Huawei says it’s the first vendor to pass China’s 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) core network test, which constitutes an important part of China’s 5G R&D trials for operators that hope to deploy 5G commercial networks early and quickly.
The test was part of the third phase of a 5G trial organized by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group and was conducted at the Beijing lab of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT).
The test was based on the commercial 5G core network solution released by Huawei at Mobile World Congress 2018. Technologies tested include gateway selection in control and user plane separation architecture, 5G ultra-high bandwidth, dual-connection to LTE and New Radio (NR), independent billing for 5G NR and terminal access management. The key service processes include terminal registration, service requests, mobility management and session management.
China’s three leading operators—China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom—were involved in the 5G network test, as well as the network technology workgroup of the CAICT. In the first and second phases of the trial, Huawei’s 5G core network also achieved “outstanding results,” according to Huawei, in verification of key technologies and prototypes such as service-based architecture, network slicing and multiaccess edge computing.
As of year-end 2017, Huawei had built 15 pre-commercial 5G core sites around the globe, and it plans to strengthen its cooperation with industry partners in preparation for the 5G era.
It’s still not getting any love from the U.S. administration, though. At its next open meeting on Tuesday, the FCC will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to ensure that universal service support is not used to purchase equipment or services from companies posing a national security threat to the integrity of communications networks or the communications supply chain. Huawei is the company most often pegged as one that could pose security concerns for the U.S. if it’s allowed to supply network equipment or even handsets to Tier 1 U.S. carriers.
The NPRM poses new concerns for many Tier 2 and 3 carriers that have looked to Huawei to provide more affordable but still dependable network gear. Some attendees at the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) convention in Las Vegas last month said they were concerned about the U.S. government singling out the Chinese vendors when a lot of equipment manufacturers around the world get some supplies out of China.