In 2016, ZTE was named as a leader for its 4G LTE solution in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for LTE Network Infrastructure report, its cloud networks were widely recognized in the industry, and its award-winning Pre5G was to go into commercial use. ZTE also kept ahead in its 5G research and tests. With significant improvements in technology innovation, market expansion, stable operation and other great contributions to the industry, ZTE has become a leader in the global wireless arena.
4G Leader in the Wireless Market
ZTE is named as a leader for its end-to-end LTE solution in the new Gartner Magic Quadrant for LTE Network Infrastructure 2016. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is one of the most influential research reports in the industry. Gartner, as a witness to ZTE’s fast growth and notable achievements in the wireless sector, says, ZTE is a key player in the global 4G mobile infrastructure market, and ZTE has become increasingly visible in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Feedback from CSPs includes praise for ZTE’s flexibility and responsiveness specifically during the initial rollout phase. Its recently improved marketing communications also help it gain visibility. According to the LTE eNodeB Assessment report released by the competitive analyst firm Current Analysis in December 2016, ZTE was promoted from a “strong” rating in the previous year to a “very strong” rating, taking the lead in overall product rating. Recognition from two professional analysis firms have demonstrated that ZTE has won a good market and analyst reputation and has established itself as a leader in the industry.
In 2016, ZTE made a triumphant breakthrough with its wireless products in more than 60 untapped markets including Japan, Italy, Belgium, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Indonesia, and Peru. ZTE gained a significant growth in Asia Pacific, Western Europe, Latin America and other regions. Its TDD-LTE shipments remained one third of global market share, while FDD LTE products gained 20% year-on-year growth. ZTE’s performance in the 4G market was remarkable, with total shipment exceeding 25% of global market share.
Technology innovation is one of ZTE’s core strategies. On January 9, 2017, ZTE’s key technologies and applications of TD-LTE won the “National Science and Technology Progress Special Award 2016” award at the National Science and Technology Award Conference. As one of the main accomplishers, ZTE received the national commendation with seven specialists on the honor’s list. Dr. Xiang Jiying, Chief Scientist of ZTE, was named “The Distinguished Engineer” for his advanced achievements on 5G research. At the TD-LTE Innovation Conference held by TD Industry Alliance, ZTE won seven awards for its remarkable contributions to TD-LTE standards, technologies, systems, network applications and terminals.
With innovative technical solutions and differentiated product series, ZTE has achieved outstanding performance in 4G market applications. ZTE continued to win 4G commercial network tests conducted by third parties and is now able to build premium-quality networks for operators. ZTE helped China Mobile build a quality 4G network that was awarded the ‘Best 4G Network of the Year’ by China Mobile. ZTE also helped China Telecom deploy a 4G network, which ranked top in terms of network performance. In a third-party network evaluation organized by Guangdong Unicom, ZTE’s 4G network came first in performance. In a network rating by Guangdong Mobile, ZTE’s 4G EPC ranked first in customer satisfaction.
In overseas markets, ZTE helped Hutchison Drei Austria build a mobile network that was awarded the ‘Service Champion’ award in the most authoritative service value rating and was also rated as the best network in Austria by three professional evaluation agencies (Open Signal, CONNECT, and CHIP) within one year. ZTE deployed a 4G network for U Mobile, which was evaluated as the fastest 4G network in Malaysia in a third-party network test. In Panama, Movistar’s 4G network built by ZTE was awarded the best local network. In India, ZTE won the ‘best network supporter’ award granted by Bharti for its quality network delivery. In Indonesia, ZTE built an advanced mobile network for Telkomsel, who was then awarded the ‘2016 Best Network Technology Provider’ by local media. In Pakistan, ZTE helped Mobilink build a 4G mobile network that secured the top spot in the local inter-operator benchmark (IOBM) test.
Pre5G Paving the Way for 4G-to-5G Evolution
With the explosive growth in demand for mobile broadband and Internet of Things (IoT) services, 4G networks are gradually confronted with two bottlenecks: capabilities and performance. To address these issues, ZTE was the first vendor to propose its Pre5G concept and series solutions in 2016. Pre5G enables operators to provide 5G-like performance and service experience on their 4G networks without changing the 4G terminals. It paves the way for 4G to 5G evolution.
As the bridge from 4G to 5G, Pre5G achieves a sixfold system capacity increase, a fivefold average bandwidth increase and a hundred-fold the number of connections per unit area. It involves not only the application of key 5G technologies with commercial capabilities (for example, Massive MIMO and UDN) deployed on 4G networks, but also the enhancement of LTE-A Pro technologies in 3GPP architecture such as Massive CA, 256QAM, LAA, LWA, and NB-IoT. Pre5G allows a smooth evolution based on existing 4G networks and enables rapid network deployment with lower costs, thus greatly increasing cost-effectiveness. Through different combinations of technologies including Giga+ MBB, Massive IoT and network cloudification, ZTE is helping operators evolve their 4G networks to 5G comprehensively.
In February 2016, ZTE won the Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough Award and Outstanding Overall Mobile Technology—The CTO’s Choice 2016 for its Pre5G Massive MIMO technology at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Barcelona. The MWC 2016 hosted by the GSM Association (GSMA), is the world’s most influential gathering in the mobile communications industry, and the GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards represent the highest honor. In October 2016, ZTE again won the Best Wireless Broadband Innovation Award for its Pre5G MIMO at the Broadband World Forum in London. ZTE Pre5G Massive MIMO also won several international awards from GTB, GTI, and Frost & Sullivan.
At present, Pre5G has been highly recognized in the industry and widely deployed by operators worldwide. By the end of 2016, more than 40 Pre5G networks have been successfully deployed in 30 countries by leading high-end operators around the world, including Softbank, Telefonica, Hutchison Drei Austria, and Korea Telecom. With its product performance far beyond customers’ expectations. In 2016, ZTE cooperated with China Mobile in pre-commercial deployment of Pre5G Massive MIMO in 90% of provinces in China. In September 2016, Pre5G Massive MIMO was officially put into large scale commercial use by Softbank in Japan, which became the world’s first commercial Massive MIMO network. In December 2016, Telkomsel, the largest Indonesian mobile operator, announced the commercial use of its Pre5G network. ZTE also worked with Telefonica Group and Hutchison Drei Austria(H3A) to run Pre5G Massive MIMO trials in Spain and Austria. Using the Pre5G FDD Giga + MBB solution combined with multicarrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO, and 256QAM technologies, ZTE successfully completed field tests with over 1Gbps rate in Malaysia, Belgium, Hungry and Austria. In December, commercial field tests completed in Indonesia Telekomsel, a stage of commercial deployment of Pre5G followed.
On December 30, 2016, after overcoming the technical difficulties of the industry, ZTE officially released the world’s first FDD-based Massive MIMO solution and completed a pre-commercial field test and verification with China Unicom. It provided a new path of evolution to 5G for the FDD LTE networks that are most widely used in the world. Based on the pioneering advantage of large scale commercial deployment of Pre5G, ZTE will maintain a favorable position on the 5G stage.
In February 2016, ZTE became a major member of NB-IoT (Narrow Band-IoT) Forum. In June, ZTE completed the first demonstration of NB-IoT technology verification in China Mobile 5G joint innovation center based on the innovative end-to-end solution. The demonstration realized the basic NB-IoT functions and the key features of the business flow. In October, at the Wuzhen World Internet Conference, ZTE successfully demonstrated the smart parking and water quality monitoring of a total solution of five water treatment systems (sewage, flood control, drainage, water supply, and water retention). It was the first pre-commercial network and business case that follows the 3GPP NB-IoT standard.
Forerunner in a Cloud Network Era
Responding to the network function virtualization (NFV) trend, ZTE has made outstanding achievements with its quality cloud-based network products. The company has become a forerunner in the cloud network era.
In February 2016, ZTE cooperated with VimpelCom, a multinational operator group, to build the industry’s largest commercial vEPC network across five countries. This network supports the convergence of 2G, 3G, and LTE networks. In the Digital Transformation and the Role of the Virtualized Core Network released by Ovum, VimpelCom’s vEPC project was recommended as a classic case for special study.
ZTE and Telefonica are jointly building a large scale vIMS network in Latin America, which covers seven countries and the control layer is centralized deployment of Multi Country. ZTE and Velcom (the Belarussian subsidiary of Telekom Austria Group) are building together the first worldwide commercial fully virtualized Core Network, including vEPC/vSDM/vCS. In October 2016, the RCS network built exclusively by ZTE for China Mobile was put into commercial service. Serving 100 million users, this network has become the world’s largest commercial vIMS/RCS.
In June 2016, ZTE’s virtualized core network (vCN) was awarded the Best Core Network Product at the 5G World Summit held in London. This award honored ZTE for its role as a brave and outstanding future network advocator and a leader in the new telecom era.
In November 2016, ZTE’s Cloud Works solution won the NFV Innovation of the Year award from Telecom Asia, one of Asia’s most authoritative telecommunications publications, spotlighting its leading position in the network functions virtualization field.
To date, ZTE has deployed more than 180 commercial cloud core networks and PoC trial networks around the world and has established in-depth cooperation with global mainstream operators such as Vodafone, Telefonica, VimpelCom, Deutsche Telecom, Bharti Group, Telekom Austria Group, Telenor, and China Mobile.
5G Pioneer with Leading Technologies
As one of the world-leading 4G telecom equipment and solution providers, ZTE has always been committed to technology innovations. ZTE takes 5G as its future core strategy, and is investing over 1 billion yuan into 5G research and development every year.
ZTE aims to occupy a place in the world’s first 5G commercial market. In addition to increasing investment in technology, ZTE made a number of feature labeling technology and will also speak louder in the field of 5G standard fields. In addition, ZTE will strengthen the vertical integration of the industry, and, with an open mind, to provide a comprehensive solution. Together with the partners from IoT, car networking, to Industry 4.0, ZTE will create a world of mobile Internet.
ZTE has maintained an industry-leading position in 5G technical validation and product development. 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 outstanding performance, ZTE took the lead in passing all the tests in the first phase of China’s 5G test.
At present, ZTE 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. ZTE releases a full range of 5G pre-commercial base stations, and gets ready for 5G pre-commercial deployment. ZTE’s full range of 5G mmWave and Sub6GHz pre-commercial products showcased 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 input, multiple output (MIMO), beam tracking, beam forming 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. ZTE’s 4G/5G converged network solutions are to ensure the smooth evolution of customer networks, high/low frequency hybrid network, cooperation, simultaneous implementation of continuous coverage and good experience in hot spot.
As one of the key 5G technologies, Massive MIMO plays a vital role in improving frequency efficiency and air interface bandwidth. So far, ZTE’s Pre5G Massive MIMO has been widely deployed with China Mobile, Softbank (in Japan) and other global high-end markets. It can solve technology and application problems caused during the commercial operation process. It will greatly accelerate the maturity of core 5G technologies and effectively shorten the period of product verification and large-scale commercial use. ZTE has applied for hundreds of technical patents, and contributed to many valuable proposals from standards organizations with regard to this technology process based on massive data collected from actual scenarios. The advantage based on the large scale commercial use of ZTE Pre5G Massive MIMO will help ZTE maintain a favorable position in the 5G arena.
In November 2016, ZTE became the member of the 5GIA to be fully involved in the European 5G technology research, to promote the industrial process. In December 2016, ZTE has announced the membership of the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) to team up with other members to promote the smart Internet of Vehicles. In November 2016, Channel Model proposed by ZTE preliminarily was accepted in ITU-R WP 5D for IMT-2020 Technology Evaluation, contributing to the development of 5G standards.
5G will be an open ecosystem in the future. ZTE is now working closely with multiple players in the industry in a joint effort to create abundant 5G experience. At present, ZTE has signed 5G strategic cooperation agreements with operators worldwide such as Deutsche Telecom, Telefonica, Softbank, Korea Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom. ZTE has also become a member of the EU’s Horizon 2020 dedicated to the 5G innovation and research.
Leading 5G innovations! Tomorrow never waits! ZTE will continue to invest in the wireless market, implement the M-ICT strategy, and explore business opportunities in 5G, IoT, SDN, NFV, and VR/AR. ZTE will also lead a healthy development of the wireless communication industry, make constant innovations, and create win-win cooperation with operators worldwide.