In April 2019, the United States and Korea announced the commercial use of 5G. In the same period, Swiss Telecom Europe announced that it had become the first large-scale commercial 5G network provider in Europe. On June 6, 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China officially issued a 5G license. All the world's leading operators are eager to compete for 5G.
How can a 5G network be built quickly? How can it transcend the 4G experience? How can a variety of industrial applications be enabled through a 5G network? ZTE answers with innovative technologies:
- NSA/SA dual-mode base stations to accelerate network construction.
- Massive MIMO Core technology-driven experiences "acceleration".
- Ultra-large capacity IT BBU, boosting service "acceleration" .
Innovative NSA/SA dual-mode base stations to accelerate network construction
Currently, due to the development of the 5G industry chain, most major operators select the NSA network architecture at the early stage of 5G network construction. The NSA network architecture uses the 4G network as the anchor point to implement fast 5G network deployment. However, the SA architecture, which is the ultimate target architecture of 5G networks, is more flexible, can fully display the advantages of 5G, and is easy to achieve commercial innovation.
Operators need to rapidly deploy commercial 5G networks and smoothly evolve to SA networks in the future with the lowest investment. To meet the requirements, ZTE has launched NSA and SA dual-mode base stations. Only through software upgrade can NSA networks be smoothly evolved to SA networks. In addition, ZTE enabled one carrier to support the access of terminals in both NSA and SA modes. During the upgrade from NSA to SA, users do not need to change their mobile phones.
Massive MIMO to Realize Experience Acceleration
In the 5G era, ZTE proposed Massive MIMO technology to greatly improve user experience. The technology is adopted at the air interface to implement SDMA, maximizing the cell throughput. Since 2014, ZTE has applied Massive MIMO to commercial 4G networks, improving 4G network capacity. After years of continuous optimization, ZTE has been leading in the technology with five years commercial practice.
In addition to the Massive MIMO technology at the air interface, ZTE also provides the parameter solution for the broadcast weight optimization in typical scenarios, including CBD area, superlarge-capacity assembly/event and common urban areas.
The CBD scenario requires high vertical coverage and the interference of signals is high. In accordance with the characteristics of this scenario, ZTE recommends 10 sets of preferred broadcast beam parameters to quickly meet the coverage requirements. Through adaptive broadcast weight parameters, it is verified that the capacity of a 5G network is over three times that of a common 4G macro cell.
The superlarge-capacity assembly/event scenario has a large population density, large data volume, and population distribution changes greatly. In this scenario, in addition to improving the cell capacity with Massive MIMO, ZTE also recommends three sets of broadcast weight preference parameters to adapt to the population distribution change. When a sports event is held, users are concentrated in the stands, while during a concert, users are concentrated in the venue center. Through weight adjustment, target users can be covered in different scenarios. The test results show that the cell capacity of the 5G network is three to six times higher than that of the traditional 4G macro base station.
In a common urban area, the coverage rate is increased and the user experience at the edge of the cell is improved. According to the characteristics of this scenario, ZTE adopts the diversity reception and advanced receiver algorithm of Massive MIMO multi-antenna array for high-dimensional interference cancellation to improve coverage at the cell edge. In addition, ZTE recommends eight sets of preferential broadcast weight parameters to implement the optimal beamforming of broadcast bearers in the horizontal dimension and achieve wide coverage quickly. Field test results show that the user rate of a 5G network for cell edge is 6 to 10 times higher than that of traditional 4G macro base stations.
Superlarge-capacity IT BBU Supports Service Acceleration
5G network virtualization has become an industry trend. By deploying different services on general servers, virtualization not only achieves compatibility between devices of different manufacturers but also effectively reduces hardware investment costs. Network virtualization is a long process, including core network virtualization, central equipment room device virtualization, and BBU virtualization.
So far, ZTE has implemented core network virtualization and central equipment room device virtualization. How is BBU device virtualization implemented? ZTE proposed the service acceleration concept and launched the IT BBU based on the ZTE LitePaaS platform. This IT BBU adopts the third-generation baseband processing chip developed by ZTE. It features ultralarge capacity, high reliability, low delay and light weight. In addition to the 2/3/4/5G multimode base station function, it can also open the remaining resources of the IT BBU to third-party application software through new functional modules, so that it can become an edge server. In this way, the 5G virtualized core network function can be moved to the edge equipment room.
IT BBU’s capability openness is based on the ZTE LitePaaS platform, which is the most lightweight PaaS platform in the industry. It is real-time and highly reliable, and third-party services can be flexibly deployed and expanded on demand. At present, ZTE IT BBU supports service applications such as GPS location function, CU function and AI function.
ZTE has taken the lead in implementing AI-based fast broadcast weight matching and fast network load balancing in the IT BBU to ensure the low delay of independent network learning and intervention. The verification result shows that the number of high-load carriers in the existing network is reduced by 25%.
5G is on. ZTE is committed to accelerating the commercial use of 5G networks and opening up a new era of IoE with its innovative technologies.