October 19-20, ZTE Wireless & Services User Congress 2017 was held in Brussels, Belgium. At the congress, Michael Howard, Executive Director & Advisor of IHS Markit, delivered a speech at the topic of “Mobile Operators: Evolving SDN/NFV Plans in Preparation for 5G”, to share his opinions with global operators, medias and analysts.

Facing a variety of application scenarios such as high speed, large capacity and low latency, to embrace the change from communications between people and people to the Internet of Everything (people and things, things and things), 5G network should be more flexible and intelligent. Michael thinks that SDN and NFV are keys to 5G network innovation, and there is no doubt that operators will deploy SDN/NFV in the 5G era. IHS has interviewed service providers that control 61% of global telecom CAPEX, and they will deploy NFV and SDN to upgrade legacy networks.

He said that, the 5G NG core will be a carrier-grade, cloud-native software platform that performs all traditional 3GPP mobile core physical and virtual functions with the goal of having all core network functions virtualized and running on all-IT open infrastructure. It will use open source software and hardware and software acceleration techniques, features control and user plane separation (CP/UP) and mobile edge computing (MEC), and is reprogrammable. According to the survey of IHS, PaaS-based network slicing and IoT applications as well as mobile core VNFs (especially vEPC and vIMS) will be the key points of operators’planning and deployment.

ZTE service-oriented 5G Cloud Native solution, Cloud ServCore, leverages flexible modularized architecture. The system is highly scalable, programmable and automated. ZTE Cloud ServCore, based on the cloud environment, achieves dynamic network resource orchestration by introducing the more flexible network resource scheduling approach of SDN. It not only provides flexible, rapid and efficient connection services for all kinds of new services of operators, and also meets fast deployment and individualized customization demands of vertical industries and IoT services, so as to address the needs of full accesses and full services in 5G era. In addition, Operators can enjoy visual design and agile operation and maintenance (O&M) of network slices through ZTE Carrier DevOps Builder.

ZTE Carrier DevOps Builder uses enhanced carrier-grade Docker technologies to release thousands of programmable end-to-end plug-and-play 5G slice customization services. DevOps provides the microservice-based network slice with closed-loop automated design, automated development, automated deployment and automated O&M environment. Meanwhile, leveraging big data and AI technologies, it performs closed-loop intelligent analysis and automated O&M hosting.

Michael also mentioned that 70% carriers plan to deploy the Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD). ZTE Cloud DC solutions uses SDN and virtualization technologies to build a resource platform based on generic hardware, so as to provide upper layer applications with the cloud environment supporting rapid deployment, convenient O&M and flexible elasticity, and to provide ICT convergent infrastructure service operation capability. In addition, this solution complies with the ETSI standard architecture and is enhanced based on OpenStack, to provide carrier-grade highly-reliable and high-performance assurance. ZTE Cloud DC solution is widely used and fully approved in massive fields in telecom, education, medical, finance, government and so on.

At this congress, ZTE demonstrated 5G-oriented network evolution and cloud infrastructure services. So far, ZTE has deployed more than 240 SDN/NFV commercial/POC offices around the world, and its vIMS/vEPC solutions have been in large-scale commercial use.


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