[Beijing, China, April 20, 2021] Recently, the China Cloud Network Conference 2021 (formerly China SDN/NFV/AI Conference) was held recently in Beijing. At this conference, “China Unicom 5G MEC Edge Cloud Platform Architecture and Commercial Practice”, a joint entry by Huawei and China Unicom, was awarded the “2020 China SDN/NFV/AI Excellent Case Award”.
Commercial adoption of 5G has accelerated across the world, and with it comes more requirements on network reliability and security from industrial customers. MEC stands out as a way to address such requirements. Its distributed edge deployment and powerful capabilities to pair connectivity with computing expedites digital transformation, and underpins all sorts of innovative applications in a diverse range of industries.
With thorough collaboration, China Unicom and Huawei have built a one-stop and high-performance integrated MEC solution. Backed by the “China Unicom 5GtoB Cloud” network, this solution delivers high agility, strong reliability, and easy O&M, and facilitates quick replication of innovation from a single site to the entire network. The use of the cloud-native 5G network with edge-native computing capabilities fuels digital transformation of various industries including manufacturing, energy, mining, transportation, logistics, ports, smart city, digital government, healthcare, and new media.
Running on the elastic, robust, agile, and efficient telecom cloud, the 5G MEC platform —with UPFs deployed at the edge — provides lower latency, higher bandwidth, and value-added applications. Other advantages of note include:
Simplified deployment: The plug-and-play design enables “UPF+MEP” to be deployed at one click in under two hours. The MEAO/MEPM and edge nodes, in collaboration, make it possible for innovative MEC applications at one site to be replicated across the network at low cost in just minutes. This cloud-network-edge synergy facilitates cross-domain network interconnection and service collaboration among factories.
Fortified network reliability: The MEC platform protects data throughout its lifecycle covering everything from application development to release, rollout, and maintenance. The platform leverages network slicing to guarantee network isolation among tenants, ensuring carrier-class reliability. Additionally, an emergency control plane is deployed on the non-public network, which guarantees enterprise network service continuity and keeps users online under all circumstances, meeting the key requirements of enterprise and private network customers for network continuity.
Easy O&M: The platform adopts centralized O&M and provides a self-service portal for enterprise customers, under which they can flexibly deploy applications, process services, as well as monitor, configure, and maintain their networks. Alongside this, upgrading and integrating edge sites takes little time.
Poised to reach new heights, China Unicom also brought home the “Excellence Award” at the 3rd MEC Hackathon in China together with Huawei during this conference, with its application of 5G MEC-based AGV in customized printing, which marks the first intelligent application of 5G MEC on a 5G SA network in China. The 5G MEC cloud-based AGV solution can assist logistics and industrial production lines, greatly reducing AGV costs.
Adhering to their principle to “Go beyond standards”, Huawei and China Unicom — as forerunners for 5G MEC — have introduced 5G MEC into multiple projects in industries such as smart healthcare and smart factory, and formulated several popular commercial use cases. They are looking forward to advancing their collaboration to empower more industries in the future.