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Huawei with China Telecom and State Grid Jointly Complete the World's First 5G SA Electricity Slice Test

Apr 10, 2019

[Nanjing, China, April 10, 2019] China Telecom Jiangsu, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) Nanjing Power Supply Company, and Huawei completed the industry's first electricity network slice test under a real power grid environment in Nanjing. This is also the world's first electricity slice to comply with the latest 5G SA specifications released by 3GPP. The success of this test marks a milestone in an in-depth exploration of 5G vertical industry applications.

The SA electricity slice fully utilizes the millisecond-level latency advantage on 5G networks and SLA assurance of network slicing. It enhances bidirectional communication between power grids and end users, and ensures precise management of small power units on power grid terminals of overloaded power grids. These advantages help minimize the economic and social impact caused by power outages.

Test network for the electricity slice

Huawei teamed up with China Telecom Nanjing and SGCC Nanjing to use electric terminals for end-to-end field tests on the 5G SA electricity slice. After deploying 5G base stations in the Drum-Tower Square and Lishui District, China Telecom Nanjing performed indoor and outdoor local-end, mid-end, remote-end, and obstacle blocking tests. An approximately 35 ms end-to-end latency, which may fluctuate slightly from time to time, was discovered in the processes of power server processing, network instruction transmission, and load control terminal processing. Slice isolation was also fully verified. The slice was proven to meet mission-critical requirements for millisecond-level precise management of load processing units running on telecom networks.

Zhan Mingfei, Deputy General Manager (GM) of the Government and Enterprise Customer Department of China Telecom Jiangsu, said, "This successful test is a breakthrough for SA networks in the 5G vertical market. We will continue to collaborate with SGCC and Huawei to leverage key national research and China Telecom's 5G trial resources to make innovations and build a 5G electricity ecosystem. The painstaking experiment with the 5G electricity slice will also provide China Telecom with extensive experience in providing high standard 5G solutions for diversified vertical industries."

Gao Shengyu, Deputy GM of the Nanjing Power Supply Company, commented, "5G electricity slicing can provide important communications system assurance to keep up with new power grid service requirements, service models, and operation modes. In the future, we at SGCC hope to deepen our collaboration with China Telecom and Huawei to enhance visual feedback of end terminals, continue promoting construction of ubiquitous IoT dedicated to the electricity industry, and build world-class Internet of energy (IoE) enterprises that are pivotal, platform-based, and sharing-centric."

Qiu Xuefeng, President of Huawei's 5G Core Network, added, "The core network is the key to developing 5G network slicing in terms of on-demand network definition, fast deployment, automated operations, end-to-end SLA assurance, and capability exposure. Huawei has been investing heavily in research and development of 5G network architecture evolution and slicing technologies. Additionally, we have been keeping in touch and exchanging thoughts with vertical industries to prompt vertical applications for network slicing. The SA-based electricity slice test is a landmark for 5G applications in vertical industries and will set a good example for more industry applications."

China Telecom, SGCC, and Huawei launched the innovative electricity slicing project in September 2017. In January 2018, the three parties jointly released the report 5G Network Slicing Enabling the Smart Grid. In June of the same year, Huawei demonstrated its service design for electricity slicing. The three parties also won the first prize in the second "Bloom Cup" 5G Application Project Contest in 2018.

After the phase-1 test is complete, the three parties will continue to deepen collaboration and further promote 5G commercialization tests in the electricity industry. They plan to test more application scenarios and slices, such as smart monitoring, in the second phase under a power usage environment with live network users.