PARTNER FEATURE: With the advent of the 5G era, services such as mobile communications, home broadband, and enterprise customer private lines have developed rapidly, and service-driven network construction has accelerated. For communication network construction, project delivery is one of the core tasks. In order to help operators actively deal with the problems of “Increment does not increase revenue” and a large proportion of operating expenses, device vendors need to ensure higher product quality, faster delivery, and more convenient deployment in network construction so that operators can deploy the network at the least cost to protect the interests of customers.

In order to keep pace with service development, China Mobile planned to build an ultra-high-speed backbone OTN network, and ZTE won the new transmission device centralized procurement of 13th-phase national backbone network on the west plane. The large-scale west plane network covers 19 provinces in China, with a total link length of more than 50,000 km. After completion, it will emerge as the world’s largest OTN commercial network. ZTE adopts the OXC-based ROADM solution in a large scale for the first time at the inter-provincial backbone transmission level. Allowing flexible scheduling at the optical layer, it helps improve O&M efficiency and shorten service provisioning time. In addition to technological leadership, excellent project delivery is ZTE’s intimate guarantee for the interests of customers in such a huge network, and it is also an important reason for the vendor to stand out in the bidding.

In recent years, ZTE has performed well in project delivery for large-scale network construction of Chinese operators. In 2019, ZTE built the all-optical backbone ROADM network of China Telecom in the northwest region. The network covers 15 provinces across the country, with a large geographical span. At that time, many places at the low temperature of winter were covered with snow. Faced with lots of difficulties, ZTE withstood the pressure, made unified planning, and standardized deployment. In the network construction during the same period, although the network in the northwest region is the largest and the most difficult, ZTE’s project delivery progress is leading in the industry.

In the ROADM project across the northwest region, the upgrade efficiency was improved by 50% with a dedicated upgrade toolkit, successfully completing the upgrade and delivery of 779 network elements within 5 days. Meanwhile, the network planning tool is used for synchronous configuration import and data analysis in existing networks, successfully debugging 874 services in 60 days. The application of this series of advanced tools is highly praised by the customers for guaranteeing delivery.

In exploring ZTE’s outstanding project delivery, it is easy to find that it has accumulated success experience and weapons that are ahead of its rivals in device production & delivery, project management, and network deployment.

  1. High-quality production process assures delivery cycle and product quality

Ensuring device production and delivery in a supply chain with a professional organizational structure, ZTE gathers and sorts out the needs and conditions of all parties and coordinates internal and external resources to carry out project-oriented operations.

In terms of procurement, the overall demand of the contract is decomposed into various materials which can be prepared efficiently. At the same time, based on the assessment of delivery needs and internal resources, ZTE determines and adjusts the delivery plan with the industry’s core suppliers (of optical component modules, ICs, etc.), and prepare spare parts under the guidance of certain policies.

In terms of production, an automated system is employed to ensure efficient production and high quality. The product parts adopt wire weaving, automatic material distribution, and pull-type production modes to complete the parts processing in accordance with customer order requirements at the first time. Optical modules are produced in an automated factory to reduce human interference and ensure the consistency of output and quality. The device production uses dynamic high-temperature aging for all boards, and cooperates with one-click, spontaneous flow, instrument cloud and other advanced testing procedures and tooling in the industry, improving production efficiency.

In terms of quality control, each version of a product needs to pass six quality protection nets: code, component, function, feature, product, and solution. The production adopts a full-process quality monitoring system, and an automated factory is built to refine technical acceptance criteria into automated test items to greatly improve test coverage and test efficiency, ensuring product quality while fulfilling rapid delivery. Besides, from the use of each screw to the execution data and maintenance status of each test item, all are stored on the cloud platform, where the data can be monitored and queried in real time to strictly control production quality.

Quality protection nets and automated factory

ZTE sets up the OTN comprehensive solution lab to verify the large-capacity scenario of the project and avoid the failure of WDM product interconnection with other products in engineering applications, getting the test closer to the actual application of the project and improving the quality and speed of project delivery.

  1. End-to-end demand management and powerful technical team

ZTE OTN product project delivery adopts the unified end-to-end requirement management to assure fast and accurate delivery. Based on the unified management of 5G-OTN and AG libraries, ZTE makes uniform demand sequencing decisions, and establishes demand decision alignment mechanism, fulfills systematic demand construction and allows process data visualization, raising delivery management efficiency. The average delivery cycle of product demand continuously decreases, and so does the solution defect rate.

A powerful R&D technical team can provide engineering support, and arrange professionals to track and respond in time. By creating live network software & hardware and networking version maps, they can review in time the problems encountered during project power-on, debugging and maintenance, and notify the front of existing risks and precautions.

  1. Efficient network deployment and convenient O&M management

The construction of the OTN backbone network involves the commissioning and debugging of a large number of sites. Large physical span and high network complexity increase network deployment difficulty. ZTE can quickly set up a delivery assurance team for a specific project. The personnel comes from marketing, business, R&D, production, logistics, delivery and other departments to set project goals and milestones. ZTE has offices around the world. After a national-level project is launched, local offices can quickly coordinate personnel to establish sub-project teams. According to the unified standards and regulations and with reference to the construction standards of demonstration stations, they actively identify risks, prevent potential risks, strictly control the quality, quickly respond to supporting resources and environmental problems, overcome difficulties, and advance efficient network deployment.

Additionally, O&M management runs through the entire device service cycle. ZTE OTN products provide intelligent O&M tools. APO supports optical-layer degradation self-healing. Its built-in OTDR optical fiber detection enables minute-level fiber cut locating. In cooperation with tools such as optical-layer performance online monitoring and performance index graphical display, it can help O&M members to efficiently manage networks and minimize OPEX.


With the advent of the 5G era, the construction of new infrastructure has accelerated. On the transport side, the large-capacity transmission network can effectively cope with massive bandwidth demands brought about by rapid service development. The large-scale network construction with the backbone network as an example requires not only device vendors to provide strong technical support, but also high-quality delivery to meet customer needs. This has also become an important factor for operators to select partners. ZTE’s large-scale project delivery capabilities help operators build networks with high quality and efficiency. ZTE adheres to quality first, effectively protects the interests of customers, and works with operators to create a better future in the 5G era.