5G will bring a qualitative change in the history of telecom development. Thanks to its high performance, massive connections, and flexible network architecture, 5G will greatly improve human information infrastructure and speed up industry upgrade. Many countries such as China, United State, Japan, and South Korea have taken 5G as their national strategies and have introduced policies to promote 5G industry development.
China's 5G blooms in Shenzhen. Focusing on 5G end-to-end solutions is exactly the 5G strategy made by ZTE. With an all-out effort in 5G standard development, product R&D, and commercial verification, ZTE aims to lead the 5G era through technology, commercialization and scale benefit.
Technology Leadership: Continuing 5G Innovation, Establishing a Benchmark Image
Investment in R&D is crucial to 5G innovation. ZTE invests annually 10% of its revenue into R&D and more than 3 billion RMB into 5G wireless sector. The company has set up a 5G expert team of over 4500 professionals, focusing on 5G key technologies to facilitate 5G commercial use around the world.
ZTE was the first to recognize the value of Massive MIMO early in 2009 when 5G had yet to take shape and many 5G candidate technologies emerged. Based on the global R&D think tank of ZTE, and after arduous exploration and attempts, ZTE has proposed that Massive MIMO would be the key technology to greatly improve spectral efficiency, capacity, and coverage in the 5G era. Moreover, ZTE became the first in the industry to overcome technical difficulties, develop a precise and mature channel estimate algorithm and a patented multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) scheduling mechanism, and succeed in applying them to 4G networks. 5G-like networks bring a 8-fold increase in spectral efficiency. This not only benefits operators and users, but also accelerates the industrialization and continuous innovation of Massive MIMO. More importantly, this contributes to many technical proposals containing measured data for 5G standards.
To meet the massive access need of 5G networks, small-packet data will increase exponentially. ZTE put forward the MUSA candidate solution and non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) that allowed a three- to six-fold increase in the number of users the system could access under the same time-frequency resources. This achieved free scheduling and reduced terminal power consumption significantly. ZTE, as the first drafter, led in 3GPP RAN1 and passed NOMA research project, advancing the industry standard.
ZTE boasts strong capabilities in chip design and development, aiming to develop by itself core chips for its main system equipment. ZTE’s NG BBU uses its self-developed high-performance vector processing baseband chip that provides the largest capacity and highest efficiency in the industry. With this chip, the NG BBU is destined to be another star product following the BBU 8000 series that was rated as a leading product (the highest level) by GlobalData, a well-known consulting firm. Based on its highly integrated digital intermediate-frequency chip, ZTE has also launched the industry’s lightest and smallest 5G AAU.
Commercialization Leadership: Making a Global 5G Deployment Plan, Breaking through High-End Markets
ZTE has found favor with many high-end operators for its innovative 5G technologies and solutions. It has helped China Mobile deploy the first 5G pre-commercial base station and has built the first 5G pre-commercial network in Europe. To date, ZTE has established 5G partnerships more than 20 top operators around the globe.
Those 5G operators hoping to first commercialize their 5G networks have cooperated with ZTE on 5G strategies and tests. Telefonica and ZTE jointly completed 5G network architecture and transport tests, and will further verify 5G end-to-end solutions. Orange plans to work with ZTE to conduct tests for 5G multi-site standalone network architecture in Europe in 2018. China Mobile cooperated with ZTE to run a 5G trial closest to the real 5G environment in Guangzhou and to verify 5G continuous networking. They also plan to expand the trial network to cover most areas in Guangzhou in 2018. China Telecom joined hands with ZTE to conduct the first 5G pre-commercial tests in Xiong’an and Suzhou, exploring innovative applications in vertical industries and helping China become a leader in 5G applications. China Unicom worked with ZTE to set up the first 5G NR field test site, complete relevant service verification, and implement a single-UE peak rate of up to 2 Gbps.
In November 2017, ZTE partnered with Qualcomm and China Mobile to complete the world’s first interoperability data test (IoDT) based on the 3GPP R15 standard. This is a big step for 5G to move from trial to commercial products and also a powerful force to drive 5G commercialization in the industry.
Scale Benefit Leadership: Building a Most Competitive Commercial 5G Network
The governments, operators and vendors in many countries plan to commercialize 5G on a large scale in 2020. The Chinese government has planned to build the world's largest 5G commercial network in 2020. The large-scale deployment of 5G networks in China will bring huge economic benefits. ZTE will develop more mature 5G system products and significantly improve its scale advantages to offer the most competitive 5G commercial networks to global operators and to lead in economies of scale.
By virtue of its profound TDD technical strength, ZTE boasts a full range of 5G solutions to meet flexible deployment needs in multiple scenarios. With rich experience in scale product development and network operation, the company has shipped its TDD products around the world, accounting for one third of global TDD shipments for several consecutive years. ZTE will fully leverage its advantages in the 4G era to lay a leading foundation for mature 5G commercial use and cost control.
As of the end of 2017, there was about 7.79 million 4G base stations around the world, and China had about 4.34 million 4G base stations, accounting for 55.68% of the global total according to Ovum’s report. China will surely have the biggest 5G commercial network in the world, which will bring substantial scale benefits as well as experience and cost benefits for operators and vendors.
At present, ZTE has a series of 5G solutions that support flexible, cost-effective deployment in different scenarios. Thanks to its leadership in six major 5G product lines including Massive MIMO, 5G NR, 5G transport, fronthaul and backhaul, 5G core network, and 5G terminals, ZTE is highly praised by Ovum. The latest report released by Ovum shows that ZTE is one of the two vendors that can provide complete 5G end-to-end solutions and have a more comprehensive understanding of 5G network requirements.
By relying on the leadership in 5G technology, commercialization and scale benefit, ZTE will focus on innovation to secure its leading position in the 5G era and strongly push 5G commercial availability around the globe.
5G, technology leadership, commercialization leadership, scale benefit leadership, high-end markets, NOMA