Viettel: Building a Quality Broadband Network

Vietnam is located on the eastern seaboard of Indochina and is bordered by Laos to the northwest. Vietnam has a population of 88 million and is one of the top ten countries in terms of potential for IT development. The Vietnamese are relatively young, well-educated, and fond of the internet. Since broadband was popularized in Vietnam in 2003, the number of broadband users has increased sharply, from 3.09 million in 2003 to 32.2 million in 2011.
 

Vietnam Military Telecommunications Group (Viettel) was founded in 2001. Headquartered in Hanoi, Viettel is the largest network service provider in Vietnam. It provides telecom services for six countries and has a subscriber base of more than 60 million people. Although Vietnam’s economy was affected by the global financial crisis and faced many difficulties in 2011, Viettel’s turnover growth rate was still up 28%. Viettel is the most profitable enterprise in Vietnam’s telecom market.

 

Reconstructing the Network to Expand Broadband Services

After 10 years in the telecom market, Viettel has improved its telecom infrastructure and is now the largest mobile service provider in Vietnam. However, Viettel’s fixed-line FTTx broadband services are still inadequate. With the promotion of broadband services in Vietnam in recent years, Viettel has invested heavily in developing its fixed-line broadband.

At present, Viettel has nearly one million broadband users. Traditional DSLAM is used for broadband access, and most broadband remote access servers are still based on the 10G platform. Insufficient port capacity, system capacity, and equipment performance are limiting Viettel’s ability to promote FTTx services. Viettel urgently needs to reconstruct its broadband remote-access servers. To attract VIP customers and give them a better experience, Viettel requires more from its broadband remote-access servers.

 

In early 2011, Viettel invited manufacturers of broadband remote-access servers to conduct tests and commercial trials. Viettel had strict requirements in terms of equipment performance. The peculiarities of Viettel’s network and special requirements on broadband remote-access servers meant there were two main challenges: 1) On individual boards, CPU occupancy was high when there were few users, and 2) broadband remote-access servers could not implement 1+1 hot standby (except 1:1 backup). Viettel hoped that manufacturers could support 1+1 hot standby to improve equipment utilization and reduce TCO.

 

Focusing on User Experience and Increasing Network Value

Viettel had never used ZTE broadband remote-access servers, so ZTE wasn’t invited to participate in the early tests. However, in September 2011, an invitation was extended to ZTE to participate in formal testing and commercial trials. Viettel’s requirements were stringent in the case of ZTE.

 

To facilitate Viettel’s broadband service development over the next five years, ZTE recommended M6000 BRAS on a large-capacity 40G platform. This solution had been commercially used on a large scale in China. M6000 BRAS is not only a broadband remote-access server but also a service router (SR) with a bandwidth of 40G for a single board. It supports IPv4/IPv6 transition technologies, such as DS-Lite, NAT444, NAT64, Smart6, and 6rd. This eliminates Viettel’s bandwidth bottlenecks and helps Viettel smoothly evolve its network to IPv6.

 

ZTE developed solutions and optimized processes to overcome two main problem encountered by Viettel in the previous tests and commercial trials. Viettel’s strict requirements were finally met: A single board was designed to bear 10,000 users, and the CPU occupancy rate was only 31% when a single board bore a large number of broadband users. ZTE passed Viettel’s test between September and October 2011. In November 2011, ZTE M6000 BRAS was commercially trialed. ZTE has also conducted a number of M6000 BRAS hot standby trials for major operators in China.

 

In Viettel’s broadband remote-access server 1+1 hot standby trial, ZTE boldly modified the preliminary hot standby solution and customized new solutions to meet Viettel’s requirements. ZTE is the only manufacturer that  has implemented BRAS 1+1 hot standby in Viettel’s existing network environment and has won the trust and appreciation of Viettel. At the end of 2011, ZTE M6000 BRAS was put into commercial use.

 

Viettel has deployed ZTE M6000 BRAS in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Dalang. The main bearer services include PPPoE VIP broadband service and static FrameRoute service. The large-capacity M6000 BRAS has brought users smooth and instant access to their applications, and hot standby makes the network more stable and reliable. User satisfaction has increased, and Viettel strengthened its reputation as a quality broadband operator.

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