Significance of TM's NGN Project
With the 5G wave sweeping the world, Malaysia started large-scale 5G network deployment in 2021. Telekom Malaysia (TM), the largest wireline operator in Malaysia, aimed to build a new generation of SDN-based transport network that could meet 5G service needs in the next 10 years by replacing existing old networks. The new transport network will become the infrastructure for carrying 5G services and providing excellent interconnection and interworking capability in Malaysia. To achieve the goals, TM initiated a biding for its next-generation network (NGN) project in early 2020, which put higher requirements for technical solutions, network planning and equipment vendors.
In recent years, based on its in-house core chipset technologies and fast delivery of customized functions, ZTE has rapidly enhanced the competitiveness of its IP products, continuously won contracts from mainstream telecom operators worldwide, and steadily increased its market share. ZTE created a professional team to fully prepare for network planning, design and testing, so TM chose ZTE to help with its NGN project. With its enhanced product performance and fast delivery of flexible customization, ZTE has established a deep cooperation with TM, helping TM seize market opportunities in the 5G era and better serve the 5G deployment in Malaysia.
TM Builds Intelligent and Reliable 5G Transport Network with High-Performance Products
TM officially launched its NGN IP CORE network in October 2021. The NG CORE and HSE devices provided by ZTE were successfully deployed on the network (Fig. 1), marking the first important milestone in the completion of TM's NGN project.
TM's newly-built NGN network will carry a variety of services such as home broadband, voice, enterprise private line, wholesale, CDN, and wireless 4G/5G backhaul, and will become the only backbone bearer network for transmitting 5G mobile services in Malaysia.
In this NGN project, TM used ZTE's multi-service router ZXR10 M6000-S 2T/slot to build NG CORE, HSE and AGG sites. At the AGG site, the innovative satellite router solution with ZXR10 M6000-S and ZXCTN 6120 H-A were adopted to offer massive GE interfaces for large-scale access to fixed-line home broadband and enterprise private lines. ZTE also provided its ZXCTN 6100H series supporting Tbit access to construct CSR sites, offering flexible slices for 5G transport.
In terms of network design, ZTE helped TM implement interconnection of old and new planes for smooth service transition, gradually replace the old Metro-E network, and integrate with the existing IP CORE network, and finally build a large flexible intelligent transport network delivering all services. To improve the reliability and intelligent planning of links, TM employed ZTE's segment routing (SR) technology to deploy new network routing that could achieve fast route convergence, TE protection switching, flexible load sharing, and rapid response to link and node faults. ZTE's segment routing mapping server (SRMS) was also used to connect old and new network tunnels to guarantee the end-to-end tunnel transmission of existing services. Functions such as Netflow, BGP-FS, TWAMP-Light and Y.1731 were deployed as required for network transmission quality monitoring and security protection. The new network will put 5G services into operation in Malysia for the first time, meeting the complex needs of QoS, tunnel selection and bandwidth allocation in case of access by multiple wireless operators. Besides, the customized network slices based on DSCP can flexibly carry 5G services.
ZTE also supplied end-to-end 5G IP network products with full-stack SDN capability, which could be used with TM's SDN controller to quickly distribute services end to end, flexibly optimize network, and simplify O&M. This helped TM ensure differentiated SLA guarantee and maximize business profits.
Solid Foundation for 5G Project Launch
TM and ZTE project team conducted an in-depth study of the existing network and designed a network planning blueprint. ZTE also shared with TM its successful experience in SPN and IPRAN, and discussed the most suitable network deployment solution for carrying 5G services in Malaysia. Despite the inconvenience caused by the widely spread COVID-19 pandemic, the project teams of both sides overcame the difficulties and completed the meeting communications and on-site testing on time.
ZTE made in-depth analysis on service requirements of the existing network, and provided fast and flexible delivery of the customized functions. Finally, with its excellent product strength, ZTE successfully passed the tests and was highly recognized by TM. The successful completion of the NGN project has laid a solid foundation for TM to build a 5G networks on a larger scale in Malaysia.