New Technologies Boost Comprehensive Development of 5G Vertical Applications

Release Date:2021-05-26  Author:By Bai Gang, Wang Jingfei  Click:

In the current era of moving from industrial economy to digital economy, 5G has become a new driving force for integrated innovation and new information consumption, and a new engine for industrial upgrade and sustainable economic growth. In response to ever-changing needs of the industry, ZTE has built a leading 5G precision network to stimulate the power of private networks in various industries. In innovating 5G+ industry applications, ZTE precisely triggers the industry engine and provides atomic capabilities for 5G private networks. The wireless atomic capabilities of ZTE 5G precision network include large bandwidth, low latency, high reliability, slicing, precise positioning, and local offloading.

Large Bandwidth
Large bandwidth in the uplink is required in all industry scenarios that were first put into commercial use. Typical scenarios are high-definition monitoring, remote control and machine vision, which require an uplink bandwidth of up to hundreds of Mbps or even Gbps. ZTE has proposed the 5G time-frequency dual-aggregation solution based on its mature carrier aggregation technology that uses the frame structure adopted in TDD bands and combines the uplink channel switching technology introduced by the R16 standard. The solution improves frequency utilization in both the time and frequency domains and maximizes uplink throughput. This can effectively enhance the performance of 5G network and meet the demand of large uplink bandwidth in the industry at this stage. Take the TDD network as an example. After introducing the 5G time-frequency dual-aggregation solution based on the mature commercial 2.6 GHz frequency band, its downlink throughput of a single user can be increased by 30% to over 2 Gbps, and its uplink throughput by more than 2.3 times to 1 Gbps+.

Low Latency
Low latency is required in control application scenarios. This requirement has been considered at the beginning of 5G design. 5G hopes that the one-way user-plane communication between user terminals and base stations can have the limit delay of 1 ms, so the mini-slot concept is introduced to 5G new radio (NR). The mini-slot supports the length of two symbols, four symbols, and seven symbols. A shorter time slot can reduce the feedback delay, so that key data can be transmitted within a shorter time. Moreover, the key data service such as URLLC can preempt the resources allocated to ordinary data service such as eMBB to ensure its low delay transmission. Remote control in industrial applications, such as port and shore bridge control, is a typical low-latency service. With the introduction of low-latency technology into a 5G network, the real low-latency remote control of shore bridges can be implemented, which greatly saves hours of commuting time for control personnel. ZTE has adopted the pre-scheduling technology in Tianjin Port to achieve a 5G NR control plane latency of less than 10 ms, and will continue to reduce the latency in the future.

High Reliability
Controllable and guaranteed reliability is an important symbol that distinguishes 5G from other unreliable communication systems. Reliability can be achieved by conservative scheduling at the cost of sacrificing partial spectrum efficiency. This can achieve a success rate of 99.999% for one-shot transmission, reducing re-transmission and latency. Within the allowable range of latency, 5G can also use the re-transmission mechanism to further improve the success rate of transmission. URLLC has more conservative adaptive coding modulation results and lower modulation order than eMBB. A lower modulation order can reduce the constellation points on the constellation diagram. This enhances fault tolerance of modulation and demodulation, thus improving the reliability of wireless transmission. For example, in a power-grid network where there are different performance requirements for multi-service areas and individual service areas, ZTE has proposed an innovative dynamic scheduling mechanism based on the service requirements to provide flexible and high reliability guarantee for applications.

Precise Positioning
The precision of 5G positioning has reached and exceeded that of satellite positioning, and the positioning precision of 5G R16 has reached the meter level. Based on the RF fingerprint positioning algorithm, ZTE can provide an indoor positioning precision of less than 5 meters. Benefiting from the fact that the 5G spectrum bandwidth is above 100 MHz, the positioning precision based on the time difference of arrival (TDOA) can be improved to 1 to 3 meters. ZTE has also proposed its integrated 5G positioning solution that integrates Bluetooth AOA and UWB and provides the centimeter-level high-precision positioning capability. A traditional blue-tooth label is embedded in the external antenna of 5G NR, and its power supply and status detection are carried out through the feeder. This greatly improves monitoring and management capabilities and reduces maintenance costs. Moreover, 5G and SLAM integrated algorithms can provide a more accurate centimeter-level positioning solution. The 5G network provides bandwidth guarantee for SLAM positioning, and MEC enables edge computing capability. 5G NR can also provide coarse-granularity auxiliary positioning that reduces the probability of SLAM location loss and allows an intelligent robot to operate more stably in the indoor environment. In practical applications, different integrated positioning technologies are selected for enterprises according to the environment factors and service requirements.

Slicing
To support differentiated services, multiple virtual networks can be sliced from 5G to guarantee SLA for different services in the same network. Through the "slice+5QI", different user levels are marked. For different user services, different scheduling priorities can be flexibly set to guarantee different service capabilities. In order to ensure high-reliability low-latency services, a 5G NR enables the pre-scheduling mode of these services to guarantee low latency and reduces the target BLER to guarantee high reliability. ZTE is the first to develop physical resource block (PRB) hard slicing in the industry. The PRB hard slicing solution ensures the reliability of slice services by reserving PRB resources for specific slices. For example, fixed PRB resources such as 10 MHz bandwidth can be reserved for class I slices in power production control safety areas. These resources are exclusively occupied by the slice I. Various sub-services in the slice I are then scheduled within the slice based on the 5QI priority. This ensures system security and service priority of the power control slice. ZTE has also deeply optimized the scheduling algorithm of PRB hard slices to achieve the optimization of overall resource scheduling. In addition to setting fixed PRB resource slices for ultra-high priority slices, an integrated mechanism of priority PRB scheduling and shared scheduling is also introduced.

Local Offloading
To ensure secure information about enterprise production, ZTE has rolled out traffic offload function(TOF) solution on its self-developed NodeEngine platform that can offload local services at the place nearest to the enterprise campus and thus realize direct RAN accessing of service data. This not only ensures reliable low-latency transmission of enterprise data without leaving the campus, but also prevents leakage of information about enterprise production and communication. Existing 4G terminal and new 5G traffic in the campus can also be offloaded to the local data control center. The solution only needs to insert a computing board on the base station of the campus. It is a plug-and-play mode that can help enterprises deploy digital applications locally at the lowest cost and in the shortest time, thus speeding up the pace of campus transformation.
The wireless atomic capabilities of 5G precision network combined with ZTE's NodeEngine solution can help operators and their enterprise customers accelerate digital transformation in the campuses. This provides not only TOF for operators and their customers but also value-added services for other campus applications, so that the incubation of applications in different vertical industries can be promoted in the campus. For example, Edge QoS can optimize QoS management and control of services, while eBridge allows local terminals to interwork with each other and provides network-based indoor positioning.

ZTE has collaborated with industry partners to inject wireless atomic capabilities into 5G applications and explore the path to industrial transformation. In the industrial field, 5G helps companies such as Sany Heavy Industry and Xin Fengming improve efficiency and quality, and accelerates the transition to flexible and intelligent manufacturing. With 5G river water management and monitoring implemented in Jiangxi province of China, hills there turn green and water turns clear. In cooperation with Dongsoft, Thailand AIS, and New Dongfang, 5G enables quality medical and educational resources to be accessible at any time. The holographic new media interview with Xinhua News Agency and the 5G live TV at the the 2nd National Youth Games of China have also witnessed immersive 5G experience.

With the deterministic precision network, ZTE has achieved network-cloud synergy. It can provide enterprise customers with streamlined, deterministic, and continuous precision services by empowering atomic capabilities in 5G private networks, so as to fully support digital, network-based, and intelligent transformation of the economic society.

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