China Unicom and Huawei launch SDN IPRAN

27 June 2014 |


Sichuan Unicom, the Sichuan branch of China United Network Communications Group (China Unicom), has partnered with national vendor Huawei for what is claimed to be the world’s first commercial SDN-based IP radio access network (IPRAN).

The SDN IPRAN has been deployed in Chengdu, Sichuan’s provincial capital in south west China, and is said to be the first time SDN technology has been applied to an IPRAN network.

“We are glad to cooperate with Huawei in the SDN IPRAN field and successfully commercialise the SDN IPRAN,” said Qiao Guiping, GM of Sichuan Unicom. “We expect these innovations to improve network operational 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.”

With the growth of LTE network deployment across China, Sichuan Unicom noted challenges for carriers, including supporting rapid LTE service innovation, operating LTE networks effectively and improving service quality.

Sichuan Unicom expects the SDN IPRAN to complement its existing transformation strategy and help operators to address these issues.

The application of SDN in particular is expected to simplify network operations and maintenance (O&M), as well as implement service quality visualisation to help the network handle mobile services.

“The first commercial deployment of the SDN IPRAN supports the implementation of Sichuan Unicom’s high O&M strategy and becomes an important milestone in the industry,” said Zha Jun, president of Huawei’s fixed network product line. “Huawei is ready for closed cooperation with customers in the end-to-end SDN industry chain, covering technologies, standards, applications, products and solutions, with the end goal of promoting the healthy development of the industry chain.”

In April this year, Huawei partnered with China Telecom’s subsidiary in Beijing for the deployment of the vendor’s SDN technology in the Beijing internet data centre (IDC).