With the in-depth development of industrial 4.0 and digital transformation of enterprises, more and more industries want to deploy 5GC/UPF (User Plane Function) in the campus to obtain deterministic network services. Through ultra-low-latency and ultra-high-reliability connections, the industrial control efficiency and automation level can be improved. Through deterministic ultra-high uplink bandwidth, machine vision or ultra-high-definition video backhaul can be enabled to improve product quality detection efficiency. In addition, campus data are locally processed and stored, isolated from public network, ensuring production safety and reliability. As the bridge between telcos and industries, the UPF needs to make full use of its computing and processing capabilities.
ZTE assists the digital transformation of enterprises by launching the industry UPF solution, supporting key ToB features such as lightweight design, R16 technologies, automatic deployment, and easy O&M, accelerating the development of 5G new infrastructure.
Industry applications and environments are very different from public networks. For some information management and manufacturing scenarios, the industry UPF needs to solve such problems as high costs, complicated functions, and difficult O&M. In addition, the industry UPF is required to provide functions that are more targeted and can be flexibly constructed like building blocks according to scenario requirements, and it should be pre-installed and out-of-the-box.
To solve the above pain points and meet new challenges, focusing on access and campus scenarios, ZTE customizes the UPF in multiple dimensions to meet diversified requirements of industries.
Focusing on industry applications, the industry UPF should be not large and complete, but be small and refined supporting on-demand customization of functions. The public UPF has complete functions, such as supporting 4G/5G converged access, implementing DPI, and processing and charging packets according to various policies. The problem is that its functions and software design are becoming more complicated and miscellaneous. However, the industry UPF has fixed application scenarios and functions and does not need to consider the integration and compatibility of various systems. In addition to meeting the basic access capability, the industry UPF supports industrial Ethernet protocol, VPDN service, 5G LAN and NPN functions on demand.
ZTE industry UPF provides powerful industry market and industrial environment support capabilities, and provides dedicated private network and corresponding management capabilities through 5G LAN. Industrial scenarios need Ethernet access capability. ZTE industry UPF first launched the enhanced Ethernet access solution to meet such urgent requirement. At the same time, it provides mobile private line service and mobile LAN service to replace WiFi coverage, thus greatly reducing CAPEX and OPEX. Facing the strict requirements of millisecond-level low latency, minimum jitter and 99.9999% high reliability in specific industrial scenarios, ZTE industry UPF is designed to meet the industrial environment through uRLLC dual-tunnel and dual-connectivity mechanism.
The public UPF is deployed with cloud or dedicated equipment, starting from 100Gbps throughput. It has multiple forms, including multi-rack multi-server, and single-rack multi-server. It is usually deployed in regional or central DC. The industry UPF usually has low equipment capacity and is deployed at the edge or site. To match special scenarios of industries, ZTE curtails the public UPF to provide industry UPF with the lightweight single-server form. The system throughput can start from 5Gbps, and the compact design can meet the requirements of scenarios with limited equipment rooms such as mining areas, high-speed railways, and factories, thus reducing the threshold for 5G accessing to thousands of industries.
Following the minimalist concept, ZTE industry UPF provides a series of simplified O&M methods, such as out-of-the-box, automatic configuration, automatic dialing test, fault self-healing, and self-optimization, improving efficiency and reducing cost. The industry UPF, together with management equipment such as MANO/MEO and EMS, constitute a small closed-loop O&M system. Through this system, the fault handling and system optimization of the UPF can be implemented automatically, requiring no or rare manual intervention.
ZTE industry UPF has endogenous security features of credibility, reliability, and manageability, ensuring UPF security in an all-round manner. The industry UPF is usually deployed outside the telco network. It needs to consider the dual security of the telco network and enterprise network, and provide security filtering, two-way digital authentication, data encryption, and anti-malicious attack capabilities.
ZTE has been committed to building an open industry UPF ecosystem. As a bridge between the telcos and the industry, the UPF plays an important role in enabling thousands of industries in the 5G era. ZTE industry UPF provides different exposure capabilities at the interface layer, edge layer and resource layer. The N4 interface complies with telcos’ interface specifications, and is decoupled from the SMF to welcome the arrival of the 5G digital industry era.
ZTE industry UPF bridges the 5G network and various industries, enabling digital transformation.
In the industry construction, ZTE has worked with telcos and partners to carry out extensive demonstration constructions and commercial incubation of the "5G + industry”, covering 15 fields such as industry, education, health care, media and transportation.
In the electric power field, ZTE works with the industry partner to explore the smart grid project and implement end-to-end power distribution automation based on UPF R16 technology enhancement.
In the mining field, the UPF is packaged in an explosion-proof box and deployed underground. The compact design meets the requirements for small space, low power consumption, and lower costs. The upper ground personnel monitors underground operations remotely, ensuring high reliability and high safety, and improving automatic operation level.
In the manufacturing field, ZTE builds a 5G intelligent workshop based on edge deployment and offloading of industry UPF. With 5G + AI + machine vision, it greatly improves the quality inspection efficiency and reduces workshop defect rate by 60%.
In the transportation field, ZTE deploys the industry UPF on high-speed rail to implement instant download of entertainment videos, bringing better passenger experience.
There are infinite possibilities in the future. ZTE is working with telcos and industries to lead the 5G development and build new business models and ecosystems.