Private 5G network fuels global digital innovation | Jobs Reply


PARTNER CONTENT: Wang Quan, Vice President of ZTE (pictured), highlights the company’s latest innovations in digitizing the economy with the deployment of a private 5G network in vertical industries.

Q1: The industry has been searching for the best way to boost 5G vertical industries. Private networks are important opportunities for operators to achieve service transformation and increase revenue. Where do you think the market for private 5G networks will develop in 1-3 years?

A: During the global commercialization of the 5G network, the private 5G network has been widely recognized as the most effective cellular network service. According to the Private Mobile Networks Member Report provided by the GSA, about 889 organizations around the world have deployed private LTE/5G networks in 70 countries and territories, and 140 private networks have been deployed in the first half of 2022. Manufacturing is the industry that deploys the most private networks, followed by education, utilities, and mining. According to a report published by Juniper Research, annual private network hardware and services spending will reach approximately $12 billion by 2023, up 116% from the estimated $5.5 billion in 2021. The private network market size will increase rapidly with the requirements of customers in the vertical industry.

Q2: It is well known that standards are a key factor in replicating the entire technology industry. How is the progress of private network standards in the ToB market with diversified requirements?

  1. In the process of 5G integration into the industry, the communication standards of 5G should be integrated into the development of industry standard systems. Industry standards organizations (such as ICE) and industry organizations (such as 5G-ACIA and 5GAA) should also combine the specifications formulated by communication standards organizations (such as 3GPP, ITU, GSMA and IEEE3) with specific industrial applications, and actively develop new technical standards and application specifications combined with 5G and the Industry. 3GPP is an international organization that researches and formulates 5G standards. So far, the first three versions of the 5G standard have all been completed. R15 applies to eMBB and some URLLC scenarios to meet 5G commercial requirements. R16 expands capabilities for industry, enhances TSNs, 5G LAN and 5G NPN supporting vertical industrial networks and building private networks, expands the URLLC of 5G capability triangle, improves reliability and latency, improves QoS assurance of differentiated services, and improves gradual 5G V2X. R17 continuously optimizes Industry 4.0, Industrial IoT and other demanding applications, introduces new enhanced functions for URLLC, and further improves 5G positioning to meet the more stringent requirements such as centimeter accuracy, and expands broadcast/multicast services to make 5G more convenient make. The new R18 improves 5G capabilities in a comprehensive way. For example, interactive communication and deterministic communication are improved and expanded. In addition, AI and communication perception will be introduced to further improve network performance and provide strong support for more service application scenarios.

Q3Industrial private networks are at the heart of 5G network development. Telecom operators need to consider the integration and development of private ToB networks based on 5G ToC networks. Please describe the changes in the construction ideas and business models of private networks in the 5G age?

A: In the 5G era, the service object of a private network has changed from a previous government agency or a few large companies to many industrial companies. Therefore, the network construction idea and the business model of private networks also changed fundamentally: According to a definition of a 3GPP R16 standard, the deployment mode of the private 5G network is divided into an independent deployment mode (SNPN, Stand-alone Non-Public Network) and an integration mode for public networks (PNI-NPN, Public Network Integrated Non-Public Network). Standalone deployment mode means that dedicated spectrum is used to build a fully dedicated network that is not shared with anyone. In this mode, a company needs to be allocated a dedicated frequency band, and the company independently carries out network construction and operation and maintenance. Depending on the sharing with the public network, the public network integration mode can be divided into two types: hybrid private network with partial sharing with the public network and virtual private network with end-to-end sharing with the public network. At present, ZTE has launched 5G private network product solutions for the whole scenario, aligning with the operators’ physical dedicated network, hybrid private network and virtual private network, providing customized products such as lightweight core network, cloud network integration and high-availability UPF+ . 5G devices for private networks are basically mature and fully commercialized. The R15 version is ready for commercial use, and the R16 version is ready for commercial use to begin with.

Q4: A private industrial network composed of 5G, MEC and core network technologies can implement local transmission and processing of enterprise data, and provide customized private network services that operate independently and are isolated from each other to meet differentiated needs of different services in different industries fulfill. and support for network features such as wide coverage, high capacity, large links, and low latency. What are the 5G private network and core network solutions or products introduced by ZTE? How to better adapt to market demands

A: ZTE launches iCube 2.0 all-in-one private network products to meet the needs of diversified scenarios, enabling operators to provide a 5G private network as a service and a new 5G digital infrastructure with extremely low cost, physical Building isolation, safety and reliability, and continuous advancement for the industry. The full-featured 5GC is targeted for group-level applications and can be deployed to provide full network capabilities and cloud capabilities. Group headquarters can manage branches in a unified way. This solution has been implemented and introduced in several large steel groups. For industrial campus applications, the standard i5GC can be deployed, and the 20Gbps forwarding function can be provided by just two rack servers. In addition, at this summit, ZTE introduced the new Mini5GC for field-level industrial applications. With ultra-small, ultra-light, ultra-simple networks and ultra-high integration, which can flexibly meet the needs of special scenarios such as safe explosion protection, flexible workplace customization, and vehicle-mounted emergency rescue in mining areas.

Q5Currently, private 5G networks bring enormous benefits to operators and industries. The operators promote the deep integration of OT, CT and IT technologies, and promote private networks in various industries supported by 5G technologies. What special scenarios will be launched and what capabilities will be extended to enable large-scale commercial replication of 1 to n private networks?

A:Through intensive cooperation with industry, ZTE has accumulated a lot of experience in key sectors. Recently, ZTE started innovating three highly customized 5G private network scenarios.

Aimed at smart mining, ZTE launched a dual-engine private network that expands the network from the ground to the underground. Based on the Mini5GC product, 1U high and A3 size, the device can be placed in an explosion-proof box. ZTE has obtained the anti-explosion certification for mining purposes, so that 5G networks can be deployed in mines. Even if the communication link between the mine and the ground is broken, the mining services will not be affected. In addition to data services, mining applications also require voice calls and voice dispatch capabilities. The iIMS network capability is added to the original 5GC network, providing a dual-engine private network with “data and voice services” and helping industrial customers to implement HD voice and video calls in the mining area.

Oriented to the power grid, ZTE launches a wide-ranging private grid, from a local area to a wide-ranging area. With the UPF+ high availability solution, when the local UPF is disconnected from the public network control plane, the emergency access capability of local services is provided by the built-in “emergency control plane”. Network slicing is used to build multi-campus distributed and fully interconnected wide area networks for the energy sector. Recently, ZTE, along with China Mobile and NARI, won the Most Innovative Private Network Project award at Network X 2022 in Amsterdam, Netherlands for its 5G green grid solution.

Focused on manufacturing, ZTE launched the private network ICE (Industrial Communication Engine), Integration of CT and OT technologies gradually evolving from production support to industrial site networks. For example, numerous applications such as unmanned crane, intelligent quality inspection, and coordination of multiple AGVs have been implemented on a large scale. The ICE private network integrates key technologies such as 5G LAN, TSN, and FRER to achieve high-precision clock synchronization, ultra-low delay and jitter, reliable network transmission, and end-to-end closed-loop coordination. Because of the advantages of freedom from wiring, flexible deployment and mobility, private ICE networks are widely used in smart factories, smart steel and smart ports.

Q6The 5G private network is the foundation and the key to the digital transformation of the industry, which requires the joint efforts of all aspects of the ecological E2E chains, connecting all links from terminals, networks and applications to vertical industries. What are ZTE’s proposals and prospects for this aspect?

A: All industries are accelerating the implementation of 5G application scenarios, and the empowering effect of 5G is gradually being released. As for the large-scale applications of 5G ToB, besides the above three typical scenarios, there are many other scenarios such as transportation and logistics, healthcare, education and public administration. The private network market is an important driver for the success of 5G in the industry. In order to accelerate new infrastructure construction and achieve continuous development of 5G ToB, ZTE will work with more industry partners in the next 1 to 3 years to combine product innovation with business model innovation and bring more scenario-based private network products and solutions to market to promote the high-quality development of the industry and accelerate the prosperity of the 5G industry.

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