China Mobile Deepens O-RAN Research, Showcasing Significant Achievements at MWC2019

China Mobile Deepens O-RAN Research, Showcasing Significant Achievements at MWC2019

PR Newswire

HONG KONG, Feb. 26, 2019

HONG KONG, Feb. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- At Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2019, China Mobile (CMCC) and its partners jointly showcased the latest O-RAN research, such as a 4G/5G dual-mode, indoor pico-cell solution based on the O-RAN cloudification and white-box design, AI-driven load balancing, and quality assurance of virtual-reality(VR) services.

Partnering with Lenovo, Intel, and Baicells, CMCC introduced the world's first cloudified indoor pico-cell solution with 4G/5G dual-mode support. The solution builds upon open hardware reference design and commercial off-the-shelf IT equipment. It also features carrier-grade cloud platform software and technologies that enable full decoupling of the hardware and software. The open reference design enables unified hardware selection and facilitates scaling benefits for the hardware industry. The cloud and virtualization technologies enable better handling of tidal effects and more efficient resource utilization. As a result, this solution can achieve 4G and 5G indoor coverage at a much lower cost.

Collaborating with Nokia, CMCC demonstrated its quality assurance solution for VR services based on the O-RAN architecture. The solution performs real-time traffic classification and prediction of key quality metrics, and based on which, achieves dynamic assurance of service quality and optimization of resource allocation. Services such as VR are posing increasingly higher requirements on mobile networks. This solution enables significant improvement of user experience.

Jointly with ZTE, CMCC also showcased its AI-powered load balancing solution based on the O-RAN architecture. The solution achieves optimal load balancing via dynamic prediction of usage patterns of end-user devices. This result is of significant importance for guiding operators' network planning for scenarios such as 4G/5G heterogeneous networks. In addition, the two companies signed a MoU during the event to strengthen collaboration in areas such as O-RAN network architecture, interfaces and application scenarios, and ultimately building an open RAN intelligent controller(RIC) platform. The two companies will also jointly promote research and deployment of AI and big data technologies in wireless networks.

CMCC is an active and strong proponent of O-RAN. As one of the founding members of the O-RAN Alliance, CMCC is co-chair of its Technical Steering Committee(TSC) and five out of the eight working groups. CMCC has been leading definition of the overall O-RAN architecture, intelligent and cloud-based wireless networks, and open hardware reference designs, and establishment of the O-RAN open-source community. In the Alliance's recent Madrid meeting, CMCC was instrumental in finalizing key use cases for the RIC and core design principles for a 5G+AI open architecture, and leading to consensus on industry joint-force for open source and open reference designs.

While leading global collaboration on O-RAN standardization, CMCC has been actively carrying out O-RAN trials in its production networks. In Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, it completed deployment and testing of industry's first 4G cloudified indoor pico-cell solution. Initial results verified commercial feasibility of the solution and indicated that baseband pooling and MEC co-deployment could lead to better network coverage at lower costs and higher service quality. The O-RAN-based VR quality assurance and load balancing solutions have also been deployed and tested in CMCC's Shanghai 5G experimental networks and Xi'an Labs. Results show that open wireless network architecture, combined with AI, enables finer control of on-demand wireless resource allocation and new potential business models for the operators.

In the 5G era, operators will face a variety of challenges, such as increasingly higher network complexity and service diversity. Mobile wireless networks are in critical need for new technologies, such as AI and open architecture design, to improve efficiency of operations and maintenance, and quality of user experience. CMCC is fully committed to building next-generation, open, and smart wireless networks.

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