ZTE helps China Unicom verify 5G network slicing application and achieve automatic deployment of 5G FlexE slicing - Mobile World Live

ZTE helps China Unicom verify 5G network slicing application and achieve automatic deployment of 5G FlexE slicing

01 APR 2020

PARTNER FEATURE: Recently, ZTE and China Unicom have successfully deployed the commercially oriented end-to-end 5G network slicing applications in Shenzhen, taking a solid step forward in exploring 5G 2B business models, and accelerating the deployment of 5G applications.

In the 5G era, everything is connected, so that network services vary widely. Network slicing has become one of the keys to provide secure connections and intelligent operations for the differentiated service demands. It is also considered as an important enabler of commercial success of 5G networks.

As early as January 2019, China Unicom released the White Paper on 5G Network Slicing, which regards network slicing and edge computing as key technologies for opening up network capabilities. In the past year, China Unicom has cooperated with equipment vendors, Internet companies and industrial enterprises on slicing technologies by conducting a amount of research and practice in technical solutions and business models.

This 5G network slicing application deployed on the physical equipment on the existing network of the Shenzhen branch of China Unicom builds an end-to-end 5G slicing commercial network covering wireless, transport and core networks. In this project, ZTE and China Unicom Shenzhen have designed a variety of slicing activation modes based on commercial scenarios for different Internet services. ZTE provided 5G transport devices based on the hard slicing FlexE and the soft slicing SR+EVPN, which together with the management and control integration system (ZENIC ONE), allow one-button automatic deployment of transport slices in minutes. Meanwhile, with visualized resource orchestration, management capabilities of sub-slicings can be invoked to achieve full-lifecycle management of network slicing. In addition, the AI technology is introduced to establish hierarchical and intelligent closed-loop for management and control, thereby accomplishing the automatic deployment and verification of the whole process of the slicing network from design, orchestration, service provisioning to monitoring.

In this verification, ZTE’s new-generation flagship product ZXCTN 9000-EA series were deployed on core/aggregation layers of transport network, and the new-generation large-capacity access product ZXCTN 6180H was deployed on the access layer, which both adopt the 3-in-1 core chipsets with FlexE embedded.

By means of FlexE bonding, slicing bandwidth can scale flexibly on demand and provide 200GE and 400GE ports traffic solutions. In this way, the problem of unbalanced traffic in traditional LAG bonding is solved.

Benefiting from the FlexE, the latency of the access-layer device at a single node is less than 5us, and that of the core/aggregation-layer device at a single node is less than 20us, which are both the industry’s lowest. Meanwhile, it greatly reduce the impact of jitter, packet loss and delay caused by traffic burst in traditional networks. Thus, 0 packet loss and us-level jitter can be achieved for VIP services.

The transport sub-slicing based on the FlexE and SR+EVPN can provide differentiated service guarantee for users of different levels by flexibly scaling the bandwidth on demand, which guarantees the security of VIP services. FlexE supports physical separating, and SR+EVPN supports routing separating.

Besides, FlexE+QoS can expand the traditional 8 queues supported by each port to 160 queues, making service classification more precise to truly meet the requirements of integrated service transport and to offer powerful tools for differentiated operation.

Figure 2: Transport Slicing Planning

The successful deployment of end-to-end 5G network slicing in China Unicom Shenzhen verified the feasibility of 5G network slicing in technical architecture, deployment mode, service guarantee, and business model. It accelerates the commercial implementation of 5G network slicing, and promotes the innovative transformation of China Unicom Shenzhen from traffic operation to precise operation based on slicing, which pushes it forward in operation transformation and industrial upgrade.

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