Recently, at the MWC2019 Shanghai, Tu Jiashun, principal scientist of ZTE NFV/SDN, gave a keynote on the topic of "Hopping or Step by Step? Towards SA & Full Capable 5G Network" , elaborating and comparing the SA/NSA industry chain, network architecture, key capabilities, evolution path and more. ZTE "5-option" Common Core solution achieves 4G/5G converged access and smooth switching, bringing customers with full-capability 5G experience, and maximally protecting operators’ investment, to pave the optimal way of network evolution.
The deployment of 5G networks is getting closer and closer. Operators are beset by how to deploy core networks to access 5G networks. On the one hand, the traditional EPC network may not meet the ever-changing requirements for 5G vertical services. On the other hand, the SBA-based 5G Core also brings great strikes to traditional telecom networks, such as interconnection reconstruction of existing network devices and changes in O&M modes.
In the keynote, Tu Jiashun elaborated how to deploy 5G, select NSA or SA, how to interwork with the existing network, how to smoothly cut over users, and how to operate and maintain the network.
To meet users' requirement of using 5G to experience large bandwidth services, the core network can be deployed in two ways: transforming EPC to support 5G wireless access (5G NSA Option3) and directly deploying 5G Core (5G SA Option2).
The biggest problem of transforming EPC to support 5G access is that it does not support network slicing function and cannot meet the requirements of 5G vertical industries for network slicing. In addition, this solution is a transitional solution for evolution to 5G. After 5G Core is deployed, the reconstruction cost of original EPC networks will be wasted.
Whereas, directly deploying 5G Core can maximally meet service requirements and avoid unnecessary investment waste, which is the best cost-effective evolution. However, due to the maturity of terminals, the large-scale commercial use of 5GC SA industry chain is expected to be later than that of 5GC NSA. In the current 3GPP specifications, the 5GC R15 specification has been officially released. System equipment and terminals complying with this specification will be ready for large-scale commercial use in Q4 2019.
ZTE "5-option" Common Core solution can meet the full access and convergence requirements of 3GPP Option2/3/4/5/7 at the same time, and support both 3GPP R15 SA and NSA deployment. Operators can flexibly deploy SA, NSA or SA&NSA in the same network according to the requirements of their own networks, so as to quickly construct a simplified and efficient basic network. It will help operators gain dual leading in technology and time in the 5G construction tide, paving the way for efficient 5G construction and smooth evolution.