ADVERTORIAL: Today at Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai, ZTE officially released the Pre5G: Building the Bridge to 5G whitepaper. As the first vendor to propose Pre5G technology concepts and series solutions, ZTE has exponentially enhanced the performance and capabilities of 4G networks through providing 5G-like performance and service experience on existing 4G networks, thus implementing a comprehensive evolution to 5G.

The mobile internet has increased users’ massive demands for wireless bandwidth and ushered in a brand-new era of unprecedented disruption oriented to mobility and portability, Internet of Things (IoT), and cross-industry convergence. As IoT, Virtual Reality (VR), intelligent manufacturing, and cloud networks gain popularity, 5G technology moves closer to reality.

There are milestones yet to reach before the official commercial use of 5G in 2020. 5G remains under standardization and technical research and development. The explosive growth of mobile broadband services and demand for radio networks has not ceased. How should we eliminate the capacity and performance bottlenecks of existing 4G networks?

ZTE Pre5G involves not only the application of key 5G technologies with commercial capabilities (for example, Massive MIMO) on 4G networks to provide  5G user experience on existing commercial 4G terminals, it includes the enhancement of LTE-A Pro technologies in 3GPP architecture. Additionally, it involves multiple 5G development technologies, such as Massive CA, UDN, 256QAM, LAA, LWA, and NB-IoT. ZTE Pre5G is neither a new radio network technology nor a transformation of existing networks. Its significance and value lie in technological evolution, network compatibility, and return on investment.

Pre5G technology helps implement a smooth evolution based on existing 4G networks. It effectively reduces network construction costs, implements rapid network deployment, and greatly increases cost-effectiveness. With the unique advantages of Pre5G, the “3-High” requirements (high-density traffic, high-end users, and high-speed services) can be prioritized and satisfied flexibly in practical network deployment. Resources are utilized more precisely to achieve better performance with less effort.

As the bridge from 4G to 5G, Pre5G focuses on the following three fields: enhanced mobile bandwidth, IoT and cloud networks. Compared to 4G, Pre5G achieves a sixfold system capacity increase, a fivefold average bandwidth increase and 100 times the number of connections per unit area. Pre5G improves mobile-broadband user experience to the Giga+ level, effectively satisfying the requirement for ultra-wideband experience. ZTE has provided a comprehensive NB-IoT solution for the rapidly increasing IoT requirements in multiple vertical industries, constructing an IoT ecosystem and exploring innovative applications. Pre5G networks will begin with IaaS (virtual-network-based function), gradually developed to PaaS (open and programmable network), and finally achieve XaaS (fully open network capability) to support end-to-end 5G sliced networks and service innovation.

After introducing the innovative Pre5G concept, ZTE has continued its research in the main technology fields of Pre5G in addition to collaborating with industry partners to promote the development of relevant industry chains. ZTE has partnered with many domestic and overseas customers, aiming to provide the best solutions to satisfy the actual requirements that involve customer needs, scenario research, new service applications and network architectural innovation. Pre5G technology has been accepted by an increasing number of industry players. Pre5G Massive MIMO has been successfully deployed for many telecom operators in China, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

ZTE grasped a future network evolution opportunity and so developed the Pre5G concept and solution to adapt to technology development trends. With the tenet of Technology First, ZTE has worked in areas including technological research, promotion of standardization and the commercial use of products. ZTE is committed to pioneering 5G evolution. ZTE has also explored many industry hot spots including the mobile internet and IoT. With independent innovation along with strategic cooperation with telecom operators, ZTE has consolidated its dominant position in telecom markets and achieved sustainable development.