Calvin Zhao of Huawei: IntelligentRAN, Bringing Intelligent Network Into Reality

PARTNER CONTENT: At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023, Calvin Zhao, Vice President of Huawei Wireless MAE Product Line, delivered a keynote speech titled “IntelligentRAN, Bringing Intelligent Network into Reality” during the RAN Intelligence industry roundtable. Zhao pointed out that network intelligence has become a key strategy of most global operators. Huawei’s intelligent solutions (i-series solutions) based on IntelligentRAN are delivering value in intelligent service operations, network optimization, and simplified O&M. Huawei will continue to invest in and incubate more innovative applications, and work with global operators to bring wireless network intelligence into reality.

Network Intelligence Has Become a Hot Industry Topic

Currently, network intelligence and automation have become a top priority for the industry and are becoming the backbone of development strategies for operators.

3GPP, as a most important mobile communications standards organization, released standards for autonomous networks classification level in Release 17 and has started work on proposals and research on intelligent architecture and interfaces, as well as new service applications for wireless networks in Release 18.

Breakthroughs Have Been Made in the Commercial Deployment of IntelligentRAN

In 2022, Huawei unveiled the innovative architecture IntelligentRAN and i-series solutions, including iPowerStar, iFaultCare, iHashBAND, and 5GtoB Suite. Since then, Huawei has held a series of discussions regarding strategies, architecture, and value solutions with operators around the world. Huawei has also cooperated with more than 30 operators in Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and made breakthroughs in the commercial deployment of wireless intelligence.

iFaultCare precisely identifies faults and locates root causes. In a city in Anhui province, China, iFaultCare is being widely applied. By introducing intelligent fault identification and diagnosis capabilities to the operator’s workflow, iFaultCare reduced work orders by more than 20%. The operator’s annual O&M costs are expected to decrease by millions of CNY. 

iHashBAND delivers optimal user experience and capacity in multi-band, multi-site heterogeneous networking. In indoor scenarios such as parking lots in Germany, iHashBAND offered smart carrier aggregation and improved the average UE-perceived rate by 66%, greatly enhancing user experience in indoor areas with deep coverage. In rural and suburban areas, the smart carrier selection solution improved the downlink user experience by 4x and ensured smooth HD video playback for cell edge users.

iPowerStar innovatively applies multi-objective coordinated energy saving and strikes an optimal balance between user experience and energy consumption. In a joint practice with an operator in the Middle East, iPowerStar realized about 15% energy saving gains on average for wireless networks with KPIs remaining stable. Such experience will be replicated and promoted at the group level.

IntelligentRAN Will Continuously Evolve

Huawei will continue to explore new capabilities in the value directions of IntelligentRAN.

From intelligent multi-band to intelligent multi-antenna: The channel prediction capability will be introduced to empower Huawei’s extremely large antenna array (ELAA) with accurate alignment and fast tracking in order to ensure a consistent experience among all network users.

From routine fault O&M to scenario-based assurance: A digital twin will be built to accurately simulate extreme scenarios and automatically prepare contingency plans for one-off optimization during key events.

From energy saving in typical scenarios to in-depth energy saving in all scenarios: Intelligent energy-saving policy orchestration will help develop energy-saving policies in all scenarios to maximize the energy-saving effect.

From agile service provisioning to service experience assurance: Through service feature identification and dynamic resource prediction, seconds-level service experience visualization and minute-level dynamic resource allocation capabilities will be built to achieve deterministic service experience.

At the end of the speech, Zhao called for joint efforts in the industry from the aspects of developing architecture, standards, and applications to bring wireless network intelligence into reality. Huawei is looking forward to launching an extensive collaboration with industry partners to scale up the deployment of wireless intelligent applications, create more innovative applications, define intent-driven open interfaces, and build an open ecosystem, and to jointly stride towards Intelligent World 2030.