Lu Guanghui Chief Engineer of ZTE 5G CN Products
5G commercial launch has begun all over the world, with 2019 recognized as the first year of 5G NSA commercial launch and 2020 as the first year of 5G SA commercial launch. Compared with 4G, 5G SA aims to achieve internet of everything (IoE). Therefore 3GPP defined three major scenarios: eMBB, uRLLC and mMTC, to enable man-to-man, man-to-thing and thing-to-thing communications. The new goal raises new requirements for 5G core networks. 5G SA Core needs to be more accurate, intelligent, flexible and simple.
As driven by the industry chain, the SA-based 5G Core will be commercialized on a large scale in 2020. Its commercial solution needs to meet the requirements of operators for efficient commercial use, as well as the differentiation and evolution needs of multi-waves in vertical industry applications. The key challenges are as follows:
5G Cloud Core
To meet the challenges, ZTE has launched 5G SA Core, an accurate core network solution based on the 5G Common Core. Centering on the concept of full convergence, intelligence and simplification, the solution realizes capability construction and sustainable evolution of the core network, so it can rapidly deploy 5G for operators, make full preparation for the long-term development of vertical industries, and help operators improve their competitiveness in the 5G IoE era.
Convergence is Foundation
5G Core uses converged network elements as well as simplified functions and interfaces to support full-scenario access and on-demand customization, meeting differentiated network requirements. The deployment of 5G Core needs to consider the convergence of network elements as much as possible, which includes:
Intelligence is Core
Through the full-process intelligence and automation, the 5G SA Core solution promotes the transformation of operation and maintenance (O&M) that involves network planning, deployment, O&M and optimization. It integrates the whole tool chain to implement intelligent and automated planning, design, deployment, and acceptance tests of 5G Cloud Core, significantly shortening the time of construction. Through a user-friendly interface, the solution achieves zero-distance interaction between tool functions and customer requirements in the whole life-cycle of network integration, helping operators solve their pain points in virtualized network integration.
Simplicity is Key
Multidimensional slicing and DIY private network slicing are key capabilities for 5G SA architecture. Through automatic creation of dynamic slicing, network resources can be scheduled for rapid customization to address differentiated SLA. Thus, differentiated network requirements can be met in various vertical industries.
To deploy slices as soon as possible, a simplified solution is required that can give priority to implementing end-to-end slicing in the core and RAN part. At the early stage, operators focus on typical eMBB slices such as HD video and AR/VR, and adopt the edge deployment of the user plane of the core network to meet certain ultra-low-latency service requirements. At this stage, slicing can be combined with industry application demonstrations to fully verify that 5G slices meet the differentiated SLAs in different scenarios (Fig. 1).
With the maturity of 5G slicing standards, transmission and RAN sub-slices are introduced into the end-to-end network slicing. Slice design as well as guaranteed analysis and strategy are also added to the orchestration management system built in the early stage to provide full life-cycle management of the end-to-end slicing. While implementing slicing services, its operation mode needs to be considered, including slicing delivery, pricing, billing, and capability exposure, to accumulate experience and technologies for commercialization.
Evolution is Trend
In response to the rapid commercial needs of the first wave of eMBB and the differentiated needs and evolution challenges of the second or even more waves of vertical industry applications, 5G Core needs to evolve to support multi-dimensional 5G industrial packages and enable thousands of industries.
Through continuous cooperation with industry-leading operators, ZTE is accumulating more experience in 5G SA Core. Up to now, it has cooperated with more than 70 operators around the world with its leading products and solutions. ZTE is commercially deploying 5G SA Core on a large scale, making every effort to help leading operators offer 5G and make them be more competitive in the 5G IoE era.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back