ZTE 5G Common Core Accelerates 5G Commercialization

Release Date:2019-07-22  Author:By Liu Rui   Click:

ZTE 5G Common Core based on 3GPP R15 SBA provides key features such as cloud native, network slicing, CUPS, stateless design, and containers to meet the requirements of operators in various application scenarios such as eMBB, mMTC, and URLLC. It makes full use of advanced technologies including NFV, SDN, cloud computing, and big data to create a 5G core network (5GC) that leads in architecture, test and technology. With its substantial improvement in technological innovation, market progress, industrial evolution, openness and cooperation, ZTE has established a leading image in the global telecom field.

Technological Innovation

Compared with traditional networks, 5GC construction faces four major challenges: new architecture, multi-networking, multi-system coexistence, and complex network operations. ZTE 5G Common Core is based on SDN/NFV that enables operators to re-architect their networks. It adopts 3GPP R15 SBA and cloud native architecture that enables agile network function. It uses end-to-end network slicing technology for the development of vertical industry. It also builds zero touch through DevOps and AI, enabling automatic network operations.

ZTE 5G Common Core can meet the full access and full convergence requirements of 2G/3G/4G/5G/Fixed and support 3GPP R15 SA and NSA deployment modes. Operators can flexibly deploy SA, NSA or dual SA and NSA modes in the same network as needed. By building a network with Common Core, resources can be reused and the target 5G architecture is built in one step to avoid multiple network upgrades and reconstructions. The investment cost can be reduced by 40%.

ZTE 5G Common Core is also based on micro-service software architecture. Software delivery is changed from NE-based large granularity to micro-service small granularity. It supports fast release and gray upgrade. Based on DevOps CI and CD, new services are put online quickly. The software release period is shortened from the traditional half year to less than one month.

Moreover, ZTE CloudStudio intelligent operation solution based on AI implements automatic design, automatic deployment, automatic service provisioning, automatic test, automatic inspection, and automatic attendance. By introducing AI-based closed-loop self-healing and self- optimization, the solution monitors network status in real time, analyzes fault root cause, adjusts resources intelligently, adjusts network topology dynamically, and thus implements self-management, self- organization, self-optimization, and self- recovery to build an intelligent network. By simplifying network operations, the solution improves operational efficiency by more than two times.

ZTE is committed to helping operators build 5G networks comprehensively from center to edge, from underlying hardware to orchestration management, and from network element to service.

Market Progress

ZTE cloud core products have been highly recognized by major operators worldwide. They have been deployed in more than 450 NFV commercial/PoC projects around the world by the second quarter of 2019. ZTE has been working with more than 60 global operators to carry out 5G cooperation and tests (Fig. 1). Its 5G commercial deployment will also focus on key countries and mainstream multinational operators and provide them with 5G products and services.

—In June 2019, 5G holographic call with the transmission of voice and images in real time, was powered by ZTE and Orange at Global 5G Event and EuCNC2019.

—In June 2019, ZTE partnered with Telefonica and Bank of Santander to announce Europe's first 5G banking services in Spain. The project can provide 4K Video conference, 5G low latency cloud storage, and virtual visiting, etc.

—In April 2019, Orange and ZTE reached an important milestone on mobile network evolution. The two companies joined hands in Valencia to implement Europe's first complete 5G call including voice and data by using standalone (SA) architecture. This is the first show of 5G SA mode in Europe. The architecture used in this deploymenttest complies with 3GPP R15 SA standards and uses ZTE's end-to-end 5G commercial products.

—In February 2019, China Unicom and ZTE finished the interoperability test of 5G smart phones (like ZTE) in Zhengzhou Data Center. In January 2019, ZTE and China Unicom (Guangdong) jointly made the first call based on 5G smart phone in Shenzhen 5G field and completed the verification of multiple services such as WeChat multi-party voice call, online video, and web browsing. 

—In February 2019, ZTE was the first to complete the IoT test of its 5G core network based on R15 SA standard organized by China Telecom. In September 2018, ZTE helped China Telecom implement the first 3.5-GHz 5G SA end-to-end VoNR in Xiong'an field.

—In December 2018, ZTE took the lead in completing IMT2020's Phase-3 5G core network tests including performance stability test and security test. This is another breakthrough after ZTE successfully completed the SA 5G core function test at the end of September 2018, fully verifying the maturity of ZTE's 5G core network system.

—In November 2018, China Mobile and ZTE took the lead in completing the first phase infield test of 5G core based on SA architecture.


In June 2019, ZTE won the "Leading Contribution to Network Slicing" award at the 5G World Summit for its 5G slicing wholesale solution.

In April 2019, ZTE won the "Best Telco Digital Transformation" award at the 5G MENA Forum held in Dubai for its 5G-oriented core network evolution solution (Africa). 

At the end of 2018, the annual ICT List launched by Communication World once again brought the ICT industry chain to the center stage. With its outstanding performance in 5G and SDN/NFV, ZTE 5G Common Core Solution won the “2018 5G Core Network Excellent Solution” award and ZTE 5GC Automated Integration Service Solution won the "2018 SDN/NFV Best Practice" award.

In October 2018, ZTE won six awards at the SDN NFV World Congress held in the Hague, Netherlands, including the "Best New Cloud-Native VNF", "Best New Open Source Product", "Best New Cloud Infrastructure", "Best New Automation and Management", "Best Network Edge", and "Best Edge & Access Solution" for its Common Core solution, TECS CloveStorage, 4MIX distributed cloud solution, CloudStudio solution, vBRAS solution and CO re-architecting solution respectively. These awards demonstrate the industry's recognition of the technical and commercial capabilities of ZTE's SDN/NFV products.

Industry Evaluation 

In October 2018, the world-renowned consulting firm GlobalData officially released the 5G report: 5G: Review of 5G Technology Readiness and Commercialization. The report introduces in detail the development of 5G standards and the global 5G commercial process, and makes multi-dimensional comparative analysis of mainstream vendors in the telecom industry. ZTE's 5G core, RAN, and transport are all rated as leaders, keeping the leading position in the industry.

In February 2019, ZTE was evaluated as a leading supplier in the white paper ZTE Accelerates Carriers' Migration to the 5G Core Network officially released by OVUM, a global research and consulting firm. The white paper describes how operators can build an agile, automated 5GC to improve operational efficiency and business revenue in response to the 5G network transformation in the telecom industry. It also shares ZTE 5G Common Core solution and highly recognizes ZTE's leading innovation capabilities and competitive strength in 5GC standard, technology, and commercial practice.

Openness and Cooperation

So far, ZTE has joined more than 50 open source communities and standardization organizations such as ETSI, 3GPP, and IETF. As a platinum member of LF Networking, LF Deep Learning and Ceph, and a gold member of Openstack and CNCF, ZTE has cooperated with mainstream manufacturers in the industry, has been deeply involved in open source communities, and has been committed to building an open and win-win ecosystem (Fig. 2).

ZTE, a leading international provider of integrated telecom solutions, has been focusing on the 5G field to be a pioneer in 5G. It has been committed to working with mainstream operators around the world to promote the development of 5G technologies and standards, and accelerate the process of 5G technological innovation and commercialization.


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