2019 witnessed the start of the rollout of 5G as the year progressed and 5G networks and services were deployed faster than expected. By the end of 2019, 348 global operators have invested in 5G networks, of which 61 have commercially launched 5G services, according to data from Global mobile Suppliers Association(GSA). In the 5G era, consumers will enjoy better experience, and benefit from a new wave of the application innovation. Not only will the 5G network enrich our lives, but it will also become a platform for innovation, bringing a multitude of opportunities to the industry including smart port, smart manufacturing, smart grid and so on.
At the same time, these new opportunities also brings new network requirements such as how to provide differentiated services and deterministic experience to 2B customers. Recently a 5GDN Industry White Paper was jointly released by Huawei, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom. The idea of 5G Deterministic Networking (5GDN) is comprehensively introduced and this release opens a new chapter for 5G development, promotes development of more network applications, and puts 5G at the center of industry digitalization.
Trillion-scale Industry Digital Transformation is Coming
A study by Keystone Strategy & Huawei SPO Lab reports that investment in industry digital transformation is increasing steadily year by year. It is estimated that by 2025, the 5G market is expected to be worth US$ 1.6 trillion or more, of which US$ 840 billion (over 50%) will be shared between mobile operators. Besides, by 2025 the market value of 5G consumer services will increase moderately to US$ 238 billion, but over the same period the value of 5G industry digital transformation will exceed US$ 600 billion. The same forecast shows the market value of 5G connectivity applications will reach US$ 232 billion, and the market value of 5G non-connectivity applications will reach US$ 370 billion.
5G Deterministic Networking: the Three Key Dimensioning
Based on the analysis and practice of more than 100 application scenarios in more than 10 industries, the requirements of industry digitalization for 5G networks can be divided into three dimensions: differentiated networks with orchestrated capabilities, dedicated networks with guaranteed data security, and self-service (DIY) networks with automated management.
The core asset for operators to promote digital transformation in industry is a 5G deterministic networking built based on these three dimensions listed above.
In other words, 5GDN leverages 5G network resources to build manageable, verifiable and deterministic virtual private mobile networks, offering customers a predictable and differentiated service experience.
Building a CORE-based 5GDN
In this white paper, it’s stressed that Core Network (CN) is key for network topology & resource scheduling, service orchestration & scheduling, and E2E service experience management. Furthermore, the CN provides deterministic experience (including latency) of service applications and networks based on service awareness, helping the RAN improve the deterministic capabilities. Therefore, the CN is regarded as the real core of 5GDN, perhaps even of the entire 5G era. To address this technical requirement, the operators can plan and build a 5GDN based on the key "CORE" characteristic which mean to be Cloud Native, One Core, Real-time Operation, and suitable for the Edge Computing.
Cloud Native: Different from the traditional private line market, the Cloud Native-based 5G mobile network could be transformed into a private network based on mobility and transformed into a virtual private line network based on cloud-based flexible resource orchestration. The micro-service and container technologies provided by the Cloud Native, make the entire network more reliable and flexible, and make service deployment more agile. Cloud infrastructure is an important part of 5GDN to satisfy different environment and shared by different applications.
One Core: 5GDN must be an access agnostic core that supports all radio access technologies (RATs) since the existing 2G/3G/4G terminals and services are inevitably involved. In addition, some industry applications are highly dependent on voice and SMS services. Therefore, one voice network and efficient voice codec capability are also crucial to build the One Core.
Real-time Operation: Dynamic network slicing is implemented on 5GDN, requiring full automation in network deployment, provisioning, O&M, and other processes. The work order-based processing on traditional networks cannot accommodate the efficient development of the industry services. Therefore, the concept of a portal mode are used so that industry users autonomously handle the processing.
Edge Computing: 5GDN uses Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) to deliver differentiated connectivity and SLA guarantee for the enterprises and industries. For example, operators can provide the "connectivity + video rendering" capability for media livestreaming, the "connectivity + machine vision" capability for manufacturing, and the "connectivity + fleet management" capability for smart transportation.
5GDN cannot be deployed in a single phase. For many operators, the 5G deployment is still at an early stage, and it is not mature enough to support the wide deployment of 5GDN. Therefore, this white paper gives suggestions towards the operators for selecting appropriate industries and scenarios, and keep up with the pace of network planning to explore opportunities for the early deployment of 5GDN. Due to the lack of complete 5G basic network coverage, MEC is used to preferentially deploy 5GDNs in the independent areas, such as enterprise campuses and harbors.
In terms of application scenarios, 5GDN should be deployed in industries where 3GPP specifications are relatively mature and operators' strong network connectivity is mostly required, for example, entertainment videos and media livestreaming. Machine vision, which is highly integrated with video in industrial scenarios, is also suitable for an early deployments of 5GDN.
Global Practices on 5GDN is Flourishing
In 2019, the 5GDN has been piloted in many regions around the world. Especially in the Chinese market, operators, industry vendors, and telecom equipment providers have conducted in-depth cooperation research in many fields and achieved remarkable results. These achievements demonstrate the feasibility and business value of 5GDN applications in some industries. For more details on applications of 5GDN in smart port, smart grid, smart manufacturing, and AR/VR, you can refer to the white paper.
5G brings unprecedented changes and opportunities to the telecom industry. 5GDN will help operators maximize the value of network connections and drives digital transformation in the industry. Technically, the 3GPP has defined the basic framework of 5GDN and functions related to deterministic capabilities. These functions will be further developed with 3GPP R17. All parties need to further explore and gradually promote the "CORE" concept in actual deployment to form a differentiated, dedicated, and DIY 5GDN.
For more information about 5GDN Industry White Paper, please visit https://www-file.huawei.com/-/media/corporate/pdf/news/5gdn-industry-white-paper-en.pdf
This content is sponsored by Huawei.