[Barcelona, Spain, July 1, 2021] The 35th Global Mobile Award (GLOMO Award) ceremony was successfully held by GSMA at the 2021 Mobile World Congress (MWC 2021). The 5G-inspired smart grid project jointly launched by Huawei, China Southern Power Grid (CSPG), and China Mobile won the “Best Mobile Innovation for the Connected Economy” award, reflecting the industry’s high recognition for its leading technologies, open standards, and strong commercial performance.
China’s carbon neutrality initiatives unlock new opportunities to accelerate the wide adoption of clean energy on power grid networks. Meanwhile, power grid customers’ increasingly diversified and personalized requirements for energy consumption are pressing for a higher level of intelligence of the power grids. For this, the electric power industry needs wireless communication networks that are ubiquitous, flexible, economical, secure, and reliable to underpin its digital transformation. Providing ultra-high bandwidth, ultra-low latency, and massive connectivity, 5G is ideal for building such networks.
Recognizing this, CSPG, China Mobile, and Huawei combined the 5G SA networking with cutting-edge technologies, such as E2E network slicing and MEC, to develop the 5G-powered smart grid project and commercialized it in Shenzhen in December 2020. Through continuous exploration, the three parties have made breakthroughs in top-level design, international standards formulation, key technologies, live network pilot projects, terminal module R&D, and electric power service operations. This is also the world’s first commercial 5G private WAN for the electric power industry.
More specifically, this project helped the CSPG divide its power network into two physical network slices — the power production and control area and the management and information area. The security zones I-IV were then further divided into four logical network slices, while the E2E slice management plane (spanning the CSMF, NSMF, and three sub-domains’ NSSMFs) and two dedicated MEC nodes were also established. For the CSPG, this project streamlines their E2E O&M process from subscription, configuration, provisioning, to monitoring, achieves the industry’s first E2E multi-dimensional, intelligent, and dynamic network slicing, and enables high QoS by high-priority network slices for the electric power industry.
This project allows China Mobile to open a variety of network capabilities to the CSPG, facilitating customization as well as management based on rights and domains. By adopting different and flexible software and hardware isolation technologies to isolate the 5G access network, transport network, and core network, this project enables user-plane data transfer within network slices in electric power scenarios, ensuring data security. On the core network, physical isolation is achieved for services by deploying exclusive UPFs for the power grids, and logical isolation is also achieved by configuring multiple DNNs and so on. In addition, UPFs or MEC nodes are deployed as required to prevent data from leaving the factory.
Now, the CSPG, China Mobile, and Huawei have built the world’s first full-service demonstration area that applied 5G in all electric power service phases, from power transmission, transformation, distribution, to consumption, in the Shenzhen. Additionally, they have commercially established the largest 5G smart grid application demonstration area in Nansha District, Guangzhou. Along with the demonstration areas, new business models of 5G-based electric power slicing have been established, which include 54 electric power scenarios. The project makes multiple breakthroughs regarding the formulation of 5G international standards, the verification of 5G network slicing functions, and the operations of the 5G network slicing management system. With its multiple No.1 results in the industry, this project serves as a milestone for the digital transformation of the CSPG.
Huawei is looking to strengthen its collaboration with the CSPG and China Mobile in their respective fields to build more 5G-inspired power grid application benchmarks in vertical industries.