OFC 2020: China Telecom Executive analyzes 5G evolution to date, suggests collaborative path forward

The 2020 OFC Optical Networking and Communication Conference, held in San Diego in March, served as the setting for a candid and informative analysis of the evolution of global 5G deployments to date, and how network operators around the world can work together to ensure 5G achieves its full potential in the future.

At the event, Qi Bi, president of the China Telecom Technology Innovation Center and CTO of the China Telecom Beijing Research Institute, shared his first-hand perspectives of 5G to dispel some of “the media hype” surrounding 5G and to map the current trajectory of 5G innovation and deployment.

For the first time, Qi said, the world is deploying a technology designed to support both broadband data connectivity and a range of business-focused machine-to-machine applications for vertical markets. Despite using a common 5G standard, operators are taking different paths to get to the same destination. According to Qi, China has been one of the true pioneers in 5G, becoming the first country to grant commercial 5G mobility licenses using the 3GPP standard in 2019.  As a result, China Telecom currently has more than 8 million subscribers on its 5G network.

For all the progress operators have made developing and deploying 5G technology, Qi said, there are still many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

Multiple access technologies may have reached the saturation point, making it more difficult to innovate in wireless.
Most of the remaining opportunities for innovation lie in the antenna area, including massive MIMO, which has become, in Qi’s words, “the trademark of 5G technology.”

Overall 5G KPI results have been mixed.
Qi said they can be divided into three categories:


  • Mobility
  • User speed
  • Efficiency

Reachable (with future investment)

  • Density
  • Connections
  • Delay

Failed to reach

  • Energy improvement
  • Peak rates

5G may be one standard, but it’s not one system.
“The hyped future of 5G by one unified standard actually requires the deployment of separate hardware systems,” Qi said.

The promise of 5G includes providing enhanced broadband connectivity, connecting millions of M2M/IoT devices, and enabling ultra-low latency applications such as AR/VR and autonomous vehicles. One 5G standard can’t do that alone. Making them a reality will require the evolution of multiple systems deployed in phases.

An integrated approach to the design and deployment of 5G networks will drive the success of 5G technology.
The challenges inherent in deploying 5G technology – including higher CapEx and OpEx costs, increasing hardware complexity, multiple applications requiring multiple systems, and unclear and uncertain new revenue opportunities – will be better served by collaboration between vendors and operators rather than competition, Qi said. He cited China Telecom’s collaboration with competitor China Unicom to build a 5G network in China as an example of the type of joint efforts that will be required to ensure 5G’s success.

A stand-alone network strategy will lead to more ubiquitous 5G coverage.
According to Qi, China Telecom is pushing the industry to adopt a stand-alone 5G network strategy versus a non-standalone strategy. A stand-alone strategy entails building a dedicated 5G network. A non-stand alone strategy involves an operator relying on its existing 4G LTE network to provide coverage and building a 5G network on top of it to act more like a “hotspot.” A stand-alone strategy is China Telecom’s preferred approach, Qi said.

Qi concluded his talk by reiterating:

  • 5G and next-generation systems will drive growth in the wireless and optical industries.
  • Ever-growing 5G data rates will revolutionize the ways we live and do business.
  • 5G and future access systems are expensive – vendors and operators should collaborate more than they compete.
  • A healthier global ecosystem with less focus on protectionism will be necessary as 5G and next-gen systems become more complex.

View the video.

China Telecom Americas, a wholly-owned US-based subsidiary of China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA), is an international telecom provider for Data, IP and Voice Wholesale services to multinational companies, organizations and international carriers requiring China domestic services and International access to China & Asia Pacific.

With headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, and offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, New York, San Jose, and subsidiaries in Toronto, Canada, and Sao Paolo, Brazil, China Telecom Americas continues to expand its strength and reach.

China Telecom Americas provides locally based, one-stop-shop, turnkey solutions for everything from China domestic and international data circuits to IDC services, network management, equipment management, system integration, and much more.

For additional information on China Telecom Americas, please visit www.ctamericas.com.


China Telecom adds 5G testing sites

China Telecom has announced the deployed a new 5G base station in Lanzhou, in China’s Gansu province, expanding its pilot project for 5G networks to six cities. The telco previously deployed 5G base stations in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Suzhou, Chengdu and Xiong’an new district in Baoding.

China Telecom said it plans to run laboratory and networks tests until the end of next year, before commencing pre-commercialization of 5G technology in 2019. The telco aims to launch commercial 5G services in 2020.

China Telecom set up its 5G station in tech city Shenzhen in early October covering various industrial zones including Shenzhen Software Industry Base. With these 5G base stations, the Asian operator said it can undertake end-to-end testing for key 5G technologies.

Last month, China Telecom signed an agreement with the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) to collaborate on several areas related to 5G including smart manufacturing, internet of things, smart cities, Big Data and networking.

China Telecom also said it is also looking into the use of cellular networks for emerging areas such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), the internet of vehicles.

To view the full article visit RCR Wireless

Huawei Assists China Telecom to Build 5G-oriented C-RAN Fronthaul Network

Huawei announces that its Blade optical transport network (OTN) solution will assist China Telecom (Liaoning) in building a 5G-oriented cloud radio access network (C-RAN) fronthaul network. These fronthaul networks will enable Liaoning Telecom to effectively cope with denser site deployment requirements in the future 5G era in addition to further improving the existing 4G network coverage. As a result, Liaoning Telecom can greatly improve users’ access bandwidth and user experience of mobile broadband access.

To meet the ever-increasing user experience requirements of mobile broadband, Liaoning Telecom implemented the comprehensive coverage of e-Surfing 4G+ networks. It has been gradually adopting C-RAN architecture to cope with difficulties in site acquisition and energy consumption. However, because C-RAN network architecture consumes a large amount of fiber resources at the access layer, there will be a severe shortage of fiber resources in the coming 5G era due to the requirement of denser site deployment. Liaoning Telecom is in urgent need of a new solution that will allow it to conserve fiber resources and quickly improve wireless network coverage.

As the sub-solution of the X-Haul solution, Blade OTN is fronthaul-oriented and can effectively meet Liaoning Telecom’s network deployment requirements. Blade OTN uses Huawei’s Turbo WDM Technology to achieve the industry’s largest 100G bandwidth using 10G optical components. It supports a maximum of 15 channels of Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI, as C-RAN fronthaul interface) access, and implements aggregation of multiple service channels at the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO), helping Liaoning Telecom reduce core fiber requirements by over 90%.

The optimal intelligent design of this solution eliminates wavelength planning, automatically provisions services upon power-on, and remotely locates faults, meeting the rapid network deployment and automatic O&M requirements of C-RAN fronthaul networks. Line-side 1+1 and ring network protections are configured to improve the reliability of C-RAN fronthaul networks. In addition, cascading ensures the smooth network evolution towards 5G fronthaul networks, and protects live-network investments.

To promote the development of the UBB industry and explore ways to boost service growth, Ultra-Broadband Forum (UBBF) 2017, will be held from October 18 to October 19, 2017 in Hangzhou, China. This UBBF will focus on the topics of ‘New Growth with B2B’, ‘Deliver the Video Dividends’, ‘Accelerate Gigaband Society’, ‘Towards 5G Era’, and on the innovation of All-Cloud Network solutions. Huawei will comprehensively demonstrate how X-Haul will help operators keep up with service requirements in the 5G era, promoting the full deployment of 5G bearer networks.

To view the original article, please visit Huawei

Huawei Joins Forces with China Telecom and China’s State Grid to Develop 5G Slicing Solution for Power Industry

At the third New-Generation Internet Infrastructure Forum in Beijing, China Telecom Beijing Research Institute, China Electric Power Research Institute, and Huawei said they would cooperate on the joint basic foresight innovation project about 5G power slicing technology.

Zhang Chengliang, Vice Director of China Telecom’s Beijing Research Institute presided over the opening ceremony. Zhu Xuetian, Director of Network Technology & Planning Dept. of China Telecom Beijing Research Institute, Ding Huixia, Director of Communications Test and Simulation Center of China Electric Power Research Institute, and Qiu Xuefeng, VP of Packet Core Network, Huawei Cloud Core Network Product Line jointly announced the formal launch of the joint innovation project.

5G is a new-generation wireless communications technology that introduces thing-to-thing and human-to-thing communications to the traditional human-human communications scenarios. Based on the all-cloud 5G core network, a 5G network can use the same infrastructure to provide differentiated network slices for diverse application scenarios. For example, a slice of ultra-low latency can better meet application requirements, such as automatic power distribution, in the power industry. A 5G network slice can achieve security and isolation at the same level as those provided by a private power grid, but requires much lower cost and better promotes application innovation of the smart grid.

“5G slicing provides differentiated capabilities for diverse requirements of innovative industry applications,” said Zhu Xuetian, Director of Network Technology & Planning Dept. of China Telecom Beijing Research Institute. “The three-party collaboration project is the first exploration of 5G slicing in power industry applications. 5G slicing is applied to vertical industries, such as the electric power industry, and this will incubate more new applications and business models.”

To view the full article, please visit Huawei