Build a 5G 2B/2C Integrated Core Network


I. Unlock the vertical industry of 5G 2B and start the new blue ocean

As the population dividend disappears and the 2C market slows down, 2B enterprise users are doomed to replace 2C individual consumers and become the leading role in 5G applications. The 2B market is undoubtedly the next key growth point. The global operators will turn their strategic focus to such fields as smart transportation, smart manufacturing and smart city, and will finally achieve a comprehensive transformation of the B2B/2X business model in the 5G era.

5G also provides operators with the opportunity to shift from 2C to 2B/2X. Operators must understand the "pain points" of various sectors thoroughly, embed flexible and diversified communication solutions into the value chain of vertical industries, reconstruct the business models of operators and industries, and drive the digital transformation of the whole society.

II. 2B/2C services vary significantly, so different network construction strategies should be adopted.

The operator has natural advantages in network construction, and can meet the basic communication requirements of Internet users. However, users in vertical industries or enterprise private networks are mostly concentrated in industries with high performance and security requirements, such as government, military, public safety, and transportation. A single 2C network cannot meet the diversified requirements of users in vertical industries or enterprise private networks, especially with respect to flexible service provisioning and on-demand services.

Criteria: The standards for the three major 5G scenarios are implemented by stages. R15 meets the commercial requirements of 2020 eMBB, R16 meets the enhanced eMBB and uRLLC scenarios, and R17 supports the full service scenarios. 2021 will be the key year for the rapid development of the vertical 5G industry, and the deployment of 2B networks needs to be accelerated.

Differentiation: The requirements of 5G applications for network are different. The differences between 2B and 2C services in different dimensions determine that a 2B network must be constructed independently. 2B/2C network decoupling perfectly isolates the impact of fast iteration of 2B network functions on 2C networks and simplifies network planning at the same time. The maintenance interface is clear, and fault location is quick.

 2C/2B Service Differentiation Contrast Analysis

III. Constitute a 2B/2C integrated network with view of the differentiated/same features

2B/2C network construction can reduce coupling, facilitating fast network construction and innovation, and simplifying planning and O&M. An independent 2B network supports a variety of 5G application scenarios. The slicing operation will help the operator create diversified business models, such as B2B, B2C and B2B2C. B2C provides differentiated forward slicing services for individuals, and B2B2C provides backward slicing services for OTT manufacturers.

  • 2B&2C integrated network reduces the cost of network construction: Unified architecture, unified platform, unified management and O&M. 2B users share some NEs of 2C network, thus reducing deployment cost and satisfying the near-exit service experience such as low latency and high bandwidth. 
  1. The 2B/2C AMF is constructed independently, and the 2C AMF serves as the default AMF.
  2. The 2B independently constructs UPF, and the central DC or regional DC is deployed in a centralized manner. The edge UPFs can be flexibly deployed and can be deployed in prefectures/cities.
  3. The 2B/2C NEFs are constructed independently, and the 2B network API GW is deployed as the third party interface.
  4. NSSF/NRF NEs are constructed in sharing mode, facilitating the storage and access of 2B/2C slice information.
  • Get close to the customer and facilitate rapid innovation and improvement of user experience: Operation is close to the customer, facilitating the operator to better understand the customer requirements and quickly convert them into network requirements. If the network is close to the customer, the network quality can be easily guaranteed and adjusted, and user experience can be effectively guaranteed. 
  1. The 5GC control plane is deployed by area, which can improve the terminal user access experience.
  2. The 5GC user plane is deployed in a distributed and on-demand manner to improve the service experience of terminal users.
  • Protect the existing IoT investment. It is recommended to inherit the existing mode of deploying IoT centralized nodes in the big connection and latency-insensitive 2B application scenarios. 
  1. The traditional IoT nodes continue to expand and develop independently.
  2. New 2B networks mainly undertake new 5G services. 2/3/4G services may be introduced later and integrated with traditional IoT control NEs (AMF/MME, SMF/PGW and PCF/PCRF).

2B/2C Integrated Network Architecture

The slice management system is constructed by center/region for unified management of 2B/2C slices

The slice management system is built at two levels: central level and regional level. It manages 2B/2C slices in a unified manner.

The slice management system are shared by 2B and 2C networks to accelerate service innovation and promotion. A two-level slice management system is set up. A level-1 slice management system is set up in the center to deliver the cross-area slice requirements to the regional DC. A level-2 slice management system is built in an area to manage slices in the area and receive the cross-area slice requirements of the center. 

2B and 2C Share the Slice Management System and are Managed Uniformly by NSMF/CSMF in Centralized Mode

Centralized construction and centralized O&M of the O&M management system  

The centralized and instensive O&M system provides unified O&M advantages. Centralized O&M avoids repeated management system construction, saves investment, and reduces costs. The unified O&M platform ensures resource focus, helps build a powerful intelligent O&M operation platform, and facilitates automatic network-wide O&M. Centralized network monitoring saves manpower O&M and optimizes the security policies in centralized mode. The versions are managed and controlled in centralized mode for secure and fast launch of new versions to improve efficiency.

Automatic operation and maintenance can achieve faster customization, self-service, and scalability, which can improve customer experience and satisfaction, promote service deployment, and improve operators' ARPU. Through automatic network slice deployment and operation, network slices can be isolated during service deployment, reducing the integration of services and network functions, speeding up the launch of new services, and improving operators' new service revenues.

ZTE Helps Operators Explore 2B Network Construction and Operation

One 2B network supports a variety of 5G application scenarios. Compared with the private network/enterprise private network in vertical industries, the B2B2X mode of 5G slicing has an advantage in nature. Slicing will gradually replace the private network. The feature of sharing slices in one network makes slicing cost-effective.

To help operators build a one-step 5G network, ZTE has launched such solutions as 5G Common Core integrated core network, 5G end-to-end network slicing and Common Edge edge computing. 5G network, which is constructed based on the Common Core solution, makes resources reusable, thus greatly reducing the investment in network upgrade and transformation. The 5G 2B2C integrated core network is a “one-step" solution, which can reduce the network investment cost by 40% and help operators implement the construction and operation of 2B network quickly and efficiently.