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ZTE 5G TSN Practice and Prospect on Industrial Internet

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ZTE 5G TSN Practice and Prospect on Industrial Internet

August 10
01:12 2022

Industrial Internet is estimated as one of the most crucial fields of 5G to-B application. It is predicted that the scale of the global Industrial Internet will exceed 1 trillion in 2022 and amount to 1.2 trillion in 2025. Previously, ZTE jointly issued Industrial Internet Oriented 5G TSN Practice and Prospect white paper, in which it discussed how to further integrate 5G and TSN into the development of Industrial Internet and shared ZTE 5G TSN practice on end-to-end solutions and prospects for its future application in more Industrial Internet scenarios.


Currently, manufacturers are crossing the river by feeling the stones in integrating 5G and industrial technologies and they have made considerable progress. The integration between 5G and Industrial Internet has been extended to industries like mining, automobile, and electronics, supporting 5G+ remote control, 5G+ machine vision, and 5G+ robot. Despite this, the development of the Industrial Internet is still challenged by problems such as data security and latency in transmission, which put higher demands on the current 5G technology. 

TSN is a set of standards based on traditional Ethernet networks. An Industrial Network built on the TSN supports different systems and suppliers on a common network, which enables interconnection among industrial equipment, optimizes time-sensitive services, and improves interwork capacity. 5G and TSN are recognized as two complementary technologies that may benefit smart manufacturing and speed up the development of the Industrial Internet with their in-depth integration. At present, there are three modes of integration between 5G and TSN-based industrial systems, including TSN over 5G uRLLC, 5G transmission over TSN, and 5G TSN. 5G TSN network is predicted to achieve accurate time synchronization and smart delay scheduling, as well as provide a highly reliable redundancy mechanism and facilitate closed-loop coordination and management.

ZTE 5G TSN practice on DTU power distribution

Previously, ZTE 5G TSN E2E deterministic network is applied in differentiated protection technology to ensure stable power transmission. Differentiated protection is a mechanism adopted in the power grid to detect malfunctions in power transmission and secure power supply. When the difference in current value between two ends exceeds the pre-set value, the protection devices will activate the circuit breaker on each end to disconnect the devices from the transmission line. 

There are two considerations in deploying differentiated protection devices. On the one hand, it is essential to ensure that differences are calculated based on the current value detected at the same time. Therefore, precise time control is essential in the communication among DTUs. On the other hand, there are a large number of terminals scattered in the power grid, which indicates that it would require large funding to pave optical fiber lines, and accessing new devices would be difficult. 5G TSN is thus introduced to replace optical fiber. Compared to the wired connection, 5G network has a larger capacity, lower latency, and more reliable connection. Besides, it is also more flexible and cost-effective, because it requires fewer deployment investments.

ZTE managed to construct a system that integrated existing power distribution cabinets with cloud-network cabinets to achieve better time control and stabler transmission. The deviation of timing is reduced to less than 300 nanoseconds and the network jitter of bounded transmission of DTU service packets is narrowed to within 1 millisecond. ZTE 5G TSN application in the power grid is another practice in 5G commercialization. It is predicted to further facilitate the deployment of the grid of green energies like solar energy and wind energy.

ZTE 5G TSN practice in PLC industrial automation

PLC(Programmable Logic Controller) is considered to be an important bridge that connects OT and IT in manufacturing. It serves as a control center that connects various devices and transmits data to upper information systems. PLC can play an essential role in Industrial Internet and intelligent manufacturing.  Therefore, 5G technology is introduced to solve a series of challenges in adopting PLC in more scenarios of industrial automation such as data collection, man-machine interaction, and video monitoring. In these scenarios, 5G is expected to lower latency and enlarge the capacity of data transmission.

Previously, ZTE collaborated with China mobile and world-famous vendors in industrial automation in introducing the 5G TSN network to the real-time control of intelligent PLC, enabling a deterministic and flexible connection. Compared to traditional wired connection and WIFI connection, 5G is more flexible in deployment and stable in data transmission. The network jitter of the constrained transmission of CIP/CIP Motion service packets is narrowed to within 1 millisecond and the timing deviation in EtherNet/IP is decreased to less than 300 nanoseconds. 

5G TSN prospect and ZTE’s role

Although 5G TSN faces numerous technical and industrial hurdles, 5G is already exerting its powers in Industrial Internet and its potential will be further realized through cross-industry collaboration and innovation. At present, the 5G+TSN Joint Test Bed project has been launched as one step forward to integrate 5G TSN technologies into Industrial Internet. This project is expected to provide a comprehensive test platform for applying deterministic networks in scenarios including machine collaboration, flexible manufacturing, and production process control. Simultaneously, representatives from 5G-ACIA (5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation) are actively promoting the use of 5G TSN in industrial production. With the widespread deployment of 5G network infrastructure and the installation of 5G private networks for industrial parks, 5G TSN is anticipated to bring deterministic service and flexible deployment to private networks and further handle the complex and dynamic application scenarios of the Industrial Internet and intelligent manufacturing.


Leading businesses are also joining hands now in promoting 5G TSN in the industrial sector. Currently, 5G TSN solutions are widely tested and verified, from chips to switches, from industrial terminals to E2E solutions. ZTE puts forward the slogan of “make 5G with 5G”, showing its determination in integrating ZTE 5G TSN technology into production processes on a worldwide basis. Even though it will take some time for 5G TSN to be fully adopted in the industrial sector, 5G TSN technology will ultimately prove to be extremely valuable in the era of the Internet of Everything.

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