Technology | Technology

ZTE unveils world first 5G base stations

Ahead of Mobile World Congress, Chinese international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions, ZTE Corporation, today announced the release a full range of 5G mmWave and Sub6GHz pre-commercial base stations.

The telecoms technology giant said it will be demonstrating the 50 Gigabytes per second peak rate of a 5G mm-Wave base station at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 in Barcelona.

This release allows operators to deploy these products ahead of time and seize opportunities in the 5G era so that consumers can enjoy the 5G ultimate rate ahead of time.

ZTE is also one of several mobile industry giants seeking an expeditious release of 5G New Radio standards to accelerate the deployment and commercialisation of 5G one year ahead of the 2020 schedule.

The release of the full range of 5G mmWave and Sub6GHz base stations has therefore paved the way for subsequent 5G pre-commercial tests and deployment by other industry giants.

At MWC, ZTE's full range of 5G mmWave and Sub6GHz pre-commercial products confirms its support for 3rd Generation Partnership Projects (3GPP) 5G new radio (NR) new air interfaces and mainstream 5G frequency bands in the industry.

The range uses massive multiple inputs, multiple outputs (MIMO), Beam Tracking, beamforming and other key 5G technologies, meeting the 5G pre-commercial deployment requirements in various scenarios.

5G Sub6GHz base stations are the smallest and lightest base stations with the industry's highest level of integration, and their data throughput can reach 10 Gbps.

In 2016, ZTE became the world's first vendor to verify the key technologies in the 5G mmWave and Sub6GHz fields and successfully completed 5G mmWave field tests with its strategic Chinese partner, China Mobile.

The company took the lead and passed all the tests in the first phase of China's 5G test, and has successfully completed 5G single-point technology and prototype verification and has now entered the 5G solution verification and product research and development (R&D) phase.

Senior Vice President of ZTE, Zhang Jianguo said: "ZTE will continue its innovation in the 5G field to meet the product and service needs of customers. ZTE will occupy a place in the world's first 5G commercial market and lay a solid foundation for the future Internet of Things (IoT)."

In a related development, ZTE also announced that it has launched the next generation 5G IT baseband unit (BBU) with Intel® Corporation.

The IT BBU is the world's first software defined networking/network function virtualisation (SDN/NFV) technology-based 5G RAN solution.

By utilising advanced SDN/NFV virtualisation technology, the modular IT BBU is compatible with 2G/3G/4G/Pre5G and supports cloud-radio access networks (C-RAN), distributed-RAN (D-RAN) and 5G central and distributed units (CU/DU), which equips it with a robust ability for future development.

Energy efficiency

A new generation of modular baseband processing platform, based on Intel® architecture, the IT BBU has a large capacity, high integration, and multi-mode flexible networking features. It can significantly reduce energy consumption with sophisticated algorithms and mechanisms, support vertical business and multi-scene flexible deployment, as well as support 4G and 5G hybrid networks to effectively protect the operator's investment.

Traditionally, mobile networks expand scale and functions by increasing hardware, but this method increases energy consumption as well as operation and maintenance complexity. The result is increased total cost of ownership (TCO), which is harmful to a network's long-term development and evolution.

"But ZTE's new generation network platform, utilizing  SDN/NFV technologies, can help address these challenges. By virtualising the functions of network equipment, the baseband processing platform can carry diversified network functions more flexibly, thus significantly accelerating network deployment and optimisation, in addition to reducing the overall investment cost," a statement from the company said.

Jianguo Zhang noted that Intel technologies power the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices, so ZTE is very pleased to be partners with Intel in the field of 5G "and our deep cooperation will support our two companies' long-term development."

"We see Communications Service Providers quickly adopting SDN/NFV technologies as the foundation of 5G networks," said Sandra Rivera, Corporate Vice President of Intel Corporation.

She said "Our goal with ZTE is to accelerate commercial, cloud-ready 5G network solutions. By using the latest Intel® architecture processors at the intelligent edge, ZTE has demonstrated that this network transformation can be realized for 5G networks requirements, including ultra-low latency, very high bandwidth and expanded capacity."