The recent years have seen a significant transformation globally. Voice and data connectivity have become increasingly paramount and the core pillars of connecting and delivering services to a wide range of consumers.

The data is expanding tremendously as a result of the sudden desire for innovative and hybrid working styles, the growing adoption of digital services and the emergence of disruptive technology. Consider this: In 2010, there were only 85 daily data exchanges. By 2020, there were 601 daily data interactions, and by 2025, there are likely to be 4785 daily data interactions. This massive data growth has resulted in greater infrastructure needs.

One of the major influencers of the digital economy are telecom operators. Carriers are at the forefront of connectivity and have abundant data resources and are important data producers, transmitters and value presenters. 

In order to help carriers to evaluate their data infrastructure and find weak links in data infrastructure, to help create a stable, reliable and efficient database, IDC and Huawei have jointly established a comprehensive data storage evaluation system. This evaluation system is based on an in-depth and extensive exchange with industry experts, carrier customers, and partners.

The 5G era and digital infrastructure requirements

Digitalization will be the primary driver of 65 percent of the global GDP from 2019 to 2025, according to IDC’s Worldwide Digital Transformation Spending prediction. Spending on telecom digital transformation is anticipated to rise from US$57.6 billion to US$124 billion between 2021 and 25. Telcos will need to put a lot of effort into scaling up, innovating, and optimizing operations. They will need to enhance their infrastructure, provide background support, increase the availability of their CSP platforms, and improve customer experience.

In the 5G era, the number of DOU and IoT connections increases, and the data volume of the BSS system is expected to increase by more than six times. Storage latency will be reduced from 3 ms in the 4G era to 0.5-1 ms. Moreover, more data needs to be analyzed for the autonomous network in OSS, extending data storage from 7 days to 90 days. 

"Carriers are concerned about maximizing the value of data and measuring the effectiveness of data storage, management, and utilization within data infrastructure," says Dr. Peter Zhou, Vice President of Huawei and President of Huawei Data Storage Product Line.

"The major data storage challenges facing telco transformation are: low resource utilization due to resource silos, inefficient management due to complex O&M operations and complex cloud convergence because of cloud silos," adds Peter Zhou.

Huawei has invested heavily in data storage for more than a decade, and the company’s data storage products have served over 400 operators in more than 150 countries and regions around the world.

Dr. Peter Zhou, Vice President of Huawei and President of Huawei Data Storage Product Line

Storage power requirement indicators

In the 5G era, carriers need a more stable, efficient and reliable database. With everything shifting to the cloud, telcos cannot expect to fulfil new customer expectations, compete in the market, and concentrate on innovative solutions by using traditional and legacy technologies, especially in the 5G era. Therefore, they need to find the best ways to measure the storage and management of data.

"It is of huge concern that about 95% of operators have an urgent need to optimize their IT infrastructure. The rising focus and adaption of digital economy will further push the need of a resilient and robust digital infrastructure and that storage power is a pillar of such infrastructure," says Thomas Zhou, Vice President, IDC China.

Telcos require a solid strategy to increase their capacity for secure and reliable data collecting, storage, application, administration, and innovation. According to the responses collected in the Huawei-IDC study, there are five core capability indicators for the storage power of the carrier’s data infrastructure:

Security and Resiliency: How can I keep my firm running well despite diverse hazards without losing data?

Real-time Agility: What is required to achieve effective data storage and processing in order to meet erratic customer demands and deliver an exceptional user experience?

Energy Efficiency: Energy saving and emission reduction is a direct and effective means for carriers to reduce TCO, and it is also a social responsibility for carriers. In 2030, according to the target set by GSMA, carriers’ energy saving and emission reduction will reach 45%.

Intelligent Management: How can we support the increasingly complex systems that are gradually transitioning from human-centred to autonomous IT systems through intelligent management?

Data Innovation: How to support the upcoming new services and maximize the value of data?

What is needed?

Telcos must put effort into scaling up, innovating, and optimizing operations. In addition, they will need to enhance their infrastructure, provide background support, increase the availability of their CSP platforms, and improve customer experience.

Some of the major technological advancements that can assist telecoms in providing the future with the storage capacity they’ll need are:

Core services on flash storage: All-flash storage, with its exceptional performance, allows quick data storage and good usage in the process of data innovation and real-time agile use;

Massive distributed data: The storage mode of distributed architecture can guarantee data storage and is reasonably priced for mass data requirements;

Intelligent operation and maintenance: Carriers will be able to handle data more effectively, increase staff devoted to business innovation, and increase operation and maintenance efficiency;

Storage as a service (STaaS): As carriers adopt new technologies like AI, big data, and the cloud, storage resource pooling can help to ensure that resources are released swiftly and as needed.

In the end, carriers will need to handle and support a varied range of data that will also be sophisticated, growing, and have different structures as a result of the increasing IoT and phone connections. They must rethink their storage strategy to address the evolving market demands. 

Find out more about Huawei’s solutions on how carriers can make the most of data to help achieve digital transformation and new growth.