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Huawei claims the world's First iFIT Pilot on the 5G Transport Network

Huawei claims the world's First iFIT Pilot on the 5G Transport Network Successfully Completed by Beijing Unicom and Huawei

Offering 1000-Fold Increase in Detection Precision of Packet Loss

This year at MWC Shanghai 2019, the world's first In-situ Flow Information Telemetry (iFIT) pilot on the 5G transport network has been successfully completed by Beijing Unicom and Huawei.

The iFIT solution implements enhanced service recovery speeds to help Beijing Unicom build an intelligent, visualised 5G transport network, through capabilities such as millisecond-level in-band flow measurement, real-time monitoring of network service quality to meet Service Level Agreement requirements, and second-level silent fault locating.

The 5G Era Demands Higher Network Quality

In the 5G era, diverse new services have far higher network quality requirements: for example, virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) services require more bandwidth (80 Mbit/s to 260 Mbit/s) and a lower packet loss rate (10-5 to 10-6).

In a similar vein, carriers also need to switch sales focus from network bandwidth to user service experience. However, ensuring the quality of the user service experience is a major challenge for transport networks.

In network operations and maintenance , a conventional approach uses test packets to obtain data. However, this approach fails to accurately reflect service quality information, because the paths of test packets and service packets can be inconsistent, especially for difficult-to-detect silent faults, such as minor packet loss. Indeed, the precision of conventional service packet loss detection can only reach 10-3, which may well result in undetected packet loss in VR/AR services.

In addition, the shortest interval at which information can be collected is minutes. As a result, faults can only be diagnosed post-event, or after quality deterioration has occurred, with the fault diagnosis period often extending to hours, days, or even weeks.

iFIT's Innovative Hardware Approach

Huawei's innovative iFIT solution takes a hardware approach, using per-packet detection to identify minor exceptions in real-time service network traffic. Rather than using test packets, iFIT directly measures information carried in packets to obtain information, including the delay and packet loss rate of each service. Indeed, the precision of service packet loss detection can reach 10-6, a 1000-fold increase compared to the conventional approach.

The iFIT solution can be used together with telemetry's millisecond-level data collection, to implement real-time service quality visualization, and minute-level fault demarcation and locating. This effectively meets SLA requirements for new 5G services, including VR/AR.