China Telecom, Huawei and State Grid team up for report into 5G network slicing

To get the best benefits of 5G technologies in China, operators need to cooperate with the electricity providers. A new report from China Telecom, Huawei and the country’s State Grid examines the smart grid and a 5G ‘network slicing’ project.

China is committed to the ‘Made in China 2025’ project upgrading the country’s manufacturing sector which, as the report notes, is similar to Industry 4.0 initiatives in requiring fast network connections. A missive from gov.cn, the Chinese government’s official web source, in October noted that the country will step up financial support for major projects.

The smart grid, therefore, is seen as a solution to achieve this goal, with the report noting it is ‘the basis of smart energy and is important for promoting economic and social coordination and sustainable development.’

The report goes through a variety of typical scenarios for a 5G network slicing-enabled smart grid. These make for interesting reading for how they relate to Internet of Things use cases. One is around intelligent distributed feeder automation; the report notes how distribution automation will go from local single-node processing, meaning hour-long power outages in the event of a failure, to centralised automatic processing, and finally distributed intelligent processing, equating to millisecond-long power outages.

The report itself (pdf here) is network analysis-heavy – so specialists only need apply. Yet the report does note the importance of 5G network slicing in more straightforward terms. “5G network slicing is designed to handle specific service requirements, meets differentiated service level agreements, and automatically builds isolated network instances on demand,” the report notes.

“5G network slicing provides end-to-end network assurance for SLAs, service isolation, customisable on-demand network function, and automation. It enables communication service operators to dynamically allocate network resources and provide network as a service. It also provides more agile services, stronger security isolation, and more flexible business models for industry customers.”

“We hope that the three parties can fully leverage the resources from the national major project and the 5G pilot resources of China Telecom to promote joint innovation and build an end-to-end 5G ecosystem,” said a spokesperson for China Telecom. “The release of this report is a landmark of the substantial cooperation between operators and vertical industries in the 5G application field.

“Our next move is to further verify the 5G network slicing capabilities in power grid service instances and make network slicing easier to use through closer partnerships with State Grid and Huawei.”

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