Chinese Data Centers Benefit from Hyperconvergence

Hyperconvergence enables leading Chinese IT service providers to combine technologies that formerly operated in separate silos (such as telephony, internet and television). This transformation is changing approaches for managing data centers, and the way telecommunications companies deliver services to customers.

Telecommunications companies continually seek to improve service delivery and provide new and innovative benefits to customers in the areas of media, cable, residential and enterprise internet, wireless, fixed-line, software and hardware. In the evolution of services, many telecommunications companies now combine these services to offer even greater possibilities.

Leading Chinese IT service providers, such as China Telecom, are already taking advantage of such hyperconverged (combined) technologies to join telecom, TV, residential and enterprise internet and mobile in order to deliver expanded services, or to provide exclusive content for particular subscribers. At the same time, some telecommunications companies are investing heavily in infrastructure to ensure these hyperconverged services are supported with enough bandwidth.

The Evolution of Telecommunications

One result of hyperconvergence is an expansion of the telecommunications industry. Supported by the Chinese government within its current Five-Year Plan, hyperconvergence in this context brings new opportunities for expanded services. This evolution is prompted by three major drivers: technology, customer demand and socioeconomic factors.

Regarding technology drivers, a leading global management consulting firm, Booz & Company, explains: “A key driver for convergence is the development of new technologies that enable the fixed and wireless worlds to come together. Within the next five years, new generations of affordable, highly integrated digital processors and radio components are expected to be developed, with high performance and low power consumption.”

The second factor – customer demand – is significant. A growing Chinese mobile market means that customers are demanding data, gaming, TV and messaging options on their mobile devices. Hyperconvergence allows telecommunications companies to be flexible in responding to these needs, able to adjust their compute, storage and networking capabilities to respond to what customers may want in the future. Providers, like China Telecom, that stay ahead of the trends will thrive in this new environment.

Socioeconomic factors come into play as China’s current Five-Year Plan includes a goal of fostering convergence within telecommunications companies, along with other providers, to strengthen the country’s overall technology infrastructure.

As Booz & Company report: “The essence of convergence is synergy, which means that two or more players can contribute their strengths and combine with unique offerings from others, creating new services and products or building up differentiation.”

Hyperconvergence in Data Centers

The hyperconvergence of compute, storage and networking components is a recipe for the next evolution in data centers. Using this approach, a data center is based on off-the-shelf appliances managed by a single software stack. This revolutionary approach is an improvement over complex and costly data center methods in which each function (usually from separate vendors) operates within its own silo.

Hyperconvergence is a more integrated approach that enables users to set up their infrastructure more quickly to reduce operational complexity and favorably reconfigure IT teams. This infrastructure often includes additional functionality, such as data backup, de-duplication, replication and wide area network (WAN) optimization. It also enables IT teams to seamlessly scale up or down by adding or removing appliances.

According to recent research by 451 Research, 40 percent of organizations are already using hyperconverged infrastructure, and that number is likely to rise quickly. Christian Perry, research manager at 451 Research, states that: “Loyalties to traditional, standalone servers are diminishing in today’s IT ecosystems as managers adopt innovative technologies that eliminate multiple pain points.”

Most leading Chinese IT service providers that offer hyperconverged systems start with low-cost commodity x86 hardware and add value-rich software, but the technology is flexible, with software-only options available as well. This type of data center configuration enables IT departments to provision resources instantly, and accommodates a wide variety of applications, offering a high degree of flexibility and efficiency.

According to a recent article published by Data Center Knowledge: “Uses include general purpose workloads, virtual desktop infrastructure, analytics, and for remote or branch office workloads. In fewer cases, companies use it to run mission critical applications, server virtualization, or high-performance storage.”

What Does This Mean for Enterprise IT?

Hyperconvergence offers a simplified architecture, plus a simpler administration model. Instead of having a set of applications and teams to manage 1) a storage array, 2) virtualization, and 3) server hardware; one team (or perhaps even one person) can manage the complete hyperconverged stack. These simplifications can result in immense savings and/or reasonable costs for scaling and growing a Cloud IT footprint.

China Telecom’s Contribution

China Telecom is working to assist organizations that want to take advantage of this technology. Offering content delivery networks, enterprise internet, and cloud and data center services, China Telecom enables companies to take advantage of the security and capacity to elevate their offerings to the next level.

Its data center development reduces operation, maintenance and energy-consumption costs, and improves the overall efficiency of data center operations. These services also implement highly cost-effective data center engineering protocols to maximize each data center’s investment value.

Software-defined data center (SDDC) is a technology infrastructure concept that infrastructure and operations professionals need to pay close attention to. Converged infrastructure is the foundation for SDDCs, and Chinese organizations can leverage these concepts to reduce infrastructure complexity, increase flexibility, and move closer to a more virtualized, automated, and resilient infrastructure. China Telecom is leading the way here, too, with aims to provide and co-locate SDDCs in China and around the world which can help meet enterprise requirements for urgency and flexibility in the very near future.

Start exploring now and learn more about China Telecom Americas and its cutting-edge data center offerings.

China Telecom’s CDN Technology Transforms User Experiences While Adding Reliability and Security

Transmission speed and reliability in the digital world are more important than ever, and content delivery networks (CDNs) are paving the way for better internet and mobile technology services by serving static assets from the edge — as well as site acceleration and other products.

In China, only 44 percent of the population are Internet users, but that’s still enough people to make it the world’s largest online population. As the number of users is expected to increase considerably in the coming years, leading Chinese IT service providers seek to innovate underlying frameworks in ways that both serve customers and satisfy regulatory requirements.

China’s IT industry has a number of projects in progress to further its capacity to serve the coming wave of virtual activity and meet these demands. A major initiative is improving content delivery network (CDN) infrastructure.

CDN Development

A CDN is a system that delivers content from a website or mobile application to people more quickly and efficiently, based on their geographic location. Comprising a network of servers (“points of presence,” or POPs) in locations across the globe, CDNs cache static resources, bringing data closer to users and reducing necessary round-trip time. Content delivery networks are useful across a range of verticals:

  • Ecommerce: A CDN helps e-commerce sites deliver content quickly and efficiently, even during the holiday shopping season or other high-traffic times. Without CDNs, load times for images and other elements would be a considerably longer for users who might be hundreds or thousands of miles away from the host servers.
  • Finance: CDNs allow banking institutions to deliver sensitive data to consumers and analysts on a range of devices with a fast, secure and reliable infrastructure. Also, there is additional defense against network and application-level attacks.
  • Media/Publishing: A CDN can help media companies update pages in real time. For delivering images and video, CDNs can take advantage of content optimization techniques and device caching that promotes smooth delivery.
  • Mobile apps: A CDN delivers dynamic and location-based content, reducing load times and increasing responsiveness. Other techniques that help the mobile user experience include text compression and video pacing, for example.
  • Technology and SaaS: A CDN helps tech sites serve billions of requests each day. Particular concerns by SaaS providers addressed by a CDN might include onboarding times and SSL security.

A project involving a partnership between China Telecom Global and Conversant Solutions Pte Ltd is the introduction of an international CDN in which the two companies’ CDN infrastructures integrate through a CDN federation (an interconnection of individually operated CDNs) to provide a global delivery framework.

This connection will enable content upload, delivery, storage, transcoding, management and related services. It will optimize both companies’ resources and will improve the quality and quantity of Chinese internet services. Faster speeds mean faster load times for web and mobile users, quick scalability during heavy traffic times, minimized risk of traffic spikes (which ensures site stability), decreased infrastructure costs due to traffic offloading, and better site performance. Other benefits include the availability of usage analytics, high-capacity infrastructures (for higher availability and lower network latency), and improved performance.

More stable broadband connections will help companies doing business in China to extend their presence and provide better quality and security. China Telecom Americas offers a high-speed content delivery network with a strong presence across the country and the world, accelerating the delivery of content in China and beyond.

What to Look For in a China CDN Provider

Because the point of a CDN is to reduce the distance between your users and the servers bringing them desired content and information, it’s smart business to find a local provider.

When investigating, consider whether the provider can navigate infrastructure hurdles. In addition to these basic framework issues, enterprises entering new markets will likely need help understanding local internet laws or regulations which may change frequently.

China Telecom offers clear advantages to companies looking to improve performance in China and other Asia-Pacific markets where they lack a physical server presence.

These advantages include:

  • Full network control: China Telecom owns and operates one of the world’s best-connected networks, delivering content to last-mile networks without relying on third-party transit providers with their own routing policies.
  • Licensure: China Telecom has a full CDN license in China and is licensed to host and deliver web content throughout the country.
  • Reliable, easy to use storage: Storage options include secure origin, external file and cloud-based solutions, fully optimized for specific technical requirements. Customers can upload content via Aspera, FTP, SFTP, R-Sync, and SCP. Data is securely stored and backed up using state-of-the-art firewall and data-retention technologies.
  • Advanced streaming: Support for streaming on demand, live broadcasts, and adaptive streaming media over HTTP. Dynamic Content Packaging (DCP) of adaptive streaming media in HDS and HLS formats. Encoding and transcoding functions available for content compatibility with a wide range of viewing platforms. (This is especially important as many consumers in China view video via personal devices.)

Learn more about China Telecom’s CDN features and service, which includes fully customized solutions packages.

Readers are invited to learn more about plans for improving communications technology in China by China Telecom and China Telecom Americas.

Everything You Need to Know About China’s “Internet Plus” Future

The growth of the internet is having a massive effect on transforming and modernizing Chinese industries and businesses. So much so that the Chinese government has created its own “Internet Plus” initiative to transform, modernize and equip traditional industries to join the modern economy.

China’s new Internet Plus strategy will have a huge impact on businesses across all industries, especially as the roles of big data and data centers grow. For businesses hoping to enter the Chinese market, understanding Internet Plus is a critical component to achieving success.

The Internet Plus initiative was built out of a motivation to connect China’s growing economy to the power of connected services. With so many traditional industries in China, ranging from manufacturing to agriculture, the government is set on linking these industries to the world.

In its 2015 Government Work Report, the government states that it will launch major projects to develop equipment, networks, circuits, energy, materials and even biomedicines to help emerging industries become leading ones.

Part of the motivation for this push comes as the manufacturing boom that helped China grow at astonishing rates has now begun to moderate. New sources of growth are needed.

According to McKinsey, in 2013 China’s internet economy represented 4.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — higher than the United States and Germany — representing a possible avenue of significant growth.

The Elements of ‘Internet Plus’

The Internet Plus roadmap is a five-year plan to integrate cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things with a variety of industries from manufacturing to commerce, internet banking, agriculture and many others.

Internet Plus is made up of several different initiatives:

  •     More funds for research and development, reaching 2.5 percent of GDP through 2020
  •     Decreased dependency on non-domestic technology innovation
  •     Access to 100 MB/s internet connections for people in large cities
  •     Broadband connectivity to reach 98 percent of population
  •     More funds for promoting business development and innovation

This plan is already showing benefits for businesses hoping to enter the Chinese market. At a recent conference organized by VMware and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Chinese business decisionmakers heard from EMC senior vice president Charles Fan who spoke about Internet Plus, stating that the country’s economy will “radically change” due to the program.

This will happen through growth in mobile devices, cloud service, the Chinese internet boom and a “new generation” of applications that connect people to social media, big data and analytics.

This growth will attract offshore businesses looking to make an impact in the burgeoning Chinese internet economy, and they will need experienced and sophisticated partners such as China Telecom to assist their efforts.

How Does Big Data Fit In?

While big data plays a part in the Internet Plus program, it’s also a separate issue in its own right. E Weinan, dean of the Beijing Institute of Big Data Research, has explained the need for further growth: “While the internet has a solid foundation, which Chinese companies can draw upon and enjoy better use amid China’s huge market, there has not yet been a mature technology path in big data that Chinese companies can rely upon.”

McKinsey’s 2016 China consumer report finds China as the world’s largest e-commerce market — generating revenue of $615 billion in 2015, nearly the same as Europe and the United States put together. Chinese consumers, eager to use new technology and make purchases — much of both trends mobile-based —  are therefore providing sites with huge amounts of consumer data, ripe for analysis and segmentation. Targeted advertising could unlock untold billion yuan from shoppers across the country.

China’s big data market is expected to reach 822.88 billion yuan ($124 billion) in 2020, up from 76.7 billion yuan in 2014. This will directly help power data centers, China’s internet growth, innovation and more — all in accordance with Internet Plus goals.

Do you want to learn more about how to take advantage of the Internet Plus growth in China? Contact China Telecom Americas to learn more.

China Telecom picks Keysight tech for NB-IoT device test

China Telecom is using Keysight Technologies’ mobile-IoT test platform to help accelerate its Narrow-Band IoT (NB-IoT) chipset and module certification progress. Based on the E7515A UXM wireless test set, Keysight said it is the only all-in-one test platform vendor to support China Telecom’s NB-IoT RF conformance test and power consumption verification.

Keysight’s mobile-IoT test platform enables the operator to simulate real-world conditions so it’s able to verify critical performance, such as power consumption, RF performance and interoperability, when rolling out new NB-IoT applications, Keysight said in a press release.

To view the original article, visit Telecom Paper

China Telecom Brings its Global MVNO, CTExcel, to Hong Kong

HONG KONG, CHINA, Mar 30, 2017 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — CTExcel now connects customers in four global markets on a single integrated network for data, voice, and text.

Businesses and individuals can enjoy a range of mobile services across Mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong, all on one mobile plan and one SIM Card.

CTExcel’s high quality solutions and packages connect Hong Kong customers with the world, and benefit global travellers on business or leisure alike.

China Telecom Global (CTG) today announced that Hong Kong’s Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) has licensed the company to offer Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) services in Hong Kong. CTG has expanded its mobile network footprint into Hong Kong with its CTExcel brand, giving corporate clients and consumers seamless and affordable access to 4G networks around the world through a single SIM card. Hong Kong marks the fourth international market in its repertoire, adding to the company’s other launches in the United Kingdom in 2012, France in 2013 to cover the European region, and the United States in 2015.

The launch was marked with an opening ceremony attended by CTG’s management team and over 150 business partners and customers. During the event, Mr. Jacques Bonifay, CEO of Transatel and Mr. Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg, CEO of Uros were also on stage to make the announcement together with CTG’s management team, that they will be using China Telecom’s network to provide 4G roaming service to their customers travelling in Mainland China.

Integrating its telecommunications infrastructure from all four markets into one mobile network aligns with CTExcel’s vision of lowering the connectivity barrier globally. The breadth of CTExcel’s tailor-made global telecommunications portfolio provides users with access to international high-speed 4G LTE service and Mobile WiFi in over 100 countries, as well as the ability to perform IDD calls and SMS at some of the most cost-effective rates in the market.

By leveraging the network and service capabilities of its mobile business in Mainland China and Macau, CTExcel now offers Hong Kong customers a seamless and consistent mobile connection to different regions. It has also unveiled plans to roll out its “one-card-multiple-numbers” SIM card solution, which will allow customers to activate local numbers in multiple regions on a single SIM. The initiative caters especially to those who have close connections in different markets, allowing them to be contacted via local mobile numbers in a more convenient and cost-effective way.

“Along with announcement of the ‘Belt and Road’ strategy, Chinese enterprises have speeded up their pace of overseas expansion. The telecommunication demands of Mainland China, Hong Kong Macau, Europe and the Americas continue to increase. Coupled with China’s booming outbound tourism sector, an even greater need arises for services that simplify and streamline the process of staying connected to home, particularly in nearby locations like Hong Kong that often act as connecting hubs to the rest of the world,” said Mr. Deng Xiao Feng, CEO of China Telecom Global. “As the first batch of telecom companies from China to offer mobile services beyond the Asian market, we’re committed to providing our customers with the same world-class connectivity that they can expect from our home-grown network.”

Flexible and all-around packages to enterprises and individuals CTExcel also provides bespoke solutions designed to meet the needs of travellers locally and internationally. Besides providing travellers the convenience of stable and high-speed mobile services locally and abroad, CTExcel also combats overseas roaming costs and meets demands for stable Internet connectivity on-the-go, through a Mobile WiFi solution that is supported in over 100 countries and regions, allowing businesses to “pool” data across employees in different markets. The MVNO also provides 24/7 customer support hotlines, and low-cost IDD and global SMS rates to both businesses and consumers.

“CTExcel can now provide a range of solutions that are excellent in both quality and dependability to businesses and consumers in both Mainland China and Hong Kong” says Mr. Deng Xiao Feng, CEO of China Telecom Global. “Reliable access to 4G LTE connectivity in multiple markets, backed up by global customer service support and cost-effective alternatives such as our Mobile WiFi service, makes staying online hassle free and less worrisome for today’s highly mobile, always-on generation of travellers and entrepreneurs.”

CTExcel’s SIMs and services will be available for Hong Kong customers in the coming quarter of 2017 through local convenience stores, CTG’s retail and commercial partners, and via online purchase. CTG’s existing and prospective business customers can expect CTG’s enterprise business team to serve their mobile requirements together with their global wireline business.

To view the original press release, please visit Marketwatch

China Telecom Allies with OpenStack as Government Announces Support for the Open-source Software Platform

China Telecom (CT) was approved as the newest OpenStack Gold Member at the Foundation’s November 2016 board meeting.

China Telecom joins some of the leading technology companies in the world — including Inspur, Cisco, Dell EMC, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Huawei, NEC and Symantec — as one of 24 founding Gold Members.

Large and small businesses, telecoms, public cloud service providers, government organizations and researchers around the world use OpenStack’s open-source software to build clouds, support the diverse cloud computing ecosystem and enable cloud innovation.

China Telecom was selected as a Gold Member for its capability to support OpenStack’s development in the rapidly growing Chinese and Asia-Pacific markets.

At China’s first Open Source & Cloud Computing Summit (COSCCS) in December 2014, the country’s officials declared the government’s support for OpenStack ecosystems and plans to encourage state-owned enterprises to use OpenStack-based cloud products. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) predicted that OpenStack would contribute to business growth.

Indeed, today, many Chinese organizations are engaging OpenStack across various sectors, including internet, telecom, IT, education and retail. Momentum is growing and will inspire other Chinese firms to investigate opportunities for growth. One advantage for Chinese companies is that they are using a mature version of OpenStack, mostly from 2014 onwards, and don’t need to upgrade from earlier versions.

As one of the largest mobile carriers in the world, with more than 500 million subscribers and over 300 data centers, China Telecom is currently migrating its CloudStack deployment to OpenStack, supporting strategic opportunities in the public cloud and contributing significant code and knowledge to the OpenStack community.

China Telecom will also contribute new investment and resources to complement the many OpenStack technology vendors and users that comprise one of the best networks in APAC.

“OpenStack is truly a global community, with nearly 650 companies supporting the project in 187 countries,” says Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation.

“The investment and commitment of our new Gold Members underscores the global growth and evolution of OpenStack, with projects of massive scale serving millions of end users in China and other markets worldwide.”

For an example of collaboration among members, telecom company Huawei works with software maker Red Hat and aims to accelerate collaboration around OpenStack for network functions virtualization, which is required by communication service providers like China Telecom.

China Telecom Adds Value to OpenStack Community

The China Telecom Cloud uses the OpenStack platform to provide stable, scalable cloud facilities and comprehensive customer service to end users in the Asia-Pacific region.

The China Telecom Cloud is focused on Cloud+Network Integration technology and is set to take enterprise internet in China to the next level with a combination of its range of existing telecom services and OpenStack’s vast network, expanding the company’s Asia-Pacific reach and enhancing service delivery to end users in the region.

With centralized supersized data centers – each more than 10 million square meters – and numerous small and medium-sized data centers, China Telecom can contribute a vast practice environment and use cases to the OpenStack community.

“China Telecom has gained strong capabilities and rich experience through many years of hard work,” says Joe Han, President of China Telecom Americas.

“We will contribute to the community through strengthening and improving OpenStack. We will focus on realizing telecommunication functions on OpenStack, such as NFV, SDN, Container and Big Data, and return the results to the OpenStack community.”

China Telecom Expands OpenStack Accessibility in Asia-Pacific

The new partnership will also make the OpenStack platform readily available through China Telecom’s network services, which will increase accessibility to users throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

China Telecom looks forward to working with the OpenStack open source community to speed up the development and utilization of the China Telecom cloud ecosystem, and in turn attract more private business involvement in the OpenStack community.

“China Telecom is active in organizing and participating in OpenStack-related activities, including OpenStack Summit, OpenStack Day, meetups and more. We have also shared our OpenStack practice and case studies at relevant trade shows and technology forums,” says Mr. Han.

“With our leading role in China’s cloud businesses, China Telecom’s full-scale and successful use of OpenStack will bring the government and more businesses into the OpenStack community.”

For more information, hi-res images or to organize an interview please contact Ming Wei, Director of Solution and Delivery, at weiming@ctamericas.com

About China Telecom Americas

China Telecom Americas is a wholly owned US-based subsidiary of China Telecom Corporation, one of the world’s leading providers of integrated communications and information technology services to customers in over 70 countries around the globe. With headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, and offices in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Jose, Toronto and Sao Paolo, China Telecom Americas is advancing transpacific enterprise connectivity through a suite of locally based, turnkey services from network architecture, cloud and data center services to equipment management, security, content delivery, mobility solutions and more. Discover more at www.ctamericas.com

The NFV/SDN Trends in China You Need to Know

Chinese communication service providers (CSPs) are using network functions virtualization (NFV) technology to deliver expanded internet services to customers, and are hoping for a strengthened economy as a result.

NFV is the next stage in evolution for CSPs. As part of its Internet Plus initiative, China is embracing this technology, which offers flexibility, speed and cost-effectiveness.

While the technology is still new, and there is much to be learned, Chinese companies are moving ahead to expand China’s internet coverage, and strengthen its economy as a result.

This newest development in networking technology is expanding and improving services for companies doing business in the Chinese market. As part of a software-defined networking (SDN) framework, NFV enables CSPs to quickly and easily deliver innovations to customers.

The NFV Advantage

NFV replaces traditional telecommunications network appliances — like routers and firewalls — with software running on off-the-shelf servers, significantly increasing the flexibility and speed for new service delivery.

Operators can deploy cutting-edge functions at certain network locations without the need for new equipment. This more dynamic operation enables network administrators to rapidly respond to evolving customer requirements. Because less equipment is needed, costs decrease and efficiencies are gained.

Chinese CSPs have been quick to adopt this technology to improve services to their customers, and deliver the best networks in China.

In an effort to strengthen enterprise internet, China has begun to embrace NFV. One organization helping to plan NFV implementations is the Network Function Virtualization Lab, which is a joint effort between Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and the China Telecom Beijing Research Institute. The lab helps China Telecom accelerate new offerings for its customers, and test and verify the benefits of transitioning to NFV technology from legacy networks.

Quoted in a press release from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Li Zhigang, President, China Telecom Beijing Research Institute said, “We believe that the integration of NFV within SDN-enabled infrastructure will be the next stage of evolution for the strategic development of the China Telecom network.”

He Jianbo, Manager, Network Function Virtualization, China, Hewlett Packard Enterprise added, “NFV will deliver carrier-grade solutions that offer available and reliable network performance. This will help Chinese and global CSPs compete more effectively and deliver new services more quickly to its customers at a lower cost.”

China’s Internet Plan

With its quickly expanding economy — and accompanying enterprise internet — China has the opportunity to benefit greatly from NFV technology, as it helps strengthen the country’s broadband infrastructure, enabling it to attract businesses from other countries.

The Chinese Government recognizes this potential impact and has developed a strategy for advancing NFV technology, contributing to the development of the best networks in China.

Following the country’s lowest growth in 24 years, Beijing instituted the Internet Plus policy in 2015 to push the country ahead in terms of technology. The policy seeks to add internet services, such as mobile, cloud, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) to other fields, initiating a springboard for new industries and business development.

For example, internet technology combined with manufacturing could produce new production methods; internet combined with medicine could optimize medical treatment; and internet combined with agriculture would give farmers better climate, land and demand data.

Digital Trends says that Internet Plus depends heavily on the web. It states, “As part of Internet Plus, China plans to bolster its research and development spending to a total of 2.5 percent of gross domestic product through 2020. This represents an increase of 0.4 percent.”

It’s important to note that, while telecommunications networks represent a mature technology, NFV is still in its early stages.

According to Linux.com, at the China SDN/NFV Conference 2016, held in Beijing in April, Wei Leping, President of the SDN/NFV Industry Alliance commented, “Internet application companies, cloud service providers and a small number of large carriers are currently leading the way in SDN/NFV development.”

Overcoming Challenges

The challenges that accompany a shift to NFV are strategic, architectural and operational, according to Network Testing Product Manager Trinh Vu of Amdocs Inc.

Strategic challenges include change management and determining what to virtualize, where to begin and how to measure success. Architectural challenges include managing performance, reliability and security risks. And operational challenges include managing complex NFV deployments and dealing with the operational complexity of virtualized/hybrid carrier networks.

CSPs transitioning to NFV must learn to think differently about service innovations, and must go through an initial learning curve to gain the necessary skills and experience to make the best use of this technology. Linux.com reported Mr. Wei’s recommendations for future development in this area:

  •  Choose an advantageous strategy to deepen transformation.
  • Settle on practical tactics, followed by productive actions.
  • Dare to make breakthroughs in thought processes.
  • Collaborate with others in the industry to avoid fragmentation.

Despite these challenges to enterprise internet, Chinese CSPs are using NFV to deliver the best networks in China and bring customers innovative, responsive features.

As NFV technology and telecommunications progresses, businesses looking to expand in China will need to find a trusted Chinese partner to provide the internet backbone for their operations.

Smart Cities, Smart Innovation: The Next Generation City

Smart cities are changing the way urban development will operate in the next century, and things are just getting started. Businesses can take advantage of growth and opportunity in these cities, particularly in China, as digital infrastructure takes hold.

The Internet of Things (IoT) increasingly gives consumers options to make their lives easier by connecting devices that think and act on their preferences and anticipate behavior.

The same is happening in cities around the world – with leaders considering how implementing these major technological changes could transform their cities into working hubs of smart technology.

The goal is to create “smart” cities that allow citizens to work, play, interact and travel by using technology as much as possible.

The National Development and Reform Commission of China defines a smart city as a “new idea and new mode of promoting smart city planning, construction, management and service, using the Internet of Things, cloud computing, big data and spatial geographic information integration, etc.”

A smart city takes information from layers of digital services and then uses it to make better decisions about how to plan a variety of services, such as transport, energy and healthcare.

For instance, the Malaysian Government and China Telecom Americas launched SMARTXP, a Smart City Experiential Centre, which allowed citizens to come and interact with technology, showing how such a smart city would work. Virtual reality, screen displays and interactive games all demonstrated what living in a smart city would be like.

This might seem like a futuristic concept – but that future isn’t as far away as you might think.

As China Telecom Americas explains, technologies like smart home gateways can turn homes into smart homes, allowing multiple devices and apps to control various everyday aspects of a home – including kitchen appliances, beds, or even power sockets that can be turned off or on.

“Technology is permeating into every aspect of our lives – yet how can we utilise the smart devices in our palm to enhance our living standard?”

How a Smart City Works

The creation of a smart city takes a significant amount of infrastructure. For instance, to provide digital services a city must be able to develop “layers” of digital infrastructure:

  • Sensors: Cameras, sensors and smartphones help to gather data from users. This can then help create massive repositories of information that feed into subsequent layers, enabling better and more data-driven decision-making.
  • Networks: This layer requires partnering with trusted, local networks and providers, such as electricity grids, the internet itself and telecommunication networks to spread and gather the information from users.
  • Platforms: To provide smart services, underlying platforms need to be created, requiring expertise in security, network management and information processing. This requires strong and reliable cloud services from a trusted provider that can ensure security.
  • Applications: Whether a citizen is looking up a bus timetable that is updated in real-time to account for traffic or monitoring their own electricity use, applications need to feed the information gathered in the previous three categories.

These advances are crucial for expanding economic activity. According to Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the creation of such experiences as the SMARTXP centre, created in conjunction with China Telecom Americas, will help people envision a more connected future. He points to studies showing 90 percent of Malaysians will be living in cities by 2020.

“So, the demand for smart city infrastructure will be tremendous and vital,” he told the Malay Mail Online, also saying he was “pleased” to see the creation of the SMARTXP concept.

What a Smart City Can Do

From a citizen’s perspective, the types of services a smart city could provide would involve information about everyday activities. Taking public transport, for instance, would be a far more enjoyable experience with sensors on trains and buses that provide real-time location updates.

In Zhenjiang, citizens are able to make hospital appointments and rent bicycles from their smartphones. Information is sent to a “control center”, which then helps planners and operators reduce inefficiencies. Using cloud services, China will develop these smart cities further.

As the China-Britain Business Council explains, businesses around the world could find opportunities to digitize infrastructure relating to transport, water, energy and healthcare, along with a need for massive digital storage.

This evolution could see substantial changes in the way cities are run and managed in decades to come. As MIT has pointed out in its own analysis, telecommunication providers such as China Telecom are playing a crucial role in developing smart cities.

“They are not only extending their network coverage and improving their network quality, but also exploring new technologies to build new network layers.”

Discover how technology is fuelling this development with the help of trusted Chinese telecommunications providers like China Telecom Americas.

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How Digital Transformation is Shaping a New China

Chinese digital transformation isn’t just providing opportunity for those within its borders, but for businesses around the world. Learn how your business could be part of one of the biggest digital transformation stories in history.

The rise of China is setting the stage for an Asian century, but businesses are still figuring out how they can enter this new and exciting market.

Technology provides the answer. The Chinese market is undergoing rapid digital transformation – understanding this massive shift, and how to harness it, will be vital for businesses all over the world.

Much of this growth has been focused on consumers, as they spend more money online in traditional e-commerce outlets. According to a Cisco survey, 89 percent of Chinese respondents said they use independent shopping apps on a smartphone at least once a week – compared to 34 percent of U.S. respondents.

The potential for Chinese growth is even higher. Outside consumer-based commerce, many businesses in China are not yet using the internet to innovate and grow. In 2013, the cloud computing market was only worth $1.5 billion, around 3 percent of China’s enterprise IT market. However, that’s projected to rise to $20 billion by 2020, representing 20 percent of China’s IT market.

The Opportunity Abroad

This poses a significant opportunity for businesses outside China who are hoping to enter the competitive market. According to All China Review, the next phase of digital transformation in China could contribute between 7 and 22 percent of the increase in China’s gross domestic product (GDP) from 2013 to 2025.

So how can U.S. businesses take advantage of this?

Firstly, businesses should understand that there is a huge demand for digital services and skills in the Chinese market. An Accenture Strategy study shows 22 percent of the world’s economy will be linked to digital skills and services. In the U.S. that sector is 33 percent of GDP, while in China that figure is only 10.5 percent.

As the study explains, there is room for growth in China to adopt more of a focus on productivity and the consumption of services, rather than through pure e-commerce.

“Organizations need to act aggressively in shifting the focus of their digital talent and technology from making efficiencies to creating entirely new business models”, Accenture Strategy Group Chief Executive Mark Knickrehm said in a 2016 statement.

Over time, businesses in China will rely less on product development and manufacturing, shifting focus onto marketing, customer service and sales channels.

As McKinsey explains in its research, Chinese firms will need to invest in more IT services to make this shift successful: “Technology investments and product portfolios may have to be revisited more frequently, and CIOs [chief information officers] may need to have a greater voice in strategy.”

What Does This Mean for CIOs?

These changes represent significant opportunities for offshore businesses to invest in the growing Chinese demand for infrastructure.

For instance, according to McKinsey, China is facing opportunities with regard to some of the country’s largest markets including used-car sales, chemical companies, real estate and even healthcare. Recent news points to the Chinese government seeking even greater private investment.

The Cyberspace Administration of China has said it has placed an emphasis on building out technologies including 5G networks, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, smart cities and ecommerce. All of these areas will present opportunities for infrastructure creators.

Businesses all over the world are seeking to take advantage of this trend, with China’s call to build a “Digital Silk Road” attracting foreign investment. The Belgian telecom Belgacom has stated it finds the prospect of digital investment in China an attractive one.

Businesses may find it difficult to enter the Chinese market at first. Partnering with leading Chinese IT service providers can be a crucial first step to gaining a foothold in the market. Businesses like China Telecom Americas, with existing partnerships in the region, can be one of the best ways to access new opportunities in China.

Learn more about how to partner with trusted telecommunications providers in China and enter this exciting market with China Telecom Americas.

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Gaming in China: The New Realm for Big Business

The rapidly growing Chinese gaming market is attracting attention from Western businesses. However, to successfully enter the Chinese market, foreign companies must understand some key differences and build partnerships with trusted, local partners.

The Chinese gaming market is now the largest in the world – and big business is paying attention.

According to the 2016 Global Games Market Report, PC and online gaming captures 59 percent of China’s $24.4 billion market, with mobile gaming representing around 41 percent market share.

Mobile games are the fastest growing segment in China. Forecasts predict that by 2019 mobile games will represent 48 percent of China’s total gaming market, which is expected to be worth $28.9 billion in 2019.

Rapid increases in China’s internet access through Wi-Fi networks – the country has more than 620,000 Wi-Fi hotspots and counting – is powering the online gaming juggernaut, along with widespread adoption of 4G service which is quickly bringing China to the top of global internet access rates.

There are also socioeconomic forces behind China’s gaming explosion. Its emerging middle class is now estimated to be half a billion strong, and that means more disposable income to spend on entertainment (consumer spending grew by 6.9 percent in 2015).

Chinese gaming experts Zixue Tai and Fengbin Hu also note that China is following in the footsteps of other mature gaming markets in the region, as gaming expands beyond traditional demographics in China.

“Although current mobile game play is predominantly male-oriented (close to 70 percent), all industry reports have noted an accelerated rise in the proportion of female players in the past three years,” they write in Mobile Gaming in Asia. “Meanwhile, there has also been a steady upsurge in the 25+ demographics in the mobile player statistics in recent years.”

East versus West: Market Differences

While Western businesses are eager to carve out a slice of China’s gaming pie, there are several important market differences that foreign companies must account for before trying to enter China’s gaming market.

Android devices capture 73 percent of the Chinese market, with iOS devices falling well behind at 27 percent. Unlike Western markets where Android games are mostly limited to a small number of major marketplaces, there are approximately 400 distribution channels for China’s Android games.

SMS payments are favored by Chinese gamers over credit card payments which dominate gaming transactions in the West. Chinese gamers also use China-based third-party payment services, such as Alipay which boasts around 450 million users.

Chinese prefer free-to-play models for both mobile and PC games. In-game advertising is less accepted than in Western countries, but Chinese gamers are more open to pay-to-win models.

Entering the Market: Key Partnerships

It’s essential that foreign companies seeking to enter China’s gaming market create partnerships with some key local players.

China’s law stipulates that foreign companies must use a local partner to publish a game in any Android marketplace. Tencent, iDreamSky and NetEase are among the best-performing game publishers in China.

While there are around 400 Android distributors in China, the top 10 capture 80 to 90 percent of the total gaming revenue. Myapp, MIUI App Store and 360 Mobile Assistant are the three largest Android distributors.

While China’s growing 4G network is beginning to handle credit card payments, partnering with one of China’s telecommunications operators remains vital to managing the preferred SMS payments.

It’s important to note that on-net – or on-network – experience is key in this market. Working directly with a trusted telecommunications provider on its network is better than working with a wholesale provider that leases its connections and provides slower service. For example, China Telecom offers global customers access to the ChinaNet internet network. ChinaNet owns more than 70 percent of Chinese internet content resources and provides global customers with many resources including information, video, real-time chatting tools, online trading, games, search engine and information services.

Tapping into a local, trusted partner will also give you a clear competitive advantage, connecting you to the relationships you need and powering your technology and tools.

To streamline and simplify your transition into the Chinese market, find out more about the trusted telecommunications partner you need.