ZTE brings 5G transport network solution

ZTE Corporation has released the industry’s first IP+Optical 5G Flexhaul solution, a fronthaul and backhaul integrated solution — based on Internet protocol (IP)+Optical technology.

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The latest 5G transport network solution from ZTE provides unified transport of 5G fronthaul and backhaul services on one device, as well as more bandwidth, low latency and software-defined networking (SDN)-based traffic engineering.

ZTE said its 5G Flexhaul solution can reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) by 30 percent compared to traditional solutions.

Traditional telecom networks need structure reconfiguration, equipment upgrade and performance improvement in order to move to 5G era.

Global telecom operators’ big challenges are building an efficient and cost-effective bearer network to meet the requirements for bandwidth, low latency and cloudification of core networks and radio access networks (RANs) in the 5G era.

ZTE’s 5G Flexhaul solution combines Flex Ethernet and IP+Optical architecture and provides super-large flexible pipeline transport capability for 5G fronthaul and backhaul services. The 5G Flexhaul solution implements end-to-end (E2E) application of IP+Optical synergy and provides unified planning, scheduling, management and maintenance by SDN controllers.

IP+Optical integrated devices are used in the mass access layer to reduce network construction costs and save equipment room space. It implements super-large-bandwidth transport by multi-wavelength connection between adjacent nodes.

With the FlexE feature, it can flexibly isolate sub-channels of different services to provide optimal forwarding plane support for 5G bearer network slicing. The ZXCTN 6180H, a 5G transport pre-commercial equipment that is also showcased at MWC, is only 3RU high and supports up to 1T networking capacity of one access ring.

The latency budget allocated to the fronthaul network by 5G cloud radio-access network (C-RAN) is less than 100us.

In the forwarding plane, the 5G Flexhaul solution supports fast forwarding and ordinary forwarding modes, which can be selected according to the service type. The fast forwarding mode is used for services that are time sensitive.

ZTE said that it used the time sensitive network (TSN) technology to reduce the switching latency between the upper and lower service nodes from 30 microseconds to several microseconds. The intermediate node uses optical bypass technology to achieve a forwarding latency that is less than 1 microsecond.

“The 5G Flexhaul solution will greatly help operators build a future-proof, flexible, cost-effective and integrated 5G transport network,” said Zhao Fuchuan, chief engineer of ZTE 5G Transport Solution.