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China Mobile Yunnan and Huawei Jointly Build "1-3-9" All-Optical Smart Cities to Safeguard Harmony Between Asian Elephants and Humans

2021.10.13

[Kunming, China, October 13, 2021] During the 2021 UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15), China Mobile Yunnan and Huawei jointly announced the completion of the "1-3-9" All-Optical Smart Cities project, which has successfully enabled real-time monitoring and warning for wild animals such as Asian elephants. With highly reliable all-optical connections, the all-optical network helps maintain the harmonious coexistence of Asian elephants and humans.

elephant training

A rescuer helps rescued elephants in wild release training

The Asian elephant in Yunnan is the largest terrestrial animal in Asia, and the number of wild Asian elephants has grown from around 170 in the 1980s to more than 300 today. Against this backdrop, Asian elephant protection has become an important task in the ecological development of Yunnan province. In 2018, the autonomous prefecture of Xishuangbanna built the first Asian elephant monitoring and warning center in China. In November 2019, Xishuangbanna established an Asian elephant monitoring, warning, and protection system, and continuously used innovative technologies to improve Asian elephant monitoring and warning capabilities.

Moreover, Xishuangbanna constantly upgrades Asian elephant monitoring and data collection methods, from infrared cameras with pluggable cards, infrared network cameras, to ultra-HD cameras. These upgrades are aimed at systematically collecting and saving valuable scientific research and monitoring data, locating Asian elephants in real time, and alleviating human–elephant conflicts.

facility setting

The network engineer operating network equipment

By leveraging innovative 4G/5G, optical network, cloud, IoT, and other technologies, China Mobile Yunnan helps the forestry and grassland administration of Xishuangbanna build a holistic Asian elephant monitoring and warning network architecture to support real-time collection and transmission of monitoring data and provide real-time warning for local residents. In the past two years, China Mobile Yunnan has formulated an all-optical smart city construction plan oriented to building digital Yunnan. The purpose of this plan is to build "1-3-9" latency circles covering Kunming, central Yunnan, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, as well as support the digital transformation of cities in Yunnan. Currently, China Mobile Yunnan and Huawei are focusing on promoting the innovative application of all-optical networks for cities in the ecological protection of Asian elephants.

First, the innovative premium private line solution is introduced to support real-time backhaul of HD videos for Asian elephant monitoring. Asian elephant monitoring data is crucial to research on their biological habits and characteristics. Premium private lines not only ensure highly reliable transmission of monitoring data, but also support microsecond-level transmission latency from cameras to the cloud. With lossless HD video data, this solution greatly improves the intelligent elephant identification efficiency and enables real-time warning for local residents.

Second, "1-3-9" all-optical network helps achieve collaborative management for Asian elephant protection in different prefectures and counties. The activity range of wild Asian elephants covers Xishuangbanna, Pu'er, and other prefectures and counties, making the collaborative operation of these prefectures and counties essential. Upon the completion of China Mobile Yunnan's "1-3-9" All-Optical Smart Cities project, the latency within Kunming is less than 1 ms, the latency in city groups in central Yunnan is less than 3 ms, and that in South Asia and Southeast Asia is less than 9 ms. In this way, this project achieves real-time, ultra-secure, and ultra-high-bandwidth exchange of government data among forestry and grassland administrations as well as collaborative operation in Asia elephant protection.

Third, an ultra-low-latency optical transmission network is built from the Asian elephant monitoring and warning center in Xishuangbanna to the provincial forestry and grassland administration (Kunming) center. This network allows the two centers to collaborate in operation and jointly carry out biological scientific research on Asian elephants.

With the rapid growth of Asian elephants, the harmonious coexistence of Asian elephants and humans has become a pressing topic. Moreover, monitoring research related to identification of individual Asian elephants should be further explored, which will pose higher requirements on information monitoring technologies. With "1-3-9" All-Optical Smart Cities as the all-optical base, China Mobile Yunnan and Huawei will continue to promote the application of next-generation information technologies such as 5G and gigabit optical network in Asian elephant protection, with the goal of benefiting humans and wildlife as well as achieving harmony between humans and nature through technological innovation.