ZTE Shares Next-Generation 5G IMS Core Network Architecture at IMS World Forum


25May 2017, Shenzhen, China - ZTE Corporation (0763.HK / 000063.SZ), a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, presented on the subject of DevOps-based Cloud Native IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) at the 2017 IMS World Forum, which took place 23-24 May, in Madrid, Spain. Mr Liu Wei, IMS Chief Engineer at ZTE Telecom Cloud and Core network, delivered a speech that focused on 5G-oriented next-generation IMS core network innovation architecture.

Liu Wei said: 'As the IP multimedia communication platform, IMS is now doing well in delivering multimedia communication services such as voice over LTE (VoLTE), voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) and rich communications services (RCS). However, with the arrival of 5G, voice and video-based multimedia communications are no longer confined to current methods of communications between people. The new requirements of communication between 'people and things' and 'things and things' will inevitably penetrate into vertical industries along with the growth of 5G IoT applications. In addition, 5G will provide ultra-bandwidth capabilities, making it possible to achieve the rapid development of multimedia communications services based on ultra-high-definition video, such as ultra-high-definition video conferencing and ultra-high-definition real-time video sharing. The current standard IMS architecture is too complex and has a long deployment cycle, which cannot flexibly and efficiently meet the new on-demand customisation communication needs for diverse use cases.'

For the evolution of IMS, Liu Wei said: 'The next generation IMS core network must be based on software defined networking/network function virtualisation (SDN/NFV) cloud and be an integral part of IT innovation.'

In order to build a 5G-oriented IMS as a service (IMSaaS) multimedia communication innovation platform, developers must:

  • Adopt microservices to achieve network function reconstruction from Network Function Silo architecture to Service Silo architecture;
  • Through network slicing, deliver customised services or networks-on-demand.
  • Through capability exposure, achieve in-depth intervention into third-party services to control the core mobile Internet value chain;
  • Leverage carrier DevOps, providing microservice-based IMS network slicing with a closed-loop environment that has automatic design, automatic development, automatic deployment and automatic operations and maintenance (O&M).

As the world's leading provider of IMS solutions, ZTE has worked extensively with mainstream operators worldwide and has joined many standard organisations and open source communities such as the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), 3 Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), OpenStack, OpenDaylight and Open Network Operating System (ONOS). ZTE has so far successfully deployed more than 260 IMS commercial offices and labs worldwide, and has built the world's largest RCS commercial network based on virtualised IMS for China Mobile.