ZTE now has two employees involved in senior positions at the 3GPP

Last week, ZTE revealed that Sergio Parolari had been elected to the position of vice chairman of the 3GPP’s RAN2 committee.

Following his appointment to the committee, we caught up with Parolari to discuss his key priorities for the next stage of global 5G deployment.  


Tell us a little about your new role with the 3GPP

3GPP Technical Specification Working Group (TSG) is divided into three working groups: RAN, SA and CT. RAN TSG is mainly responsible for wireless access network related contents, and RAN TSG is further divided into six working groups. Among them, RAN WG2 is a very important one, which is responsible for wireless interface architecture and protocols (MAC, RLC, PDCP), wireless resource control protocol specifications, wireless resource management policy and the services provided by the upper layer above the physical layer.

In August this year, I was elected Vice Chairman of RAN2. Two years ago, ZTE’s Gao Yin was elected vice chairman of RAN3. Thus, ZTE achieved "Dual Chairmen" in 3GPP RAN, which is the maximum leadership that a company can reach.


When can we expect to see the first iterations of Stand Alone 5G? How will this be different to the non-stand-alone versions of 5G that we are seeing now?

According to the 3GPP 5G standard, SA standard was frozen in June 2018, and the Late Drop was also frozen in March 2019. R16 will fully support the three typical application scenarios of 5G and is expected to be released in 2020. 

Because the core network and control plane of the existing 4G system are reused, the NSA architecture can neither fully display the technical features of low latency in the 5G system, nor flexibly support diversified service requirements through network slicing. In the NSA architecture, the services provided by the 5G system are not very different from those of the 4G system, and the improvement of the 5G system mainly lies in the increased rate reflected in user experience. However, the SA architecture can provide diversified services that cannot be supported by the current 4G network, such as low latency and high reliability. NSA is a transition, and only a 5G system based on an independent (SA) architecture can truly fulfil the technical commitments of 5G.

At present, all 5G base stations launched by ZTE are dual-mode base stations that support both NSA and SA. In the future, base stations can be evolved from NSA to SA only through software upgrade.


What predictions do you have for the industry over the next 12-18 months?

2019 marks the first year of the global commercial deployment of 5G. Currently, commercial deployment of 5G mainly covers China, USA, Japan, Korea, and some European countries. In the next year, each region will promote 5G construction based on its own development needs. For example, China will carry out large-scale commercial 5G construction in 2020 and launch 5G network services in key Chinese cities. In terms of industrial ecosystem building, in-depth cooperation with vertical industries and successful commercial cases of 5G will become the key to the success of 5G commercial use.