Huawei and China Telecom complete 5G standalone electricity slice test

China Telecom Jiangsu, Huawei and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) have successfully conducted an electricity network slice test using a real-life power grid environment in Nanjing, China. It was also the world’s first electricity slice to comply with the latest 5G standalone (SA) specifications released by 3GPP.

The three companies are exploring use cases in the power grid sector using 5G technologies. Electricity network slicing uses 5G network slicing technologies with a smart grid, in order to enable things like millisecond-level precise power load control and bidirectional communication between power grids and end users.

“This successful test is a breakthrough for SA networks in the 5G vertical market,” Zhan Mingfei, deputy general manager of the government and enterprise customer department of China Telecom, said in a statement. “We will continue to collaborate with SGCC and Huawei to leverage key national research and China Telecom’s 5G trial resources to make innovations and build a 5G electricity ecosystem.”

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Huawei deployed 5G base stations in the Drum-Tower Square and Lishui District in Nanjing for the tests. China Telecom then conducted indoor and outdoor local-end, mid-end, remote-end, and obstacle blocking tests. The network was able to achieve an average of 35 ms end-to-end latency, which is sufficient to support mission-critical requirements for millisecond-level precise management of power grid load processing units running on telecom networks, the companies said.

Test network for the electricity slice (Huawei)

“5G electricity slicing can provide important communications system assurance to keep up with new power grid service requirements, service models, and operation modes,” Gao Shengyu, deputy GM of SGCC’s Nanjing Power Supply Company, said in a statement, adding that SGCC is building an “Internet of Energy” network dedicated to the electricity sector.

The three companies have been working on an electricity slicing project since 2017, and released a joint report outlining the technical details and opportunities for using 5G with smart grids.