ZTE 5G in Full Swing in Four Fields

Guest author

September 11, 2017

6 Min Read

2017 is a vital year for 5G development. It has been widely accepted in the industry that 5G will be commercially available in 2020. Accordingly, 5G has developed from the stage of heated discussions on the industry trends into the pre-commercial verification stage, and global 5G industry leaders have launched their first field tests.

This stage will be a testimony of strength. Following the promotion of the “Leading 5G Innovations” branding logo and the debut of mmWave and Sub6GHz pre-commercial 5G product series at MWC 2017, ZTE got fruitful results in four 5G fields in the first half of 2017, namely, standards, products, tests, and industries, consolidating its leading position globally.

Contribution to 5G Standards and Key Technologies

ZTE always plays an industry-leading role in 5G technology verification and product-based development. By taking 5G development as its core strategy, ZTE has been making an annual investment of CNY 2 billion in 5G R&D since 2017, and boasts more than 3,000 5G R&D engineers worldwide.

ZTE is a major participant and contributor to the research on global 5G technologies and standards. Since January 2016, ZTE has submitted more than 4,000 international proposals concerning 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR), and obtained three editor seats in key 5G specifications. In addition, ZTE initiated and played a leading role in NOMA, a key technology focusing on the physical layer aspects of 5G NR, and led the research on the NOMA project as the first speaker. In August 2017, ZTE expert, Gao Yin, has been elected as Vice Chairman of 3GPP RAN3.

ZTE proactively participates in the discussions for formulating 5G standards, and has joined more than 40 standardization organizations, alliances, and forums. In addition, ZTE is a member of many international standards organizations and industry alliances, including ITU, 3GPP, IEEE, NGMN, ETSI, IMT-2020, GTI, OpenFog, CCSA, 5GMF, 5GIA, and 5GAA.

ZTE’s symbolic technology, Massive MIMO, has been commercially deployed in China, Japan, Spain, Austria, Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, and many other countries. This technology has gained industry-wide attention and recognition for its outstanding performance in enhancing network capacity.

Full Suite of Products and Flexible Solutions

ZTE’s mmWave and Sub6GHz pre-commercial 5G product series are involved in 5G NR tests in many countries and regions. These products support 3.5GHz/4.5GHz low frequencies, and the 3.5GHz product is the industry’s smallest and lightest product with pre-commercial capability. As for the high frequency bands, ZTE’s products support 26GHz/28GHz, and ZTE was the first to complete the test of high-frequency 26GHz products in China’s 5G test. These products supports Massive MIMO, Beam Tracking, Beam Forming and other key 5G technologies, meeting the pre-commercial 5G deployment requirements in various scenarios.

Industry-Leading Role in China’s 5G Test

China’s 5G test on technological research and development is the world’s first 5G test led and planned by the government. In Phase-II of China’s 5G test, ZTE passed all the test items, conducted verification tests in seven typical 5G application scenarios, and set multiple new records. In the eMBB test scenario, ZTE set a new record for the peak throughput in the low-frequency test, with the cell throughput exceeding 19 Gbps. ZTE was the first to complete the 26GHz high-frequency test, with the single-user rate exceeding 13 Gbps. In the mMTC test scenario, ZTE increased the overload rate of connected terminals by 600 percent, with a massive access capacity of 90 million connections/MHz/hour/cell. In the uRLLC test scenario, ZTE achieved an ultra-low latency of 0.416 ms. In the hybrid test scenario, ZTE built a unified network supporting the air interfaces in eMBB, mMTC, and uRLLC scenarios through network slicing and low-frequency base stations. The test result showed that the single-cell peak rate reached 15 Gbps, the air interface latency was lower than 0.416 ms, and the massive connectivity capability was higher than 90 million connections/MHz/hour/km2.

China’s 5G test on technology R&D can be divided into three phases: key technology verification, technical solution verification, and system solution verification. ZTE will then participate in phase-III, to verify 5G network functions and performance, and get prepared for constructing commercial 5G networks in the future.

 Building a Brighter Future together with Operators

In June 2017, ZTE and China Mobile carried out Sub6GHz 5G field tests in Guangzhou. At MWCS 2017, ZTE and China Mobile showed the 5G field test live, where the single-user peak downlink rate was higher than 2 Gbps with a bandwidth of 100MHz. In the next phase, ZTE and China Mobile will carry out multi-site networking tests in the next phase, involving 5G wireless coverage, throughput, mobility, and latency.

In June 2017, ZTE and SoftBank (Japan) announced a 5G field test in the 4.5GHz band in downtown Tokyo. SoftBank had previously announced that it would launch a nationwide 5G Project based on Massive MIMO in Japan, with ZTE being a major partner.

In June 2017, ZTE and China Unicom launched the first 5G NR field test site in Shenzhen. This field test used the integrated end-to-end 5G solution provided by ZTE.

After signing the 5G MOU with Telefonica in April 2016, ZTE and Telefonica completed the phase-I 5G test focusing on network architecture in December, including the next-generation core networks and adaptive U-Plane. ZTE and Telefonica will complete the RAN Split test in continuous 5G coverage scenarios.

Previously, ZTE had signed 5G strategic cooperation memorandums with China Telecom, U Mobile, Telnet and many other top operators, been listed among the first key partners by China Mobile and Deutsche Telekom for their 5G Joint Innovation Lab and 5G innovation laboratory program, and established a strategic partnership on 5G with Korea Telecom (KT).

Promoting Collaboration within the Industry and across Vertical Industries

In March 2017, ZTE, China Mobile, and Qualcomm announced that they planned to jointly carry out the world’s first low-frequency 5G IoDT test in line with 3GPP R15 specifications. This tripartite partnership integrated the entire industry chain, including industry-leading terminal/chip manufacturers, wireless & core network equipment manufacturers, and operators, to promote rapid verification and large-scale commercial use of 5G NR technology in the wireless ecosystem.

ZTE collaborated with Baidu, China Mobile, and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications to verify the key technologies of automatic driving, and became a member of the Apollo alliance, 5G Automotive Association, and other intelligent/automatic driving industry alliances.

ZTE is in collaboration with the 5G research centers in Tsinghua University, Southeast University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and many other colleges and universities to promote 5G development.

Following the trends in 5G development, ZTE will go all out with industry partners to bring 5G into reality in standards, spectrum, technology, architecture, practice, and ecology fields. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. ZTE is willing to embrace the great 5G era with innovation, practice, collaboration, and win-win philosophy.

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