5G Super Uplink: World's First Commercial Adoption, Enabling Conch Group to Achieve Smart Factory 2.0
[Anhui, China, March 10, 2020] China Telecom Anhui has teamed up with Huawei to successfully provide 5G Super Uplink services to Conch Group, one of China's largest building material corporate groups. This is the first time the innovative 5G technology has been implemented into worldwide end-to-end (E2E) commercial operations. The solution has triumphed in the market, providing strong support for Conch Group to attain smart cement factory 2.0 upgrade and transformation. This was a trial adoption by Conch Group, where a miniature 5G customer-premises equipment (CPE) Pro 2 developed on HiSilicon's chipset was used, highlighting successful E2E commercialization of 5G super uplink.
Super Uplink was first unveiled as a joint innovation by China Telecom and Huawei at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai in 2019. The innovative solution allows for 5G networks to increase uplink bandwidth while further reducing latency through TDD/FDD coordination, complementation between high and low frequency bands, and time-domain/frequency-domain aggregation. This provides strong technological support for 5G industrial applications.
The trial deployment covers a full scope of network scenarios, including the mining areas, factories, and indoor and outdoor locations of a subsidiary cement factory of Conch Group. The verification results demonstrated a 20% to 60% increase in uplink data speed in the areas close to base stations and a maximum 300% improvement in the areas distant from the base stations after Super Uplink was used. This greatly improves uplink perceived rate and extends coverage areas for 5G networks. Such leading network capabilities provide effective support for continued safety operations, intelligent warning, and real-time surveillance in mobile scenarios. This is conducive to overall improving production efficiency, maintaining safe and healthy working environment, and promoting Conch Group's smart cement factory development.
China Telecom Anhui boasts leading comprehensive information service capabilities. In close collaboration with Huawei, it has successfully explored a number of innovative 5G technologies and services. These include China's first 5G-showcase airport, 5G VR panoramic broadcast for Huangshan Scenic Resort, self-driving field tests, and 5G telemedicine.
Conch Group is one of the world's leading cement production enterprises and one of China's largest building material corporate groups. It has been proactive in leveraging intelligent technologies to transform and upgrade traditional industries. It has successfully constructed China's first full-process intelligent cement factory. In June 2019, Conch Group signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China Telecom Anhui to set up a 5G innovation lab for smart manufacturing. The two parties have jointly started 5G innovative application pilots in its cement factories in Wuhui and Quanjiao of Anhui province in close collaboration with Huawei, leading for 5G smart manufacturing in Anhui.
The group's 5G project leader said: "Since the signing of the strategic cooperation agreement, China Telecom and Huawei have been deeply involved in the construction of our smart cement factories, with a multitude of achievements already implemented in our production. Based on 5G networks, we have already seen significant improvement in the operational efficiency across a full range of production processes in cement-related mining, transportation, and production. In particular, Super Uplink helps us meet the high-performance requirements in bandwidth, latency, and coverage of our key businesses on wireless networks."
Take blasting warning in the mining areas for example. Super Uplink enables real-time 4K video transmission based on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Combined with artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, it ensures real-time video definition and accurate identification. This extends the blasting warning areas from 500 m to 2 kilometers, reducing original 2-hour check workload to half an hour. This greatly increases production efficiency while simultaneously improving blasting safety. 5G Super Uplink provides effective support for wall crack inspection of cement bunkers and other cases where UHD video and AI are combined to facilitate inspection operations.
5G Super Uplink improves uplink experience and allows the production safety monitoring system to continue to work properly in mobile scenarios and weak coverage areas. In limestone pre-homogenization workshops, equipment movement adds extra difficulties to route cables, with wired connections prone to severe abrasion and wireless links susceptible to severe shielding. Super Uplink enables real-time HD video surveillance for reciprocally-moving material picking machines, reducing manual work in dusty environments.
Real-time video surveillance, self-driving, and remote driving of large-scale mining vehicles and excavators has become a prevailing trend. These functions cannot be implemented unless 5G networks are used to ensure high-performance data transmission. During limestone mining, due to complex terrains, scattered distribution of shoveling equipment, constant changes and adjustment of working platforms as a result of mining operations, it is challenging to deploy sites of wireless networks and maintain production continuity. With 5G Super Uplink, the effective continuous coverage and network performance can be improved in mining tracks and work areas without adding extra 5G base stations, meeting the requirements of engineering machinery on HD video upload and remote control.
The success of Super Uplink in providing strong support for Conch Group to develop smart cement factories creates a new chapter for 5G scaled commercial adoption in the process manufacturing industry. China Telecom Anhui will continue to work with Huawei and other partners in 5G network technologies and industry applications. By making the best of 5G standalone (SA) networking, it will continue to promote digital transformation and upgrade of various industries through high-quality 5G services.