ZTE launched a virtualization-heavy 5G Core platform based on the recently inked 5G standard that shows the increasing push to enhance software control over hardware components.

The Cloud ServCore product taps service-based architecture (SBA). This is a 3GPP-standardized platform that is centered on services that can register themselves and subscribe to other services. The SBA component is designed to make it possible to connect hardware and software components without introducing new interfaces.

In addition to SBA, the ZTE product uses a fully virtualized architecture decoupled from the underlying cloud platform. It includes microservice components, DevOps tools, and container architectures to support network slicing control. That network slicing control includes a development loop for onboarding and an operation loop for service assurance.

Network slicing takes advantage of greater software control to partition network capacity toward specific use cases or industries. A recent study by Ericsson Research found that by introducing new services on network slices, operators can generate up to 35 percent more in revenue.

The architecture decoupling is also designed to support planned 5G network deployments and edge computing. Those networks will require accelerated hardware and software performance and control to support higher network speeds, lower latency, and network management.

ZTE said China Mobile is testing the platform at its research and development center.

ZTE, China Telecom vBRAS Test

ZTE earlier this week announced work with China Telecom on a virtualized broadband remote access servers (vBRAS) full decoupling test.

The successful test involved separating the virtual network function (VNF) layer, virtualization layer, and hardware layer. It also involved the separation of the VNF manager from the network functions virtualization orchestration (NFVO).

The successful trial showed support for cross-platform decoupling and the ability to integrate deployment and orchestration of multiple vendors and multiple VNFs.

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