In 2020, China Mobile Guangdong accelerated the innovation of the 5G industry to boost industrial transformation and upgrade and achieve high-quality economic growth in Guangdong Province. To drive 5G development and simplify network O&M, the operator combines the PTN carrying 2G/3G/4G services with the new SPN transporting 5G services for provincial-level centralized deployment.
Challenges for Existing Network
In view of 5G deployment, increased SPN scale and large quantities of existing PTNs, China Mobile Guangdong begins to focus on how to manage the PTNs and SPNs in a unified manner to raise network O&M efficiency and save OPEX. Some challenges stand out:
—Independent NM deployment in different regions leads to low O&M efficiency: The PTNs in 13 prefecture-level cities are managed by six region-level U31 systems. Each region is deployed with its own control and data analysis system. The U31 system reports network alarms and performance, the DC controller activates service configuration, and the data network analysis (DNA) system analyzes data quality in the region. In this way, some problems have emerged, such as difficulty in unified O&M, heavy workload for multi-region NM upgrade, and low service configuration efficiency across regions.
—5G SPN and 4G PTN need to be managed uniformly: The operator adopts newly built SPN and L3-to-edge service configuration, and needs to provide SR, FlexE and network slicing functions, which cannot be supported by the traditional U31. Additionally, as the SPN scale is growing rapidly, the unified management of PTN and SPN requires the NM system to have large-scale network management capability.
—The conventional mode cannot meet the 5G SPN O&M requirements: With the addition of a new FlexE layer in SPN, L3-to-edge, and deployment of SR-TP service via a centralized controller, the traditional manual service configuration cannot address the network O&M needs.
ZTE Cloud-Based OMC Solution
ZTE's ZENIC ONE (UME) is a new generation B/S management and control system based on microservice technology. It offers cluster high availability and elastic system scalability, and has an ability to manage 300,000+ equivalent NEs. It supports the unified management of PTN/SPN, IPRAN, OTN and IP networks, combines AI and big data for the first time to integrate management and control as well as tools.
From July to December 2019, China Mobile Guangdong worked with ZTE to deploy the ZENIC ONE (UME) in its existing network, verified the system functions covering northbound interface, all-network topology, alarms and performance reporting, and conducted China’s largest PTN monitoring (about 160,000 equivalent NEs) in the existing network for the first time. In 2020, the system managed and controlled SPN networks with 30,000 equivalent NEs, and started to take over the management of the PTNs in 13 cities step by step. It will eventually manage and control the existing PTN/SPN networks containing 190,000 equivalent NEs in the province.
The new-generation intelligent management and control product of ZTE has solved the bottlenecks in current PTN/SPN O&M of the operator, and enabled provincial-level centralized O&M and unified PTN/SPN management, along with intelligent O&M of 5G SPN.
China Mobile Guangdong uses the cloud-based OMC solution of ZTE to realize unified PTN/SPN management and better network automation, laying the foundation for intelligent O&M.
—Higher management efficiency: One set of UME system which integrates management, control and big data analysis allows provincial-level centralized O&M. It replaces six sets of management system (U31), six sets of service automatic activation system (DC) and six sets of big data analysis system (DNA) based on local O&M in the existing network. The NM for different regions is based on a unified architecture, platform, portal, authentication mode, northbound interface and deployment, thus cutting deployment and maintenance costs.
—Smooth evolution and expansion: The new-generation management and control product of ZTE is deployed in the cloud resource pool of the operator in the form of cloud-based VMs. With the data imported into UME, the PTNs managed by U31 in the existing network are smoothly migrated to UME so that 5G SPN and 4G PTN in the province totaling 70,000 devices can be managed uniformly. UME has the ability to manage 300,000+ equivalent NEs. As the networks expand, VM resources can be added for stronger UME management capability, achieving a smooth, imperceptible expansion.
—Intelligent O&M: UME enables closed-loop management encompassing intelligent monitoring, intelligent analysis and intelligent control. It reports network data in real time and controls the networks quickly and accurately in cooperation with intelligent AI analysis for intelligent O&M. UME makes SPN deployment more efficient by reducing the basic configuration steps and increasing NE deployment and provisioning efficiency by 70%. It automatically activates 4G PTN and 5G SPN services, reduces the average service delivery time to less than two minutes from 15 minutes required by the traditional manual configuration mode, and improves the efficiency by 87%. The in-band OAM supports accurate perception of network status, hop-by-hop performance detection and reporting to facilitate network fault localization. With equipment SR-TP protection, IGP convergence-based SR-BE escape path protection and controller dynamic rerouting, SPN enables service protection switching and subsecond-level dynamic recovery against multi-point failures, improving service security and recovery efficiency.
China Mobile Guangdong boasts the largest mobile communication network in the country, and demands a high network quality. The 5G SPN commercialization has exemplary significance in the country. Based on the commercial deployment of ZENIC ONE (UME), ZTE will further improve 5G SPN O&M capability, and speed up the deployment of functions like fast NE provisioning, automatic service activation, dynamic bandwidth adjustment and in-band OAM to make O&M intelligent and convenient, building a superb network for the operator.