Mr. Wei Xiaoqiang Director of Bearer Network Product Planning Department, ZTE

Interview: Director of Bearer Network Product Planning Department, ZTE: “SDN will push optical network control technology into a more open, flexible and efficient direction.”

Mr. Wei Xiaoqiang Director of Bearer Network Product Planning Department, ZTE
Mr. Wei Xiaoqiang Director of Bearer Network Product Planning Department, ZTE

ZTE are Platimum sponsor of the Broadband Asia conference, taking place on the 29th-30th April 2014 at the Suntec, Singapore. Hear its contributions to many topics, including “Transitioning to Next Generation Fixed Networks”, across both days of the conference. Here we learn more from Mr. Wei Xiaoqiang Director of Bearer Network Product Planning Department for ZTE about how ZTE is leading the way in next-gen network technologies such as SDN and NFV.

What can we expect in the short term from ZTE? What breakthroughs are you on the brink of achieving?

In the short term, ZTE will realize the promotion of 100G transmission capability and development larger cross-connection equipment. The development of the new FEC is our bottleneck right now but we’ll solve this problem in a couple of months.

What role do SDN and NFV play in this?

With the number of Internet services ever-growing, the explosive growth of data puts more and more bandwidth pressure on backbone networks. At the same time, new services are random, unexpected and changeable, which make service management and control more complicated. This requires that the development of optical network control systems should be towards flexible and programmable controls.

SDN will push optical network control technology into a more open, flexible and efficient direction that will make it better able to address current and future network demand. Our SDN optical network controller can implement route computation, resource allocation and unified connection control; provides a global network view, offers forwarding state control, whole-network resource information and utilization rate information and can perform unified computation and send connection commands based on preset network policies and load balancing policies to control network traffic and forwarding.

SDN optical network technology evolution is highly innovative. A consensus has been formed in the industry that optical networks will evolve towards SDN in the future, furthering open network capabilities and interfaces based on the current control plane (WASON) and PCE architecture. It will further strengthen the control capability of whole-network connections based on core technologies including PCE centralised routing and unified resource allocation. The aim is to implement a smooth evolution on the basis of compatibility with traditional optical networks.

ZTE has witnessed a stable growth in the optical transport networks (OTN) market in recent years. How would you describe ZTE’s future in the OTN market?

ZTE has been dedicated towards OTN research and development for many years. According to the latest optical transmission equipment market reports released by Dell’Oro, the revenue of global optical transmission equipment will reach US$15 billion in 2018, driven by the rapidly developing DWDM system needs. The report indicates that the CAGR of the dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) equipment revenue will be 8 per cent, of which 100Gbps DWDM equipment revenue will occupy 80 per cent of total DWDM revenue in 2018. 100Gbps will become one of the most important growth areas in the OTN equipment market in the next five years.

The domestic and overseas 100G market has gradually come to maturity and operators have put 100G equipment into large-scale commercial use. As the largest mobile network operator, China Mobile takes the lead in large-scale 100G deployment to support its 4G service development.

As the leading OTN solution provider in the industry, ZTE will provide a big push to the global commercial use of 100G OTN equipment. In the domestic China market, ZTE will continue taking an active part in cooperation with the three large telecom operators, in broadcasting & TV, and the enterprise network customers, by providing them with competitive 100G solutions. In the international market, ZTE will cooperate with the first-class MTOs, keep up with network and equipment evolution and continue to deliver high-quality 100G solutions.

In 2013 ZTE focused on complete equipment functions and system transmission performance. In 2014 however, the focus is transferred to core 100G technology and system construction to boost system reliability, energy-saving and consumption-reduction and system costs. For the next stage, the key factor that will determine success is research and development of the core technology.

Could you please give us a brief introduction to the real-world implementations of ZTE 100G OTN?

ZTE has completed dozens of 100G wave-division network implementations in the world, including T-Mobile Austria, UK EE, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica Peru, Ooredoo Burma, Telkom Indonesia, PCCW, three domestic operators of China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, three Internet companies of Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent, CERNET, and many local networks of Hubei Mobile, Zhejiang Mobile, Fujian Mobile, and Jiangsu Mobile.

Key highlights are:

  1. ZTE has achieved another in-depth cooperation with China Mobile and ZTE’s 100G OTN was selected for the first western ring of China Mobile at the end of February 2014. A total of 2,860 100G line cards were used in Phase I of the network to carry a huge number of services.
  2. ZTE was solely selected for Alibaba’s OTN 100G project in May 2013 to deploy its 100G OTN product in Hangzhou, Beijing, Tianjin, and Qsingtao. Adopting 80×100G OTN solution, the system provides a large quantity of 100GE interfaces for huge traffic grooming and connection between IDC. Carrying most of the service volume of Alibaba, ZTE becomes a long-term partner of Alibaba in its broadband network construction, demonstrating the comprehensive strength of ZTE 100G product.
  3. With its excellent 10G/100G gapless transmission hybrid transmission capability, ZTE won T-Mobile Austria’s OTN national backbone network 100G expansion project in December 2012. The existing 10G network was smoothly upgraded to 100G with the bandwidth improved by 10 times and hybrid transmission implemented.
  4. ZTE was selected for the CERNET 100G national backbone network in Nov. 2012 to provide the leading coherent 100G solution and ZXONE 8000 series OTN products. The network covers the core cities of Beijing, Shenyang, Dalian, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xi’an, Wuhan, Chongqing, and Chengdu, with the total transmission distance over 10,000km.
  5. ZTE 80×100G OTN system was deployed in Tencent’s broadband network in September 2012 to provide interconnection between large-capacity IDC data centers. Tencent’s broadband network covers the core cities such as Shenzhen and Shanghai. It’s the first time that 100G solution has been adopted for domestic ISP.

How do you see the network evolving over the next five years?

Large-bandwidth, elastic and packet-integrated optical network is the evolution target over the next five years. In terms of bandwidth, 100G will be applied on a large scale and extend to every layer of the network. 400G technology will be applied on a small scale in network core and OTN will generally be applied at the network edge. In terms of intelligence, large-capacity OTN and flexible-grid ROADM will become standard network configurations. Optical network will evolve from the current WASON to PCE and have the basis to evolve to SDN. Moreover, integrating packet functions on OTN will help operators to simplify network hierarchy and improve network efficiency, and so it will also be a trend of network evolution.

Why is the Broadband Asia event such a critical one in your diary?

The Asia-Pacific market is one of the most important markets for ZTE. ZTE is now the second largest optical network product supplier in the Asia-Pacific area, and our products are used in most countries in the region. Thanks to Broadband Asia, we can better understand the customers’ demand and technology development trend; so that we can present solutions that are suitable for Asia-Pacific market and better serve our customers.

Mr. Wei Xiaoqiang holds the position of Director of Bearer Network Product Planning Department in ZTE. He is responsible for the requirement and planning of optical network products, packets and data communication products in the global market. In recent years, ZTE has created a number of new world records in the 100G and beyond field. ZTE’s optical network products hold a rapidly increasing market share which has reached 12% and ranks top 2 in the world.

From 2000 to 2011, he used to work as DWDM product R&D engineer, DWDM R&D project manager and OTN product manager, making extraordinary achievements in optical products field. He also participated in the formulation of domestic standards for metro OADM equipment and ITU ROADM standards.

With more than 10 years’ experience in optical transmission technology and marketing work, he distinguishes himself by profound understanding in the development trend of Telecommunication and Optical network products and key customer requirements.

Mr. Wei Xiaoqiang graduated from Beijing Institute of Technology with a master degree in Physical Electronics and Optical Electronics in March, 1999

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