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Dual Drive of 5G and Cloud: Three Development Trends of Optical Networks From ZKTel

- Jun 19, 2018 -

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At today's "China Optical Network Symposium and China FTTH Forum", Wang Guangquan, Director of Network Technology Research Department of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute gave a keynote speech titled "Optimization of Optical Networks in the 5G and Cloud Era".

Wang Guangquan pointed out that 5G is one of the main driving forces for the cloudization of carrier networks, and 5G bearer networks are an important feature to meet the 5G cloudization.

The cloudization of the 5G network core network is in line with the overall plan of the carrier's communication cloud, and the deployment is hierarchical. The 5G network edge cloud must comprehensively consider the B2C and B2B service requirements, and combine the wireless access and core network user plane function deployment to plan the edge cloud as a whole.

The network clouding also puts forward new requirements for the 5G bearer transport network. First, the network cloudization may affect the architecture of the 5G bearer network. Second, the uncertainty and differentiation of the service development and network deployment are extensible for the bearer transport network. Sex and network elasticity put forward very high requirements; Finally, the 5G bearer transport network should be considered from the perspective of the overall metropolitan area bearer network, to meet the needs of the core network cloud.

When it comes to the demand for optical networks in the era of 5G and Cloud, Wang Guangquan stated that the era of 5G and Cloud put forward three requirements for optical networks: First, the huge demand for bandwidth capacity of 5G and the new network architecture (different levels of cloudization and DC deployment brings opportunities and challenges to optical networks (backbone and metropolitan area). 5G has also become an important driver for the expansion and upgrade of backbone networks and metropolitan area networks. In the backbone network, the proportion of 5G traffic will increase significantly; in the metropolitan area network, the proportion of 5G mobile traffic will gradually converge with the fixed bandwidth traffic, and the current proportion is very small.

Secondly, the interconnection of data centers in cloudized networks brings a great demand for interconnect bandwidth to optical networks. With the gradual increase in the trend and proportion of network cloud, the demand for interconnection of data centers will also expand rapidly, and the performance requirements for optical networks will increase.

Third, the large-scale network construction of 5G has strongly promoted the use of SDN/NFV to realize the network reconfiguration. It requires an intelligent, elastic optical network that integrates across multiple disciplines and inter-city networks.

Wang Guangquan also mentioned the importance of optical modules. Optical modules account for 60%-70% of communication network equipment costs. The selection and cost of optical modules will directly affect the overall network construction cost. Wang Guangquan suggested that the industry share industrial chains and share technologies as much as possible to increase the module application volume, thereby reducing the cost of optical modules more quickly.

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