On December 15, 2020, Xinjiang Unicom’s first 5G+MEC independent network was officially put into operation. The independent network is applied to the energy and power industry and is built in the ±1100 kV UHV Changji converter station with the highest voltage level in the world, marking the official entry of Xinjiang Unicom MEC into the commercial stage.

With the rapid development of the mobile Internet and the Internet of Things, traditional large-scale centralized cloud computing services have been unable to meet the needs of 5G business diversity. MEC (MulTI-access Edge CompuTIng) edge cloud refers to providing cloud computing capabilities and IT service environment for edge applications at the edge of the mobile network closer to customers. It is a key technology for 5G network reconstruction and digital transformation. MEC has built the network capabilities required for low-latency industrial automation control business applications such as differential protection, automatic driving/remote driving, robotic arm inspection robots, slice management, and edge IoT agents.

Xinjiang Unicom seized the opportunity of 5G new infrastructure and regarded MEC as an important starting point for 5G innovation and transformation. Since 2019, it has actively cooperated with State Grid Xinjiang Electric Power on the in-depth application of 5G technology in the power grid, and is demand-oriented, continuously deepening the development trend of 5G + digital grid integration, and building a 5G + MEC independent networking application platform. The completion of the platform has reduced the end-to-end network delay of 5G application services in the station from the previous 30 milliseconds to the current lowest delay level of 7 milliseconds in Xinjiang, meeting the industrial control delay standard of less than 15 milliseconds.

This time, relying on 5G + MEC edge cloud, Xinjiang Unicom also launched 6 industries based on large bandwidth + AI artificial intelligence application, 5G eagle eye, 5G control ball, AR remote operation and maintenance, intelligent meter reading, intelligent defect identification, intelligent thermal imaging and so on. 5G application services in scenarios. 5G eagle eye panoramic monitoring can monitor the equipment operation and personnel activities in the station in an all-round way. 5G mobile deployment ball can be deployed flexibly, breaking through the limitations of wired monitoring. AR remote operation and maintenance can replicate the skills of technical experts, and locate faults quickly and accurately. Smart meter reading saves the workload of manual meter reading and recording. Intelligent defect recognition, which can analyze important equipment surface defects in real time. Infrared thermal imaging monitoring, 24-hour patrol equipment heating. Overall, the accuracy of the perception of the operating status of the equipment in the converter station is improved, the level of automation is improved, and the risk of personnel on-site operations is reduced.

The successful delivery of Xinjiang Unicom’s 5G+MEC independent networking has enabled the industrial Internet to enable low-latency industrial automation and control of 5G networks, helping thousands of industries to transform and upgrade.

Xinjiang Unicom’s 5G-enabled power industry application project won the second prize in the third “Blooming Cup” finals of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which is the highest award in this field in Xinjiang.

Responsible editor: gt

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