SHENZHEN, China – On March 17, 2020, GSMA released Powered by SA, a collection of five use cases for 5G SA-driven applications. The Qingdao Smart Grid use case jointly proposed by Huawei and China Telecom is selected as the only one focused on industrial energy in the collection. This use case highlights the value of key 5G technologies, including 5G SA networking, edge computing, and network slicing, and shows Huawei's leadership in 5G development to enable digital transformation of various industries.
4G changes lives, whereas 5G changes society. The traditional one-pipe, best-effort 4G networks cannot fully meet the diversifying service requirements from different industries. In the 5G era, carriers need to build virtual dedicated end-to-end networks based on a unified network infrastructure to provide differentiated network capabilities and a deterministic service experience. In addition, they need to leverage different 5G technologies to tailor networks for different industries. Among key 5G technologies, network slicing lays a solid foundation for digital transformation for thousands of industries.
Digital transformation of the electric power industry requires electric power communication networks that are ubiquitous, flexible, economical, secure, and reliable. This can be achieved by leveraging the three innate features of 5G — enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type communications (mMTC), and ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) — and can be empowered by innovative technologies such as network slicing and edge computing. Huawei proposes to build dedicated 5G virtual networks for the electric power industry, and utilizes different technologies for the power distribution/consumption phase and the power generation/transformation phase. In the power distribution and consumption phases, a high number of scattered network nodes are involved, and full network coverage is required through these phases. Insufficient coverage has become the bottleneck for developing a smart grid. To mitigate this pain point, Huawei adopts network slicing to build a dedicated industry WAN as a supplement to the traditional optical dedicated network to create more connections. For the power generation and transformation phases — which only require network coverage in specific areas — Huawei uses MEC to build a campus-dedicated network on which local breakout is implemented to ensure data security and the MEC enables ubiquitous last-mile service access.
In August 2019, Huawei signed a 5G strategic collaboration agreement with Qingdao Branch of China Telecom and Qingdao Power Supply Company of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). In October, the three parties collectively launched China's largest 5G smart grid experimental network in Qingdao. Two sets of power grid dedicated MEC and more than 30 base stations have been deployed in four areas for demonstration, including Laoshan Jinjialing, Olympic Sailing Center, Power Distribution Building, and West Coast Guzhenkou. Huawei has continuously conducted a series of innovative practices and field tests in various 5G network slicing-based scenarios. The 5G network slicing-based substation power distribution sensing system was deployed to provide 5G + power protection for the 2019 Qingdao Multinationals Summit. The industry's first field tests for intelligent distributed feeder automation and longitudinal differential protection services have been completed.
Qingdao 5G+ Smart Grid uses Huawei's 5G SA construction solution from end to end and is the first in the industry to introduce Huawei's innovative 5G fully-automatic, multi-dimensional dynamic slicing solution that surpasses other slicing solutions. Huawei's slicing solution enables:
Accelerated slicing: The fully automatic and programmable pipeline engine enables deployment of slices within minutes.
Refined slicing: Power grid slices are delivered through intelligent modeling from multiple dimensions (such as users, services, or network capabilities) as well as microservice-level orchestration of network capabilities.
Accurate slicing: The implementation of second-level SLA awareness and AI-based closed-loop optimization helps deliver deterministic electric power services.
Qingdao Smart Grid also introduces Huawei's 5G MEC solution, which highlights ubiquitous connectivity and powerful computing capabilities. In addition to deterministic low latency, the MEC platform is applicable for various power grid applications and can effectively integrate these applications into 5G slicing networks, driving optimal cloud-network synergy at the network edge. The MEC platform can also provide value-added capabilities for power grid applications, such as assurance of bandwidth, management of life cycles, and balancing of service loads.
With the collaboration of the three parties, the Qingdao 5G+ Smart Grid project has made remarkable achievements. In November 2019, the project won first prize in the Shandong Mobile Internet and 5G Application Innovation Competition. The project is written as a typical industry case in the 5GDN Industry White Paper jointly released by Huawei, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom in February 2020. GSMA's case selection further reflects the significance of the project, and sets a benchmark for 5G smart grids and power slices worldwide.
As 5G networks became more prevalent and industry preparation increases, the pilot of the Qingdao 5G+ Smart Grid project will expand. Huawei will extensively verify an increasing number of typical 5G smart grid applications, and will continue to promote the maturity and commercial use of 5G smart grids in terms of technology, business, and industries.
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd