ZTE has been granted a patent for a method and apparatus to control network slices based on quality of service requirements. The technology involves binding network slices to user network interfaces or virtual sub-interfaces, ensuring consistent QoS when multiple slices are connected to the same interface. GlobalData’s report on ZTE gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on ZTE, IoT-5G convergence was a key innovation area identified from patents. ZTE's grant share as of February 2024 was 38%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Network slice control based on quality of service requirements

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: ZTE Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11924914B2) outlines a method for controlling a network slice, focusing on binding network slices established in a bearer network based on quality of service (QoS) requirements to user network interfaces or virtual sub-interfaces. The method involves receiving and sending traffic flows of network slice groups, ensuring that different network slices with varying QoS are bound to different interfaces. Notably, when a network slice of the bearer network and a network slice group of a non-bearer network are bound to the same interface, their QoS levels are aligned. The process of sending traffic flows involves determining the appropriate virtual sub-interface based on information carried in the traffic flow and directing the flow to the corresponding network slice.

Furthermore, the patent details the steps involved in sending traffic flows to network slices bound to the same user network interface or virtual sub-interface as the network slice group. This includes sending traffic flows to the user network interface receiving the flow, or determining the virtual sub-interface based on specific information within the traffic flow and directing the flow accordingly. The method ensures that the QoS of the network slice group aligns with the first network slice bound to the interface, maintaining consistency in service quality. The patent also covers an apparatus for controlling network slices, comprising a memory and processor, as well as a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing programs for executing the method. Overall, the patent provides a detailed framework for efficiently managing network slices within a bearer network, optimizing QoS alignment and traffic flow distribution.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.