Recently, at the ZTE 5G Summit, Dr. Bai Gang, VP of ZTE, the topic “Continuous innovation promotes 5G Value Growing”. In his speech, he mentioned several innovative ZTE solutions that can bring significant value to 5G promotion and industrial partners. Based on the key points in the speech, RCR Wireless interviewed Dr. Bai Gang.
Q1: In your presentation, you mentioned that ZTE is the first in the industry to launch AI-based Intelligent Orchestration Solution. Can you share some more information on what the goal is and how it works?
This year, ZTE launched the industry’s first intelligent orchestration solution – Radio Composer. With AI-based engine, To provide multidimensional network perceptions through BBU’s built-in intelligence and multi-layered computing power in the radio network, the goal is to optimize the user experience and network efficiency. Radio Composer enriches a reliable and resilient 5G network by adaptively managing its resource to track and match service requirements with AI.
Inside the solution, user orchestration takes users as orchestration objects to achieve intelligent user management and planning. From field application statistics, the average throughput for the cell edge user can be improved by more than 300%, the handover delay can be reduced by more than 50%. And network orchestration takes network resources as orchestration objects to achieve orchestration for spectrum, frame structure, and beam. By activating the network orchestration function, the spectrum payload and the frequency utilization rate are significantly improved, which reduces the network payload by 30% and saves operating costs by 50%. It is a powerful tool for operators to develop and operate 5G networks in the post-5G era. ZTE has verified the solution together with several operators and achieved excellent results.
In addition, intelligent orchestration is a solution in constant development. It currently supports user orchestration and network orchestration. In the future, we will explore more features, such as joint orchestration and purpose-driven orchestration, to achieve comprehensive network utilization efficiency and user experience optimization.
Q2: You’re talking about the NodeEngine solution, which is unique to the industry. Can you tell us more about its applications and benefits?
ZTE’s unique NodeEngine is the industry’s first and only solution with a built-in base station edge computing engine. With only one card that can be easily connected to the existing 5G BBU, it enables the highest possible utilization of existing 5G network resources to deliver private networking capabilities to businesses. Quick implementation with one hour of configuration and activation is no longer a dream. Although the solution is only based on one table, the capacity is relatively large. It supports 10 Gbps traffic relief. It also supports edge QoS features that guarantee service SLA, and the NodeEngine self-service portal can be provided to the company to manage the private 5G network and real-time service after operator authorization.
A typical example of NodeEngine is at the SANY Changshu 5G smart factory in China. In this case, 5G-enabled machine vision helps the factory implement features such as intelligent material cutting, multi-system collaboration, unmanned hazardous production, automatic assembly and intelligent quality inspection. This reduces labor costs by 64% and the number of product defects by 14%. The intelligent 5G storage improves the connection quality of unmanned AGV wagons and ensures a latency of no more than 10 ms. It achieves high-speed and stable operation of AGV transport operations and scheduling control, increases inventory management efficiency by 50% and reduces overall costs by 20% -30%. The success of projects like Changshu Factory has made SANY really feel the benefits of digital transformation. It is estimated that after the digital upgrade, the downtime of the equipment will be reduced by 50% and the equipment utilization rate will be increased from 35% to 75%.
These kinds of efficiency improvements happened quite often in 5G industrial applications using ZTE NodeEngine solution, as ZTE has opened wide collaboration with over ten industries and over 70 commercial projects.
Q3: AIVO solution from ZTE is very interesting. Can you elaborate a little more on this solution?
With the development of 5G, operators face three major operational challenges: difficult to troubleshoot complex networks, difficult to define problems among different services, and difficult to satisfy personal demand.
Big data and AI-based AIVO digital operating solution enables data-driven operational innovation, which offers more than 150 AI algorithms, and identifies more than 15,000 types of services, thus gaining real insight into service and user. Based on intelligent digital platform, AIVO can assist operators in the following areas: Precise planning, intelligent operation and market development. Take Intelligent Operation as an example, AIVO supports visualized AI model training to actively predict and prevent network outages and enables automatic diagnosis and recovery through intelligent fault management, improving O&M efficiency by 20%.
To date, AIVO has been used in more than 70 networks around the world and won the trust of its customers.
Q4: Earlier you talked about a few innovative solutions, they are easily accessible for the current 5G network. What about the future? What is your vision of some future solutions for e.g. 5G-Advanced?
One thing that quickly popped into my mind is ZTE MetaRadio, which uses the reconfigurable intelligent MetaSurface to enhance the performance of the 5G network in a cost-effective way. It’s a kind of 6G technology brought to the 5G Advanced era. Just as ZTE did with the Pre5G Massive MIMO, a 5G technology was brought forward in the 4G era. Normally, with the electromagnetic signal reflection from ordinary material, the wireless channel is considered passive or fixed. With ZTE MetaRadio, however, the wireless channel can be considered active or reconfigurable. Thus, it is possible to greatly improve the performance of the overall wireless system. For example, if we put MetaRadio in 5G networks, the potential benefits include the reduction in the number of sites and the power consumption of improved site coverage, especially for mmWave, and the improved user experience due to better coverage.
Another important area is AI (Artificial Intelligence). AI is certainly not new to us. But what’s new and interesting to know is that AI is expected to be the core functionality of 5G Advanced networks. AI and wireless technology will evolve and evolve hand in hand with each other. 5G advanced network will be developed to better support AI. And AI will also be designed to further enhance the advanced 5G network. And the locations of AI can be different, on the radio network, on the core network, on the edge and in the terminals. And the joint treatment of them can potentially improve the system’s performance and user experience and bring more services.
These are just two interesting areas. We work on 5G Advanced from many areas, such as architecture level, equipment level and solution level.
Question 5: You summed up in your speech with the 3-E concept and 5G providing value for customers. Can you shed more light on this concept?
First, the B2C market is the basic foundation of wireless and 5G. However, the B2C market for wireless is quite mature. The key mission for operators is to maximize the value of the network. Second, the B2B market will bring new revenue streams to 5G with enormous potential. Therefore, the key mission of 5G here is to create new value for the B2B market to monetize the new business flows. Finally, wireless communication has always been a sustained effort for innovation, so 5G will definitely evolve into 5G Advanced and 6G. But we do not innovate for the sake of innovation, our innovation aims to maximize and create new value for our customers.
Thus, we arrived at 3-E’s. Expansion, improvement, efficiency.
- Extended options, such as higher capacity, optimized coverage and massive connections. This aims to help customers build a solid network foundation to maximize 5G network value.
- Improved performance, such as high bandwidth, ultra-reliability and low latency. This aims to help operators build new features for new services, especially in the context of expanding industrial cooperation.
- Efficiency improvement, such as energy efficiency, spectral efficiency and operational efficiency. This aims to make the network and operations more efficient from the overall cost of ownership perspective. Thus, our customer can operate the network with the best price-performance ratio and be competitive in the market.