ZTE Drives Industrial Innovation with 5G Private Networks

ZTE is making significant investments in 5G technology. The key to its strategy is the full range of ToB 5G Private Network services that the company plans to deliver through operators. In a recent interview with Light Reading, Wang Weibing, CCN’s chief planning officer at ZTE, discussed the strategy.

1. Please explain ZTE’s private 5G strategy, its benefits to end customers and how customers access services.

An important part of ZTE 5G’s strategy is to provide innovative “Private Network as a Service” offerings. Our simple planning workflow is based on service templates, precise deployment across all scenarios, and end-to-end ToB O&M. With this approach, ZTE can help operators easily provide individual private network services to industrial customers and explore new market opportunities.

We focus on 5G private network services for industrial customers. Such customers do not need to understand complex networks to use the services. As long as they present application scenarios and cost budgets, operators can use templates to design private networks to suit their needs. ZTE’s private network in all scenarios allows you to deploy automatically and accurately, allowing industrial customers to receive private network services through a single “service order” service simply and efficiently.

2. What strategy underlies service templates and what do they help customers achieve?

ZTE has conducted extensive market research on ToB, covering Smart Factory, Smart Grid, Smart Coal Mine and Smart Healthcare. We have accumulated over 100 templates of private networking services that make it easy to replicate experiences and practices. We expect that the spread of experience will allow more businesses and market verticals to use new technologies.

3. What are examples of templates?

Using the Smart Grid as an example, we can provide the following content:

  • Private network deployment mode. Depending on the client’s network isolation requirements and budget, you can choose a standalone NPN, PNI-NPN and network part as needed.
  • Standard network services such as differential protection, automatic distribution and drone testing.
  • Other additional services such as AGV and face recognition. Network customers can choose services according to their specific industrial development plans.

Once the industrial customer and operator confirm the contents of the service template, the private network scheduling system translates the service requirements into network functions, performance requirements, and device selection recommendations. This makes planning and design simpler and more efficient.

4. What hardware deployment modes and component functions can be customized and customized for a specific customer industry?

Different businesses have different scales, functions and security requirements. ZTE provides a private network solution for all configurable scenarios.

As for equipment, we offer devices with different footprints for different environments, from a central data center to the edge. Devices include x86 servers, cloud-based and all-in-one network cabinets, a single-server i5GC and a built-in MEC at the board level.

As for the software, the functions can be combined in different service scenarios. In addition to deploying ICT components such as i5GC / iIMS / machine vision / cloud AGV, advanced features such as TSN / 5G LAN are available on demand to meet network-determined requirements in industrial management scenarios.

In deployment mode, the solution supports truncated private networks, hybrid private networks, and stand-alone private networks. Businesses with low latency and isolation requirements can use a disconnected private network based on the 5G public network. Hybrid private networks are available for businesses that require data to remain on their campus. Alternatively, UPF can be deployed on campus. Scripts with high security and isolation requirements are best served on private 5G networks.

5. What examples of 5G private network services are already in use?

So far, private networking solutions and ZTE products have been widely used in the industry. Nearly 100 industry 5G scenarios have been explored around the world, including power grids, ports, mining, manufacturing and education.

As an example, in China ZTE helped Dahaize Coal Mine deploy the i5GC, using 700M + 2.6G 5G spectrum to support automated underground operations to ensure production safety and staff safety. The advantages of this approach are small area, low power consumption and simple operation and maintenance, which reduces construction costs.

ZTE has also helped SANY Group deploy a dedicated core 5G, BBU, MEC and industrial applications in the all-in-one cloud network office. The private network provides deterministic SLAs for automated production and increases production capacity.

ZTE has helped Shenhuo deploy a private 5G network, as well as a digital duplicate system for production facilities and campus based on a determined SLA provided by the private 5G network. This helps in real time to perform advanced management of energy consumption on the equipment of production lines, which saves a lot of electricity and labor annually.

6. Looking to the future, how will private 5G networks change the way companies do business?

Private 5G network is the key to digital transformation in the space of industrial infrastructure. Combining 5G technology with industrial applications can stimulate industry innovation, improve production capacity and reduce carbon emissions. This requires fewer staff and improves working conditions.

For example, machine vision can be used with a private 5G network to intelligently check the quality of products and production equipment, reduce labor costs and improve the efficiency of quality control.

5G networks can also support robots that use high-definition video to provide automatic campus control. In another example, digital duplicate production lines can be built by collecting data from equipment in real time for debugging, optimizing the environment and reducing costs.

This content is sponsored by ZTE.

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