Thursday, 17 January 2019 09:58

ZTE and Heavy Reading release 5G transport white paper on FlexE

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5G RAN Functional Unit Variations 5G RAN Functional Unit Variations

Chinese telecoms equipment provider ZTE Corporation has released a white paper “Meeting 5G Transport Requirements With FlexE” together with telecoms research group Heavy Reading.

According to ZTE,  based on new trends of the 5G network architecture and new requirements for the transport network, the white paper focuses on the key role of FlexE-based technology in the new service transport.

FlexE, also known as Flexible Ethernet is a communications protocol published by the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF).

ZTE says the white paper introduces the goals, values and key technologies of the 5G transport network solution, and provides technical support and advice on the construction of future-oriented high-value transport networks.

The white paper details four major technical features of the 5G transport solution:

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 beyond 100GE by simply expanding the capacity of several 100GE ports. It simplifies network adjustment while effectively making use of initial investments.

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.

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.

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.

According to ZTE, by proposing a layered network architecture based on FlexE, the company lays a solid foundation for the research of 5G transport technology standards.

The architecture has been widely recognised by the industry, making a significant contribution to ITU-T G.mtn.

ZTE says its 5G Flexhaul solution has been verified by operators in China, Spain and other countries.

The white paper can be accessed here.

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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