried out joint innovation with industry-leading operators to create 4K bearer network solutions that provide the best user experience. Huawei has also supported operators in successfully providing 4K video services and increasing the value of their fixed broadband networks. At present, Huawei's best-experience 4K bearer network is already widely used at China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and British Telecom.

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