PRESS RELEASE: As network technologies develop rapidly, the market competition is becoming increasingly fierce. Telecom operators are confronted with a multitude of challenges from their competitors, spanning technology update, service quality, and operating costs.

According to the latest GSA report released in June 2023, a total of 535 operators in 162 countries or regions are investing in 5G networks, and 259 operators in 102 countries and regions have launched or trialed at least one 5G service compliant with the 3GPP standards. As the global expansion of 5G network infrastructure continues, the complexity of networks within each operator deepens. The coexistence of 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G networks further compounds the challenges, resulting in high construction and maintenance costs. To address these challenges, operators must embark on a journey of digital transformation, incorporating emerging technologies like big data and AI. This ongoing effort aims at continually improving their network quality and service competitiveness. Standing out in the fierce competition has become a major concern of every telecom operator.

ZTE has introduced the brand concept of “Ultimate Service” through deep cooperation with operators, aiming to provide global operators and industry customers with ultimate network experience through continuous exploration in critical areas of network services. This initiative is geared towards enhancing network value and driving the digital transformation and upgrading of operators. With over 38 years of experience in communication network deployment, ZTE’s global service team has developed the “Craftsmanship Network” construction solution based on the concept of digital network deployment. Throughout the entire process of network planning, construction, optimization, maintenance, and operation, ZTE adopts innovative ideas. This involves the use of cutting-edge innovative solutions, digital network deployment systems, and intelligent delivery tools to meet the diverse needs of operators, ultimately improving network quality and establishing a robust brand image.

“Leadership” Role of Craftsmanship Network Construction

In the rapidly evolving landscape of communications technologies, telecom operators must maintain technology leadership to secure a competitive edge. In this process, the crucial role played by “Craftsmanship Network” construction in technology leadership is particularly important. Setting network construction goals that exceed industry standards, using state-of-the-art technologies and equipment, and delivering high-quality network services and user experiences to meet diverse needs of different industries and users are all essential aspects of this role. It is through these efforts that the industry, technology and customer leadership roles can be effectively demonstrated. ZTE has established high-performance craftsmanship networks in over 100 countries and regions, assisting operators in enhancing network quality, user perception, and their network value. In China, ZTE collaborates with operators in prominent cities across the country, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Dalian, and Chengdu. They work together to create “Leading City” with a focus on product leadership, innovation leadership, brand leadership, and autonomous network leadership. This initiative not only builds 5G superb networks but also provides users with ultimate network experience. Moreover, it empowers operators to develop leading 5G applications, thereby facilitating the digital transformation of the economy and society.

  • In Thailand, as AIS’s network equipment and solution provider in the northeast region, ZTE adheres to the brand philosophy of “Ultimate Service” and is committed to providing top-quality services and solutions to ensure AIS’s leading position in network quality and technology in this region. ZTE’s wireless AI solution uSmartNet-RNIA is dedicated to offering a variety of automation and intelligent tools that cover the entire process of network planning, construction, maintenance, optimization, and operation. This helps customers improve O&M efficiency while reducing costs. After introducing its VMAX-R precision planning tool into AIS, ZTE has greatly improved the efficiency of AIS network planning, facilitating precision network construction. AIS’s existing network comprises seven different network standards, including GSM, UMTS, FDD LTE, TDD LTE, NB-IoT, FDD NR, and TDD NR. The network architecture is extremely complex, which presents challenges for optimization. Considering the characteristics of network architecture, ZTE has worked with AIS to deploy an intelligent network optimization platform. This platform utilizes functions such as AAX alarm root cause analysis, EFP device health check and prediction, AAPC automatic antenna weight control, NQI automatic interference analysis, and TopN poor quality analysis to significantly boost O&M efficiency in corresponding scenarios. Recently, ZTE has partnered with AIS and Qualcomm to successfully complete a 5G mmWave standalone (SA) test at the AZ Innovation Center in Bangkok. This approach dramatically simplifies the network structure, eliminating the need to deploy anchors in EN-DC or NR-DC, resulting in substantial Capex savings.
  • In Beijing, China Mobile Beijing Branch (Beijing Mobile) and ZTE signed a strategic cooperation agreement for intelligent computing innovation in 2023, confirming that both parties would engage in deep collaboration in the fields of computing networks and cutting-edge 5G innovation in the future. Beijing, renowned for its unique charm and vibrant technological innovation, is emerging as a beacon for 5G city development and a model for China’s digital economy. So far, Beijing Mobile has built more than 44,000 base stations, accounting for over half of the total number of 5G base stations in Beijing. This achievement marks it as the largest and fastest metro 5G network in the world. Within the urban areas, encompassed by the Fifth Ring Road, the comprehensive coverage rate has soared to 99.6%, with over 15 million 5G users. Utilizing a range of innovative technologies, the network provides a peak rate of 3 Gbps in key areas of Beijing, delivering an excellent user experience.
  • In Guangzhou, China Mobile, in collaboration with ZTE and several partners, launched the “5G Leading City” initiative in 2021, aiming to enhance user experience through new 5G infrastructure and facilitate the digital transformation of various industries. They are committed to building Guangzhou into a “5G Leading City” with the leadership in network, application, and ecosystem. With the common goal of the Leading City initiative, Guangzhou Mobile and ZTE have worked together on 5G commercialization, technological innovation, and industrial applications. Utilizing ZTE’s VMAX NM central platform, both parties have made valuable explorations in improving 5G residence ratio, implementing pandemic tracking cards, and ensuring support for major events. By April 2022, Guangzhou Mobile had reached a 5G residence rate of 90.17% and a traffic offloading rate of 32.77%, ranking at the forefront among all provinces in China Mobile nationwide.
  • In Dalian, China Unicom and ZTE are collaborating to evolve the PowerPilot energy-saving solution. They have launched the world’s first “Green Generation Network” in Dalian, which maximizes energy efficiency while minimizing network infrastructure. This innovation, combined with photovoltaic demonstration sites, significantly reduces mobile network energy consumption, enabling environmentally friendly network operations and paving the way for a sustainable digital economy. Dalian Unicom and ZTE will continue to jointly build an intelligent, efficient, and eco-friendly 5G network. In addition to energy saving efforts, they have undertaken extensive research on network performance, such as collaborative perception consistency, 4G/5G synergy, and beam scenario strategies, all of which have enriched their experience in enhancing 5G perception in Liaoning province. Moreover, they have run the first trial of NSA/SA dual-mode networking solutions nationwide, and their development of 3G/4G/5G multi-mode equipment and solutions in the 2.1 GHz band has provided a clear roadmap for future network planning and deployment.
  • In Chengdu, China Telecom and ZTE have jointly built a “5G Leading City” since 2020, aiming to set up a benchmark 5G network for Chengdu Telecom and create the Chengdu Telecom 5G brand. After years of operation, They have achieved remarkable success in various aspects, including comprehensive performance experience, innovative research projects, intelligent O&M, and refined methodology. Through the collaborative effort, a three-dimensional, high-speed, and intelligent 5G network has been built, allowing the citizens of Chengdu to easily enjoy a wonderful life with indoor and outdoor speeds of up to 3 Gbps, providing large bandwidth for uploads and downloads. With the service-level smarter and more eco-friendly energy-saving solution PowerPilot, they have enhanced the city’s reputation as the “Park City Under the Snowy Mountains”. Additionally, they provide fast, accurate, stable and flexible 5G private network solutions catering to diverse needs of small and medium-sized enterprises and industry leaders. Their advanced intelligent O&M technology makes the network smarter, stronger, and more reliable. This robust 5G network infrastructure is injecting 5G intelligence to various industries, propelling traditional sectors such as healthcare, culture and tourism, and industry toward digital transformation, ushering a new era of growth.

Opening the Door of “Intelligence” Through Craftsmanship Network Construction

With the large-scale deployment of 5G networks, communication networks become increasingly complex, demands are fragmented and diversified, and the coexistence of multiple standards and frequency bands has greatly increased the operational difficulty. Coordinating cloud network resources faces many challenges. Therefore,  the adoption of AI technologies to accelerate network intelligence has emerged as a prevailing trend and an industry-wide consensus.

ZTE demonstrated its new-generation autonomous network solution uSmartNet 2.0 at MWC Barcelona 2023. The solution aims to help operators accelerate their journey towards level 4 (L4) automation. ZTE’s “Craftsmanship Network” construction solution focuses on ubiquitous connections, intelligent O&M, and agile operation in value-driven scenarios through the uSmartNet 2.0 system. By leveraging the power of big data and AI, it creates an intelligent brain that operates at multiple levels, starting from intrinsic network elements, single-domain automation, to cross-domain collaboration. This solution provides automation capability through layered, domain-based, and hierarchical evolution, achieving a fast service-driven closed loop. By using intelligent O&M tools such as VMAX, RNIA, and CNIA, craftsmanship networks greatly optimize user perception delay and enable alarm root cause diagnosis and potential fault identification. This not only helps operators increase their network automation, but also greatly improves efficiency and quality in network deployment, optimization, and maintenance. Currently, ZTE has cooperated with over 80 partners across more than 100 global sites, maintaining industry leadership in areas such as big data, AI, and deep packet inspection (DPI).

Achieving the Goal of “Surpassing” in Craftsmanship Network Construction

As the construction of “Craftsmanship Network” continues to progress, ZTE and its customers are working closely, paying keen attention to the latest technology trends and industry standards, and addressing network weaknesses by establishing up innovative topics and sharing research results. In China, ZTE partners with China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom to jointly build “Leading Cities”, and has won the Communication Network Optimization Excellent Project Award from the China Association of Communication Enterprises. Internationally, ZTE understands the unique needs and challenges of operators in different countries, helping them achieve top rankings in multiple internationally recognized benchmarking tests. This has earned them a strong market reputation and driven business growth, fostering win-win cooperation. For example, the Hutchison Drei Austria wireless project has won Ookla’s “Fastest 5G Mobile Network Award” for four consecutive times, while the Indonesia TSL wireless project has secured Ookla’s “Fastest Mobile Network Award”, “Best Mobile Coverage Award”, and “Best Mobile Network Award” for three consecutive times.

ZTE has long been committed to serving industry-leading telecom operators. Through the “Craftsmanship Network” construction, it continually deepens its strategic cooperation with operators, strengthens technological innovation collaboration, and upgrades from traditional order-based procurement models to a new cooperative R&D approach. At present, ZTE has built high-performance “Craftsmanship Networks” in more than 100 countries and regions, securing operators’ leading positions in the industry, facilitating their digital transformation, and achieving a win-win situation.