PARTNER INTERVIEW: Ahead of Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Live spoke to Xu Huijun, CTO of ZTE (pictured below), about how the company is working with operators to exploit new opportunities around 5G, IoT and video. The executive also gave an update on the company’s plans for the show, including the products and technologies on display.
How is Pre5G technology enabling ZTE’s customers to prepare for the evolution to 5G?
Ahead of 5G standardization, ZTE’s Pre5G solutions support operators in upgrading their networks for optimized performance, giving subscribers a 5G level of user experience on existing devices and terminals. In terms of economics, Pre5G supports smooth evolution to full 5G, helping operators achieve excellent returns on investment.
ZTE is a leader in SDMA (space division multiple access) technology including Massive MIMO. Since launching in 2015, ZTE’s Pre5G solutions including Massive MIMO are now deployed by more than 60 operators in over 40 countries, and have won numerous international awards including the GSMA’s Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough Award in 2016.
In 2016, ZTE built on our industry-leadership in TDD-based Massive MIMO technology and became the first company to launch an FDD-based Massive MIMO solution. We are working with operators around the world to deploy these 5G technologies on existing 4G LTE networks, laying the best foundations for successful full-5G deployment in the future
Can ZTE share more insights on 5G development? Can you provide some updates on China’s National 5G Tests, and your collaboration with your customers globally?
As a leader in 5G innovations, ZTE is focused on accelerating the commercialization of 5G.
In Phase 1 of China’s National 5G tests in 2016, ZTE was the first company to complete testing and we also achieved the best results of all vendors. ZTE is now participating in Phase 2 5G tests and we are the first to conduct field tests at 26GHz, achieving excellent performance.
In the test for massive connection scenarios, ZTE’s 5G technologies increase connectivity by 600 per cent, capable of connecting tens of millions of terminals.
ZTE has established global partnerships with the world’s leading operators on 5G. Apart from the joint field test with China Mobile, ZTE recently announced 5G field tests with SoftBank at 4.5GHz in downtown areas in Tokyo. ZTE is also working with other operators including China Telecom China Unicom, Telefonica, Telenet, KT, and U Mobile.
Meanwhile, ZTE has deployed more than 240 commercial network virtualization projects around the world.
ZTE is an active participant in standard organizations including ITU, 3GPP, and IEEE. Since January 2016, ZTE has submitted around 3,500 proposals on 3GPP 5G NR and gained two editor seats for essential 5G standards. In the RAN section, ZTE is leading the research project for NOMA.
ZTE is launching a full range of 5G base stations for higher and lower frequencies from 700MHz to 39GHz. In addition, ZTE is developing chipsets for 5G base stations and DPDIC chipsets, enhancing our core technological competency.
ZTE is partnering with Qualcomm and China Mobile to conduct the first low-frequency IoDT test in compliance with 3GPP standards. ZTE and the GSMA will be co-hosting a 5G summit, where we will be sharing insights into 5G with leading organizations, operators, chipset manufacturers, and partners in the industry, advancing 5G commercialization for win-win cooperation.
Compared with earlier technologies, what are the new possibilities of 5G networks in terms of service innovations?
5G will drive service innovations and business transformation for different industries and economic sectors, by addressing the three requirements of eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband), URLLC (Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications), and mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications).
As an early mover on 5G, ZTE is focused on network innovations that will help our customers address the three requirements of 5G – for example, ZTE’s proprietary Pre5G solutions, powered by new technologies including Massive MIMO, helps carriers fulfill the requirements for eMBB, supporting the transition to commercialized 5G services.
How is ZTE positioning itself in the field of IoT, and what progress has been made?
Through ZTE’s IoT PaaS platform, we are able to harness our capabilities in IoT, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Big Video and artificial intelligence to offer comprehensive solutions including chipsets, modules, operating systems, in addition to network gateways, IoT platforms and data centers.
In terms of target applications, ZTE is focused on four areas: Smart City, Industrial Internet, Smart Homes and the Internet of Vehicles.
ZTE is committed to an open strategy on IoT to foster increased collaboration with ecosystem partners, ensuring robust and seamless connectivity, as well as driving faster service innovations for users and businesses.
More than 30 operators and 140 IoT technology developers are now members of ZTE’s Global IoT Alliance. ZTE’s IoT services are now deployed in more than 140 cities in over 40 countries.
In addition, more than 70 experts from ZTE are driving IoT development through their positions at industry organizations including the GSMA NB-IoT Forum and 3GPP. ZTE has been granted more than 400 patents on IoT technologies, the third-highest total among companies globally, according to data compiled by industry consultant LexInnova.
Video will be a big opportunity for operators in the 5G era. How is ZTE working with its partners to make the most of this market?
In the 5G era, video services based on big broadband will be an important part of operators’ “pipe” services. ZTE’s industry-leading Big Video technologies will enable operators to offer richer video services with excellent user experiences, driving their digital transformation.
ZTE provides industry’s first integrated CDN solution for IPTV/OTT services on wireline and mobile networks.
With technologies like Pre5G, 5G, MEC, fog computing, CDN and AI, ZTE is driving innovations in video optimization solutions and high-performance networks for operators. For example, ZTE is the first company to develop an end-to-end solution for VR live broadcasting in China.
ZTE is also working closely with advertisers, content and service providers to help operators in offering enhanced video services.
Globally, ZTE’s Big Video solutions are deployed in more than 90 commercial projects, with a combined capacity of 80 million users. ZTE has over one hundred CDN commercial deployments and we are the world’s leading provider of IPTV set-top-boxes.
What new products and technologies will ZTE showcase at MWC Shanghai?
After releasing a full range of pre-commercial 5G products at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, here at MWC Shanghai, ZTE showcases its integrated 5G solutions, including the latest innovations in wireless technologies, bearer networks, and service applications.
Visitors will gain insights into how ZTE’s advanced 5G technologies are bringing them closer to 5G commercialization.
At this year’s MWC Shanghai, ZTE is running 5G demonstrations with China’s three major operators. ZTE is live streaming the joint 5G test with China Mobile, deploying ZTE’s low frequency 5G AAU, the smallest and lightest in the industry, achieving a 2Gb/s UE peak data rate.
ZTE will also showcase its Network 2020 solution based on ElasticNet architecture, with network slicing and network on demand capabilities.
ZTE has launched the world’s first carrier-grade DevOps platform for commercial use. This platform quickly customises networks for different industries and scenarios, helping operators build agile and more powerful networks based on virtualization and cloud infrastructure.
ZTE is an industry-leader in CDN technology, helping operators to optimise networks for video services. Here at MWC Shanghai, ZTE will be showcasing the end-to-end Big Video 3.0 solution. ZTE’s Big Video 3.0 solution helps operators deliver enhanced video services for Smart Homes, with new tools for more intelligent network management and service operations. Big Video 3.0 solution will support operators in their transformation to new Internet-based business models, and create more value in new video services to subscribers.