Zhoushan, Zhejiang is known for its numerous archipelagos of islands. Among these islands, there is Small Qushan, one of the largest ore quarries in China. Although the island takes up only 1.442 square kilometers, it boasts a total of 221.6 million tons of ores. The work environment on the island is considered to be quite harsh. Quarries are scattered along vast canyons yet employees have no easy means of transportation. Stable wireless communication thus plays a pivotal role in the daily quarrying procedure. The number of quarry workers and their families living on the islands reaches approximately 1000. Therefore, strong mobile signals are also indispensable to island life. However, communications based on submarine fiber optic cables or microwave are troubled with difficult deployment and high costs. In 2018, China Unicom and Huawei jointly rolled out the RuralStar solution on the island to address these problems. The solution features easy deployment and reduced cost, putting an end to an era with no 3G and 4G signals.
Thanks to stable high-speed mobile broadband services, quarrying has become more efficient and reliable. For example, engineering drawings are transmitted faster and more conveniently. Reliable voice and video communication helps to ensure safe operation and quicker troubleshooting. Forecasts about typhoons become readily available. Additionally, wireless broadband serves as a bridge between the island and the outside world. Residents in Small Qushan are now able to keep in touch with family members elsewhere whenever they like. Wireless broadband also significantly enriches residents' free time as movie or music streaming and mobile gaming are now available. An increasing number of quarry workers are now willing to remain on the island.
The RuralStar solution is planned to be deployed on more and more islands in Zhoushan to connect and serve an increasing number of residents.