ZTE Chen Xinyu: Building a lightweight private 5G to accelerate the launch of industrial applications
PARTNER FEATURE: It is widely accepted in the industry that the value of 5G lies in the industry vertical market, compared to previous generations of wireless technologies. Over the past two years, operators have worked with green chain companies to build 5G networks and have grown 400 million users. During this time, they continuously developed the vertical industries and created tens of thousands of 5G industry application cases, covering 22 key industries of the national economy such as steel, grids and mining.
5G allows vertical industries to either allocate public network resources for specific purposes or to deploy dedicated private networks. Private 5G has been favored by many industries and large companies. At PT Expo 2021, ZTE Vice President Chen Xinyu shared the challenges of private 5G and ZTE’s 5G industry product evolution strategies.
Aim for three types of scenarios
With the in-depth development of the digital transformation of the industry, the demand for private networks in the industry is increasing. As a key infrastructure for various innovative applications, 5G is becoming a rigid demand for digital transformation in thousands of industries. Chen Xinyu pointed out that there are three areas which have practical requirements and huge market space for 5G development.
The first is the industrial realm, such as smart manufacturing, network, port, and mining. The second is the area of social governance and livelihoods, such as public security, telemedicine and smart education. The third is in the area of entertainment, such as ultra-HD live streaming, AR / VR, and tourism. ZTE is optimistic about the 5G requirements in all three types of scenarios and has worked with operators and partners to achieve numerous 5G + vertical industrial applications in more than 15 areas.
Typical cases: in Nansha District, Guangzhou, the South China Power Grid, China Mobile, ZTE and many other enterprises jointly build a smart power grid. In Wenshan, Yunnan, Shenhuo Aluminum, together with China Mobile and ZTE, built a 5G smart chemical plant based on the private enterprise 5G network. Shaanxi Yulin Energy & Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., Smart Mining Company of China Coal Technology & Engineering Group, China Broadcast Network (CBN), China Mobile and ZTE have deployed Private 5G Core (i5GC + iIMS) for Dahaize Coal to provide services of end-to-end 5G VoNR HD video services and secure underground production through real-time planning and control, realizing the world’s first 5G 700M + 2.6G integration network in the coal industry. Together with prominent companies such as China Unicom and Shaanxi Coal Group, ZTE has built many 5G smart mine model projects such as the Huangling Mine.
Building a lightweight private 5G network
Behind the exploration of 5G in vertical industries, more serious challenges emerge, such as the complexity of scenarios and the fragmentation of requirements. Chen Xinyu explained that the manufacturing, network, security, and finance industries have different requirements for network coverage, reliability, security isolation, data privacy, customer mobility. equipment and network control rights. The digital transformation of the industry urgently requires a flexible and agile dedicated private 5G network, which offers flexible deployment, simple operation and maintenance, customizable functions and determinable SLA, and meets security and cost requirements. Of the industry.
Behind ZTE’s breakthroughs in the industry market is the concept of “all-in-one private 5G solution”, which creates a series of product solutions, including the TECS CloudFoundation (TCF) which integrates a variety of resources. and the lightweight, cloud-native i5GC, providing business users with a private 5G industry network that is “flexible to customize”, “easy to use” and “low cost to start the business” .
Chen Xinyu pointed out that the i5GC features small size and high performance. It integrates and strongly optimizes the functions of more than ten NF Core 5G to provide the best service at the lowest cost. “We can deploy the 5G kernel with a single server and use the integrated AI to achieve visual monitoring of operations and automatic O&M. i5GC is very suitable to be deployed in factories, campuses, hospitals, oil fields, networks, ports and other industries. Moreover, combined with IMS, it can provide industrial 5G voice services for dispatch and communication on industrial campus. “
Based on the above customized 5G industry products, ZTE launched the 5G industry cloud network integration solution iCube. “By building a lightweight 5G network close to users, equipped with a dual-core cloud infrastructure that supports virtual machines and containers, and a unified EMS to provide industry customers with connection and compute resources through synergy on demand from cloud and network. Factory pre-installation and one-click onsite provisioning dramatically reduce the complexity of building and maintaining private networks.
Transition from center to edge
Right now, private 5G is still in its infancy, and industry-leading operators, equipment vendors and companies are constantly exploring and testing. For example, in May this year, Sany Heavy Industry, Beijing Mobile and ZTE jointly launched the industry’s first CUBE 3 × 3 cloud network integration solution, achieving integrated deployment of cloud, network, applications and maintenance. It precisely matches the service scenarios of the industrial campus and incubates many innovative applications such as digital collection on demand, machine vision, digital twin, AGV cloud and integrated positioning, to improve production quality and efficiency of factory workshops.
Chen Xinyu believes that 5G will gradually move from center to edge as it enters the large-scale industry market. 5G and the edge combine to derive a series of technical innovations such as 5G MEC, heterogeneous computing, hardware acceleration and openness of the edge. 5G industry applications are driving innovative upgrade to private 5G.
“Private 5G will be further improved for industrial applications. For example, rapid delivery and iteration based on the granularity of microservices can more agile and flexibly meet the diversity and rapid customization requirements of industrial applications. The introduction of TSN can help provide high bandwidth for upstream traffic and control signals for downstream traffic. Chen Xinyu said, “On campus, there are several systems such as wifi, optics, NB and 4 / 5G. Private 5G can provide multiple access, FMC, and other ubiquitous access capabilities.
The combination of these new features and capabilities enables industrial manufacturing industries such as high precision control and LAN communication to go from wired to wireless. The launch of lightweight private 5G is not the end. On the one hand, ZTE is working with partners to promote trial building and research into private 5G business models, and promote and replicate success cases. On the other hand, ZTE has stepped up its iterative development and evolution of industrial 5G solutions to accelerate the launch of private 5G in more industrial scenarios.
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