- Claims it solves the problem of bandwidth upgrades
- Single-hop device forwarding latency is less than 0.5 microseconds
- Claims network can hit 99.9999% reliability
- Supports end-to-end slicing and 5G differentiated services
As we pointed out a week or so ago, (see - ZTE claims lead on 5G core network maturity) we can now expect the technology marketing spotlight to fall more on things like the 5G transport network and less on the radio bits which, if the rate at which 5G technology vendors and telcos are announcing successful trials and ‘firsts’ with 5G New Radio is to be believed, is increasingly a done deal.
Now the real fun starts
The 5G the early movers are going to deploy is non stand-alone and runs across the existing 4G RAN and core. It is basically a sped-up (slightly) and capacity multiplier for mobile broadband as we pretty-much know it.
The shiny 5G which is supposed to ‘really’ provide the ‘transformational’ capabilities promised - endless bandwidth and vanishingly small latency, network slicing and so on - will likely require a highly automated network based on NFV and SDN and that’s where the next level of competition is going to occur.
So enter ZTE. If Huawei represents (in the main) the Chinese push into radio, ZTE wants to stake a claim in the transport network, in the teeth it must be said, of growing hysterical opposition in the US to it getting anywhere and challenging US leadership.
It’s latest step has been to set out what it intends to advance to meet 5G transport requirements, which it has done with a white paper, “Meeting 5G Transport Requirements With FlexE.”
Technical details and a link to the white paper are below
ZTE and Heavy Reading Jointly Release 5G Transport White Paper on the Innovative FlexE Channel Technology
16 January 2019, Shenzhen, China – ZTE Corporation (0763.HK / 000063.SZ), a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, recently released the white paper “Meeting 5G Transport Requirements With FlexE” along with the consulting firm Heavy Reading.
Based on the new trends of the 5G network architecture and the new requirements for the transport network, the white paper focuses on the key role of the innovative FlexE-based technology in the new service transport.
The white paper introduces the goals, values and key technologies of the 5G transport network solution, and provides comprehensive technical support and advice on the construction of future-oriented high-value transport networks.
The white paper elaborates four major technical features of the 5G transport solution. First, the FlexE channel technology supports on-demand bandwidth provision. It adopts large-port bonding to expand network capacity on demand, effectively solving the problems of bandwidth upgrade resulting from 5G development so that 100GE bandwidth can meet the needs of early 5G services. By virtue of FlexE bonding, the bandwidth can be upgraded to beyond-100GE by simply expanding the capacity of several 100GE ports. It simplifies network adjustment while effectively making use of initial investments.
Second, the 5G transport network solution enables ultra-low latency and ultra-stable jitter forwarding. The FlexE time slot cross-connection technology allows the user service traffic forwarding based on the physical layer so that the user packet is not required to be parsed in the network intermediate node, and the service traffic forwarding can be completed in real time. As a consequence, the single-hop device forwarding latency is less than 0.5 microseconds and the jitter is less than 30 nanoseconds, laying a foundation for ultra-low-latency service transport.
Third, the FlexE channel technology can guarantee ultra-high network reliability. By extending OAM, FlexE Channel provides with the FlexE channel-layer protection, greatly improving the reliability of customer service transport. In case of a fault, the protection switching can be completed within 1ms, enabling the entire network to reach the 99.9999% industry-level reliability.
Fourth, the FlexE channel technology supports FlexE-based flexible network slicing. By virtue of the end-to-end slicing based on FlexE and FlexE Channel, the network features both TDM-like exclusive bandwidth and physical isolation while supporting Ethernet statistical multiplexing. Therefore, it allows slice forwarding separation, management separation, fault separation and protocol separation, ensuring the deployment of 5G differentiated services.
“Operators must address many challenges to meet the unique demands of coming 5G application scenarios, and the transport network will be essential to the large-scale 5G deployments. As a viable 5G transport solution, FlexE is gaining interest and attention of operators, and the new FlexE time-slot cross-connection technology is likely to be an efficient solution for hard network slicing,” said Sterling Perrin, Principal Analyst of Heavy Reading.
By proposing a layered network architecture based on FlexE, ZTE lays a solid foundation for the research of 5G transport technology standards. The architecture has been widely recognized by the industry, making a significant contribution to ITU-T G.mtn. Moreover, ZTE’s 5G Flexhaul solution has been verified by several operators in China, Spain and other countries.
The following is the link to access the full white paper “Meeting 5G Transport Requirements With FlexE”: http://www.heavyreading.com/lg_landing.asp?piddl_lgid_docid=228757
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