Contributing to the Building of Smart Industries

Enhancing cloud servicing ability

Led by the cloud business, China Unicom has developed a new ecology of Cloud + Network integration in the joint effort with its cooperation partners. While actively exploring new paths for Internet-oriented operations, an operating system with an integrated platform has been built to facilitate a one-stop service for service validation, billing and settlement on the WO Cloud platform, driving Internet-oriented maintenance, products, operation and management in full force to provide swift, flexible and demand-driven dedicated network cloud access services for users.

  • In connection with public cloud, cooperation with strategic partners in the mixed-ownership reform has been enhanced, as the “Cloud Fibre Smart Enterprise” special cloud initiative for SMEs has launched close to 100 products for the comprehensive development of an integrated Cloud + Network product system, serving 34,000 customers during the year.

  • In connection with private cloud, China Unicom consistently focused on six key sectors and 36 key areas, leveraging the unique advantages of WO Cloud in Cloud + Network integration, multiple cloud and hybrid cloud management to provide customers with premium one-stop private cloud solutions.

  • In connection with cloud services, a dedicated operation team has been formed to provide integrated construction + maintenance services underpinned by fast response to demands, fast delivery of resources, uniform management of operations and maintenance and safe operations. A customer service appraisal system has been developed, under which customers’ feedback are collected through a monthly service appraisal form to facilitate settlement through internal coordination. A centre for centralised monitoring of operations and maintenance has been set up to further optimise the process for solving escalated breakdowns and to provide rigorous time limits for the handling of breakdown problems, so as to enhance customer perception.

  • A total of 41 public resource pools and 44 exclusive private cloud resource pools have been deployed nationwide. Computing capacity of more than 500,000 cores has been commissioned and storage capacity has reached 40PB, while network capacity has exceeded 1,000G. The four major cloud data centres provide 20,199 cabinets and all data centres are directly linked to the core backbone network of China 169 with latency of less than 5ms and total outlet bandwidth of approximately 3.24T.

Building Big Data paradigm

Backed by the China Unicom Big Data Company, China Unicom provides professional specialised data intelligent services to government and corporate clients in a bid to become an “integrator of data resources, guider of innovative applications and developer of industry ecology”. The Company has made innovative proposition of the data value regime to create a Big Data security system covering the entire life cycle based on scientific data values, which has received ISO/IEC2700 and Grade III national classified protection converging with international standards in data security.

  • Data asset integration capability: Stressing the focus on key areas and scenarios for “data” and “smart” demands in key industries, China Unicom provides clients and partners with data sharing and application development services, and others, subject to safety and compliance, in an effort to becoming an expert in the operation of data intelligent services.

  • Data monetisation ability: a three-tier industry solution (elementary, standard and platform-grade) with 12 major operating products, including 8 well-formed regimes, have been developed. Over 1,000 partners have signed up with broadly enthusiastic response from the industry.

  • Ability to operate the data platform: in accordance with the standard design of a three-tier structure, two core platforms (production and capability exposure) complemented by two auxiliary platforms for data security and data governance have been created to enhance three servicing capabilities, namely, data capability, infrastructure components and production operations.

Facilitating IoT development

China Unicom’s IoT is built around the strategy of an “IoT + platform” ecology featuring end-to-end overall servicing ability. With persistence in an innovation-driven approach, cooperative development and synergy advances, the Company teamed up with up/downstream partners along the value chain in coordinated innovation to contribute to transformation towards city digitalisation so that the mass may enjoy a smart life. As at the end of 2018, there were nearly 110 million IoT connections serving more than 15,000 corporate clients and covering key industrial sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, transportation and logistics. China Unicom ranked among one of the top ten in “2018 WIOTRL”, the international world IoT convention.

  • Network ability: through latest virtualisation technologies and common servers, a dedicated core NB-IoT network has been built. NB-IoT commercialisation in major Chinese cities has launched, as eMTC out-field pilot tests have been completed in Guangdong, Changsha, Xiamen and other locations.

  • Platform ability: a stronger and more secure new-generation connection management platform has been announced. The platform’s strong ability in secondary operation provides more convenience to SMEs engaged in the development of customised innovative products and new commercial models.

  • Product ability: global connected products are created to meet the requirement of domestic enterprises with global users for contract-signing and management at a single point, giving a boost to the international development of the enterprises. Meanwhile, more than 20 products were provided to solve social issues in the service of smart living.

  • Ecological ability: through the joint establishment of the China Unicom IoT Industry Alliance, Innovation Expedition Centre and Incubation Laboratory, China Unicom has been consistently driving the growth of the IoT value chain towards maturity. Meanwhile, the IoT Developer Initiative has been launched and close to 100 applications received, providing a testing ground for SME innovation and business venture.

Developing Smart Futuristic Technologies

China Unicom has persisted an innovation-driven approach and has actively explored opportunities to deploy in key frontier areas, while enhancing proprietary innovation in an intensive effort to integrate the development of new technologies and mobile communications, driving ability enhancement in product and service supply.

Embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Backed by ongoing research of AI technologies, China Unicom has been actively exploring and implementing AI applications in network, service and management.

  • Use of AI to enhance network intelligentisation and active investigation in frontier sectors such as automated-driving network.

  • Active use of AI to empower industry applications, providing solutions in areas such as smart city and smart medical care and facilitating the development of the real economy.

  • Use of AI in intelligent customer service which drove solid results in customer service quality improvement, cost reduction and efficiency enhancement.

  • Use of AI to enhance the intelligentisation level in human resources, finance and legal matters, achieving the intelligentisation of management.

Tracking blockchain technologies

With a strong focus on the research of core blockchain technologies and its innovative applications, China Unicom has actively explored and implementing applications of blockchain in network, service, operation and management, driving the development and scenario implementation of blockchain technologies to assist industrial transformation and upgrade. Study is made to apply blockchain technologies in the enhancement of network capability, adopting the decentralised coordination model of blockchain as an important supplement to the traditional coordination model for production, operation and management, in an active use of blockchain to combine with industry Internet.

China Unicom has led and participated in the formulation of a number of blockchain-related international standards. In 2018, there were 113 blockchain patents, ranking 6th globally and 2nd in China.

Expediting technology research

In 2018, China Unicom continued to drive technology research and built an innovative technology system consisting of four components, namely the organisational system, operating system, assessment system and incentive system, while at the same time a technological innovation informatisation platform was also built to solidify the foundation in technological innovation.

  • In connection with international standards, China Unicom holds more than 100 incumbent positions at a number of important international standards associations and resource development organisations, among which more than 20 positions are important management roles, basically covering important communication and IT sectors in the international market.

  • In connection with industry standards, China Unicom has led and participated in the formulation of 285 industry standards, ranking 3rd among members of China Communications Standards Association (CCSA) based on number of standards formulated, while many of China Unicom’s staff hold important positions with CCSA.

  • “Bidirectional ceiling antenna used in distribution system in mobile communication network room” was accredited with a silver award at 20th WIPO-CNIPA Award (China Patent Award), while numerous projects garnered industrial science and technology awards.

Accelerating 5G research and development

In 2018, China Unicom engaged in full efforts to drive the development of the entire 5G value chain in service, network, terminal and application, as large-scale 5G networking tests were conducted and construction plans were being deployed.

  • Completion of three 3GPP international standards, including the China Unicom-led “4G/5G close coupling network structure”, as well as the formulation of the 5G NR series corporate standards, while progress was made in the formulation of 5G NR related industry standards.

  • Completion of 5G base station equipment features and technical requirements, internal and external field testing standards, and deployment plans and guides for the test of new technologies.

  • 737 base stations were constructed in 17 cities to run outdoor field tests and service trials, among which five outfield sites have allocated to large scale network testing, driving the maturity in the 5G value chain.

  • With persistence in the simultaneous synergy of the terminal and network, China Unicom issued China Unicom 5G Terminal White Paper to clearly specify the technical requirements of China Unicom’s 5G terminals, in vigorous drive of the development of the 5G terminal value chain.

  • China Unicom’s 5G Innovation Lab officially established to focus on work including the innovation of 5G industry applications.