China Unicom Taps Huawei to Grow SmartLink OTN Private Lines

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China Unicom Beijing (Beijing Unicom) launched SmartLink private lines in November 2018, which is the world’s first premium private line product with packet enhanced OTN (PeOTN) and iMaster NCE support. It provides differentiated private line services that are secure, self-manageable, agile, rapid, and transparent for users all around China.

Over the past two years, more than 6,500 SmartLink private line services have been provisioned (a 40-fold increase) in a number of industries, such as finance, Internet, public services, and research. Currently, a SmartLink private line user accesses the self-service portal on an average of 1.5 times a month, and can query parameters such as bandwidth, latency, availability, and health status.

Artificial Intelligence Analytics Big Data and Digital Transformation

The self-service portal has seen a 61-fold increase in monthly use of all users compared with two years ago. Meanwhile, usage of the self-service query function has also made value-added services such as online BoD more popular. In September 2020, Beijing Unicom effectively handled 352 online speed acceleration requests, which is over 100 times more than two years ago. The new monthly payment model has seen BoD generate more than CNY300,000 in revenue for Beijing Unicom in September.

SmartLink private lines have been instrumental throughout the pandemic, guaranteeing the transmission of pandemic-related data for China’s National Health Commission. In February, China launched health code programs through various apps to combat the spread of the virus. These health codes assign different colors based on a person’s medical and travel history. The data used to generate these codes is aggregated to the National Health Commission’s pandemic- data analysis platform through private lines.

A SmartLink private line is a hard pipe that is secure and isolated. To further enhance security, OTN devices are configured with encryption boards to ensure safe transmission of epidemic data and safeguard users’ privacy.

SmartLink 2.0 to Deliver Cloud-Network Synergy and AI-Powered Experience
SmartLink private lines are already evolving towards 2.0, providing full-service E2E connections, which will vertically connect multi-cloud services such as the industry cloud, private cloud, and government cloud and horizontally integrate multiple access services such as 5G/MEC and 10G PON. Through cloud-network synergy and diverse access services, SmartLink private lines are ready to support the communications infrastructure of industries, and also support the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.

SmartLink private lines will accelerate cloud-network synergy through one-stop provisioning of cloud and private line services to provide an unrivaled experience. This allows users to achieve self-service through a unified cloud-network user interface.

SmartLink premium private lines can provide wide coverage for high-value industry users. Private lines can be deployed at places nearest to cloud pools and data centers regardless of their locations to provide one-hop cloud access with ultra-low latency for high-value users.

The differentiated, high-quality SmartLink private lines will boost cloud and other services, implementing “cloud + private line + X” packages.

SmartLink private lines will further leverage AI technologies to improve autonomous driving network (ADN) capabilities to predict and prevent network faults, check whether fibers in the working and protection channels share the same cable, measure service availability and optimize it accordingly, analyze services and automatically adjust bandwidth at the request of customers. AI technologies will enhance the ADN capabilities of SmartLink private networks from L2 (partial autonomy) to L3 (conditional automation).

As a key communications partner for the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, Beijing Unicom will provide private line and cloud services for the Olympic Games organizing committee. In the committee’s control center, users will get a full feel of the differentiated services of SmartLink, which include slice management of private networks used for different purposes, such as sports event rebroadcasting;
private line health check reports (service health prediction and survivability analysis);

GIS positioning of routes and risks for active and standby private lines; private line SLA and network resource availability management;
and intelligent speed acceleration based on the sports event plan and network traffic.

These services will contribute to a very successful Winter Olympics.

The success of SmartLink private lines stems from the joint innovation between Beijing Unicom and Huawei, and SmartLink 2.0 will provide a better, smarter life for more customers in the future.


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