As one of China’s most economically developed and internationalized regions, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has a complete industry system and is vigorously promoting the development of green and low-carbon network technologies. In recent years, Huawei and China Mobile Guangdong have jointly built an all-optical network cluster for the Greater Bay Area. The world’s largest green all-optical switching hub network is built based on continuous ICT innovation and aims to help thousands of industries enjoy advanced network technologies while further saving energy and reducing emissions, thereby making the digital economy greener.
All-optical networks are deployed to replace legacy devices, reducing carbon emissions
As the communication medium of all-optical network clusters, optical fibers have an unparalleled advantage over copper lines when it comes to bandwidth, latency, anti-interference, and reliability, in addition to reducing power consumption by 60% to 75%. Indeed, optical fibers are the greenest communication medium. By using Huawei OTN devices that apply optical communication technologies, China Mobile Guangdong is promoting the retirement of power-hungry and inefficient SDH devices in multiple cities such as Huizhou and Shaoguan. Currently, SDH modernization has been implemented for about 5000 SDH devices, saving 3000 square meters of space. Additionally, about 7.9 million kWh of electricity is saved and over 5000 tons of carbon emissions are reduced each year, which is equivalent to planting 196,000 trees.
Moreover, China Mobile Guangdong has introduced Huawei’s innovative all-optical cross-connect (OXC) and deployed more than 110 OXC devices in the Greater Bay Area, building the world’s largest “green all-optical switching hub.” This reduces the number of cabinets per site from 5–8 to only one, reducing equipment room footprint by about 70% and power consumption by around 30%. At the same time, the grooming capability of a single node is improved 10 fold, and 3D and mesh networking of up to 32 directions is implemented. This reduces electricity use by about 2.3 million kWh and carbon emissions by over 1400 tons every year, which is equivalent to planting 49,000 trees.
The 2000 OTN optical nodes deployed on the all-optical network cluster cover 21 cities and more than 130,000 villages in Guangdong province, enabling ultra-low latency circles in the Greater Bay Area. Specifically, 1ms intra-city latency circles, 2ms inter-city latency circles, and a 3ms latency circle within the entire Greater Bay Area have been built.
All-optical network cluster drives the development of the high-quality green digital economy in China
In 2021, Guangdong proposed the Digital Government 2.0 Plan to provide leading government services and achieve 100% local processing of high-frequency services, intra-province services, cross-province services, and other services in the Greater Bay Area.
Take the city of Zhongshan in Guangdong as an example. In the past, each functional department built and managed its own network, resulting in information silos. Data could not be converged, making cross-department data exchange difficult and affecting the service experience of enterprise and individual customers. In 2021, Zhongshan successfully integrated multiple networks of different departments into one all-optical e-Government extranet through the OTN premium private network. This network connects 24 towns/subdistricts and extends to 277 village nodes, providing nearby, one-off service handling anytime. In this way, 3387 administrative approval items can be handled online and require no more than one visit, while 3206 items can be handled locally.
Shenzhen, one of the three major financial centers in the Chinese Mainland, has a strong demand for network services that enable financial transactions. To meet this demand, China Mobile Guangdong cooperated with China Mobile International Limited to explore product innovation and built financial private lines featuring ultra-low latency, ultra-high reliability, ultra-fast provisioning, and ultra-high assurance. These private lines have advantages including high bandwidth and convenient capacity expansion, better satisfying the requirements of financial customers on latency, security, and reliability.
Due to the pandemic, offline activities have been greatly affected. However, online activities, such as cloud-based exhibitions, shopping, and music festivals, have presented new opportunities for the digital economy. In southern China, a large number of flowers and plants are sold around the Spring Festival, as many people use them to decorate their homes during this time. Against this backdrop, the Cloud Flower Fair was launched, allowing one-click flower delivery. This not only promotes consumption, but also avoids overcrowding and reduces the risk of contact during the pandemic. During the Spring Festival in 2022, 114 million pots of flowers were delivered in Guangdong, half of which were sold through the Cloud Flower Fair. The sales revenue was nearly CNY1.6 billion.
Another example is a Cantonese opera festival that has been held based on the all-optical network cluster. Network media technologies are used to promote opera arts, enabling more young people to become aware of traditional Chinese culture. The number of live broadcast views exceeded 18 million.
So far, the all-optical network cluster in the Greater Bay Area has served over 110 million individuals, 18 million households, and 2million enterprises, while reducing electricity use by over 10 million kWh and carbon emissions by over 6400 tons for local communication networks each year. Also, the network supports the digital transformation of 17,000 industrial enterprises and helps 550,000 MSMEs to implement cloudification, improve their service speed and quality, reduce costs, and enhance efficiency. Overall, the network has reduced carbon emissions by over 800,000 tons.