China Telecom, SGCC, and Huawei Co-launch China's Largest 5G Smart Grid

Updated:2020/7/21 13:20

On July 11, 2020, China Telecom officially announced that the first phase of the Qingdao Smart Grid has been completed, marking the launch of China's largest 5G smart grid. This project was jointly carried out by the Qingdao Branch of China Telecom, Huawei, and the Qingdao Power Supply Company of the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC).

The China Telecom and Huawei partnership has led to the development of an end to end dedicated 5G SA network, which draws on the strength of network slicing and is further enhanced by MEC. Huawei's 5G network slicing solution fully automates the management of slice life cycles. With multi-dimensional dynamic modeling, slices can be accurately tailored for different services. As a result, a network slice with deterministic capabilities was delivered to the smart grid. Additionally, 5G MEC provides universal access and ultra-high computing performance with a wide range of hardware types.

The combination of network slicing and MEC contributes to ultra-low latency and accurate SLA fulfillment for various new applications on the smart grid, including intelligent power distribution, monitoring on substation operations and service status, peak load shaving at base stations, and inspection with 5G+4K ultra-HD cameras. Power towers are now installed with 5G+4K ultra-HD cameras which monitor power transmission lines and power distribution facilities. This efficiently identifies fault risks, freeing personnel from labor-intensive onsite inspection and saving 80% of both onsite manpower and materials. With URLLC — an innate feature of 5G, the smart grid network is able to quickly locate, isolate, and rectify power grid line faults, shortening power outage time from minutes to seconds, or even milliseconds.

In August 2019, the Qingdao Branch of China Telecom, Qingdao Power Supply Company, and Huawei co-launched a 5G application innovation lab, aiming to boost smart grids and the Internet of Energy with 5G technologies. The three parties have carried out extensive network slicing analyses and practices and are fostering a sound ecosystem for the lab. They have sketched out an unprecedented concept and plan for 5G power grid slicing and classified Internet of Energy network requirements into a hierarchy of needs (according to Maslow's Model). They also launched a national key scientific project on network slicing, and released the industry's first feasibility report on the technical and commercial feasibility of 5G power grid slicing. Additionally, they have deployed 5G networks and MEC in Laoshan Jinjialing, the Olympic Sailing Center, Qingdao’s Power Distribution Building, and West Coast Guzhenkou. The establishment of China’s largest 5G smart grid experimental network successfully drove 5G power supply during the Qingdao Multinationals Summit in 2019.

SGCC is now replicating the Qingdao Smart Grid practice to other three provinces in China — Jiangsu, Guangdong, and Zhejiang. They will continuously explore the commercial use feasibility and automatic operation of network slicing, with nation-wide commercialization of 5G smart grids expected to start in 2022.

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