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Convergence adds value in IoT

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Kathy Gibson at Huawei Connect, Shanghai — Huawei is driving convergence in the Internet of Things (IoT) space and yesterday launched its “Platform + Connection + Ecosystem” enterprise IoT solution.
Based on the OceanConnect IoT platform and wireless convergence access capacity, the solution also includes edge computing IoT (EC-IoT), IoT security, and other features that add to agility and security.
IoT is critical for enterprise looking to digital transformation, says Jiang Wangcheng, president: IoT Solution in the Huawei Technologies enterprise business group.
“It will help to drive increased revenue, improved competitiveness, improved O&M operations, and more.”
Huawei aims to deliver all the elements that are required to build IoT solutions, he adds, as a platform builder, a connectivity enabler and an ecosystem promoter.
The company offers products that address every part of the system: from the chip and operating system within devices for the ecosystem part of the story.
In terms of connection is has a full set of networking products including chips, modules, gateways and base station that run on any network.
On the platform leg, the company offers public clouds, private clouds, hybrid clouds and data centres.
Possibly the strongest part of the solution, Wangcheng says, is the API layer, which makes it open and interoperable.
Huawei also provides access solutions on both licenced and unlicensed spectrum on both broadband and narrowband, so users are not constrained by government regulations.
“As a new technical field, IoT is an important strategic direction for Huawei,” Wangcheng says. “Apart from continuously investing in technology, in all these years working with partners to serve enterprise customers, Huawei has a good understanding on the construction requirements that enterprise customers have on IoT.”
Diana Yuan, president of marketing and solution sales in the Huawei Enterprise business group, points out that the basis of digital transformation is the construction of the network’s basic platform. “This means providing a network so that all components are connected together, where you can obtain all kinds of information in realtime – especially front-end big data analytics data – to collate, analyse and mine, letting enterprises get more value from this data.”
Huawei’s IoT strategy starts with wired and wireless access for multiple scenarios. This is overlaid with smart public and private clouds that facilitate network and information management.
“IoT means the interconnection of everything, making it more important to establish alliances, promote IoT standard formulation, and support large-scale commercial use,” Yuan says. “So our strategy specifies that we work with partners to build a healthy IoT ecosystem to promote application innovation and industry upgrading of various domains.”
Huawei’s enterprise IoT strategy is based on the OceanConnect IoT platform that provides open APIs to integrate various industry applications and agents to access various sensors, devices and gateways. This enables fast industry application integration and device access for enterprise/industry customers.
The “device-platform-application” architecture moves past the traditional “device-application” design concept that decouples applications and devices.
More importantly, says Yuan, this is a smart platform. Embedded big data analytics can help enterprises explore potential data value based on their own business scenarios.
IoT connectivity is traditionally on a narrow-band IoT (NB-IoT) network, but this has some limitations when it comes to speed, latency and performance.
Customers from different industries have different connection needs depending on the application, so Huawei offers a variety of connectivity options.
It offers an eLTE industrial wireless private network that lets customers provide voice, data, video and IoT services through one network.
This solution has a flexible spectrum usage mode. So if enterprises have spectrum resources, the solution can provide professional broadband access and scheduling services, facilitating production scheduling. If enterprises do not have licensed spectrum, they can deploy networks based on the ISM spectrum.
With eLTE connectivity, IoT can be applied in every aspect of production and daily life.
For services with low rates, NB-IoT provides a solution with wide coverage, low costs and low energy consumption.
Huawei has launched eLTE-IoT that inherits advantages from NB-IoT while supporting a smooth evolution towards future networks.
Edge computing, with the ability to optimise data, is set to become mainstream and aid customer requirements for limely or sensitive data.
Huawei’s enterprise IoT solution contains IoT gateways with edge computing capabilities. The gateways can help customers flexibly use a lightweight data analysis model to conduct real-time pre-analysis and fault prediction and detection, or implement local control policies to respond in milliseconds.
These EC-IoT solution offers cloud-based centralised management, so companies can achieve visualised O&M and reduce opex by 80%. It also includes various industrial protocols and interfaces, so it’s applicable to a wide range of vertical industrial scenarios.
Security is important in the application of IoT. A recent research reports shows that traditional enterprises are changing their product-centric sales model to a service-centric sales model, and 81% of them are applying or will apply IoT by the next year. By 2020, IoT investment will account for 43% of total IT investment.
However, enterprises also have concerns in using IoT technologies, with about 58% of them regarding security as a major issue.
Huawei’s enterprise IoT solution helps customers build a full-stack security system with proactive defence covering clouds, pipes, and devices.
On the cloud side, big data analytics and machine vision threat models enable security situation awareness and unknown threat detection of the IoT. After detecting security threats, the solution can initiate alerts within seconds and prevent attacks.
On the network side, the solution complies with 3GPP and IETF security standards and can defend against DDoS attacks. The solution can also handle million-level concurrent attacks by using firewalls to identify and filter threats in the IoT network. Encrypted wireless and gateway channels can effectively protect platform data security for customers.
For devices, security chips (TPM/TEE) help customers provide a reliable environment and lightweight Huawei LiteOS facilitates customers’ routine security O&M and management.
Huawei has also launched a range of IoT cloud services to support cloud terminal collaboration. Examples include visualised terminal device management, remote firmware upgrade, and E2E fault locating. At the same time, IoT cloud services support agile and open applications that enable services, providing the public sector, smart home, Internet of Vehicles, and other industries with cloud service packages that can accelerate the development of industry applications and the rollout of new services.
The IoT cloud announcement is part of a broader launch that includes CloudCampus for the unified deployment and management of multiple clouds, and new CloudFabric that adds technologies into the data centre to underpin the cloud offerings.