China Xinke Chen Shanzhi: Five thoughts on 5G empowering the digitalization of the industry


China Xinke Chen Shanzhi: Five thoughts on 5G empowering the digitalization of the industry

[Communication Industry Network News] (Reporter
(Party Bowen) On July 28, the 2022 Global Digital Economy Conference – 5G Innovation Summit was held in Beijing. Chen Shanzhi, deputy general manager of China Information Technology, director of the Expert Committee, and director of the State Key Laboratory of Wireless Mobile Communications, pointed out in his speech that industrial digitalization, as an important part of the digital economy, is an active choice for various vertical industries to create new momentum for the digital economy. 5G will further promote the digital transformation and upgrading of traditional industries.

Under the tortuous and changeable environment of the global economy, promoting the development of the digital economy is an important driving force for the economic and social transformation of our country during the "14th Five-Year Plan" period. It is expected that by 2025, the digital economy of our country will exceed 60 trillion yuan. However, at present, the overall application of 5G industry in our country is still in the early stage of development. It is driven by policies. Although industries such as industrial Internet, smart mines, smart power, intelligent transportation and intelligent networked vehicles have entered the growth stage, they have not yet formed large-scale commercial use.


In this regard, Chen Shanzhi stressed that the deep integration of 5G and vertical industries, empowering digital transformation, is the main way to stimulate the new momentum of the industry, is driven by the general trend but not easy, and put forward five thoughts on this.

Pending breakthroughs in technology

Digitalization and intelligence have become the key driving forces for economic and social development, leading a new round of industrial transformation. And from connecting people to connecting things, from connecting life scenes to connecting production scenes, connection is the premise and foundation of the intelligent world, and the ability of 5G also determines the development of 5G applications.

In terms of technical capabilities, the current 5G network with eMBB as its main construction goal is based on 3GPP
The high bandwidth and some low latency capabilities of the R15 version can solve the needs of network access and service bearers in most vertical industries, but it is difficult to meet the higher needs of some industry applications. There are some technical shortcomings in the early 5G applications, such as bottlenecks in the upstream bandwidth capabilities required by some industry applications, and the randomness and communication reliability of wireless coverage cannot compare to traditional industrial buses.

"To solve these problems, we need to rely on R16 and subsequent higher versions of the standard to support, and enhance uplink performance, latency, mobility and robustness." Chen Shanzhi pointed out that from R15’s eMBB, to R16’s ultra-reliable low-latency communication, to the just-completed R17 to achieve massive machine-type communication, the technical architecture of 5G for vertical industries has basically been built, and uplink large bandwidth, low latency, high reliability, high-precision positioning, Redcap and other technologies have become the cornerstone technologies for 5G to support innovative applications in various industries. However, the introduction of these new technologies requires a process of standard formulation, Product Research & Development to converged applications, which cannot be achieved overnight. It is expected that they will be implemented in products and networks one after another in the next 2 to 3 years.

In terms of network resilience, deploying 5G private networks for various vertical industries is the first step in 5G-empowered digital transformation. But 5G to C networks are not all suitable for 5G to
The industrial application scenarios of B are still far from meeting the needs of effective and efficient industrial applications.

For example, some industries require the core network to sink to the customer side for deployment due to the requirements of cyber security isolation and functional customization; in some special scenarios, base station equipment needs to meet the needs of anti-explosion and high temperature protection, and core network equipment needs to simplify some functions to meet the needs of industry customers.

Overall, the lack of flexibility of the 5G industry’s private network is mainly reflected in three aspects.

First, the cost of network customization in the 5G industry is high, and the network deployment mode should be determined according to the actual application scenario, whether it is a wide area virtual private network or a local area virtual private network or a private network with exclusive frequency bands. In addition, this also depends on end-to-end network slicing, 5G
The ability of LAN and edge computing technologies to support network customization.

Second, public network products have a low degree of adaptation to the industry, such as the unique deployment scenarios in mines, which require high reliability, high security, and low cost. Customized products such as lightweight core networks, intrinsically safe equipment, and cloud network integration products need to be provided to meet industry environmental and cost requirements.

Third, the operation of 5G private networks poses a great challenge to enterprises, and they should be selected according to their own capabilities. For enterprises with strong capabilities, they can achieve self-service, self-operation and maintenance, and self-development. For enterprises with weak capabilities, they can consider negotiating with operators for division of labor and joint management.

Chen Shanzhi believes that the need to optimize and customize 5G networks, equipment and services according to the needs and characteristics of the industry, promote differentiated solutions, and find a balance between "performance" and "cost" is the key to solving the lack of 5G network elasticity.

Deep integration under application

At present, 5G applications based on video, image and other auxiliary links have been widely used, such as machine vision inspection, unmanned inspection/maintenance, high-resolution video monitoring, and converged communication. However, the core control business of most enterprises is still carried by traditional networks, and 5G applications such as unmanned mining and precise remote control have just started. It can be seen that the value of 5G in most current scenarios has been initially reflected, but the depth of the digital transformation of the industry still needs to be empowered.

Chen Shanzhi stressed that it is far from enough to rely on 5G connectivity alone. To promote the deep integration of 5G with various industries, it is necessary to focus on whether it can help enterprises improve product quality, reduce production costs, improve production efficiency, improve production safety and other core demands. Tap the "hard requirements" under the 5G network, from "cutting in" to "integrating" the core links to help enterprises with digital transformation.

Enhance the value of 5G applications to achieve "three transformations". One is to upgrade the system to meet the requirements of communication transmission systems, production control systems and service management systems for communication capabilities; the second is to integrate technology, the use of perception fusion, ubiquitous connection, artificial intelligence and other technologies will change the model of traditional business; the third is to integrate changes, from auxiliary links to core links, effectively promote the digitalization of research and development, production intelligence, operation centralization, management refinement and operation and maintenance networking, and help enterprises digital transformation.

In terms of industry promotion, at present, the application of 5G industry in our country has achieved a breakthrough from "0" to "1", but there is still a gap from the scale application of "N".

Chen Shanzhi said that different industries have different development stages, different levels of digitalization, and different needs for 5G. There is no unified standard or unified paradigm. It is not an easy task to seek commonalities among differences. In order to solve the difficult problem of 5G industry promotion, the first consideration is to summarize the typical application scenarios of 5G in key industries, extract common business capabilities, and achieve "scale standardization"; the second consideration is to sort out the 5G application scenarios of general industries, form a common technology portfolio, and "scale" it. Only by quickly replicating 5G applications in more industries and enterprises can costs be reduced and scale effects be formed. This is the greatest success of the 5G empowering industry.

Finally, in terms of ecological construction, from network, platform, end point, application, data to security, the 5G industry chain is gradually improving, but at present, the interaction between all levels is weak, and there are great challenges in the cooperation between ecosystems. In the past, industry customers generally had difficulty finding partners. The 5G era will become a watershed. Telecom operators, Internet companies and communication equipment manufacturers are relying on their own advantages in cloud, network and other aspects to enter, and continue to grow the industrial ecosystem.

"From the perspective of the communications industry, it is impossible for us to understand the industry better than industry experts. To do a good job in the digital transformation of the 5G industry, a large number of industry experts will inevitably be needed. At the same time, these experts also need to understand 5G and understand communication network products. 5G allows more and more domestic players to shoulder the heavy responsibility of promoting industrial development, to explore, integrate, practice, collaborate and create in the industry."
Chen Shanzhi pointed out that cross-border cooperation will become a new normal, and solution providers who understand both 5G and industry applications will be "favored" by industry customers in the future. At the same time, cross-border running-in will take a certain amount of time, and there is still a long way to go. However, once realized, the level of industry competition and production efficiency will be raised to a higher order of magnitude.

5G empowers industry digital transformation

It is a systematic project to give full play to the advantages of 5G, accelerate and empower the digital transformation of the industry, and make 5G truly become an important support for the digital economy and an important driving force for high-quality development.

For the thinking of 5G empowering digital transformation, how to quickly promote the upgrade of 5G network from "usable" to "easy to use", Chen Shanzhi put forward three suggestions for integrated innovation and development.

First, technological evolution and performance enhancement, 5G continues to evolve to 5G-A, enhancing performance such as uplink, positioning, and perception.

The second is flexible customization and integration of applications, providing ubiquitous connectivity, flexible products, and elastic networks, launching differentiated solutions that adapt to business, realizing intelligent and simple operation and maintenance, ensuring safety and control, and promoting energy conservation and emission reduction in the industry.

The third is to cooperate and create value together, engage in in-depth and benign interaction with the industry, and cooperate with the division of labor to jointly explore business applications, so as to promote 5G applications on a large scale, and jointly build a new ecosystem for the 5G industry, so that 5G can release greater value.

At present, China Xinke has been working in key industries such as energy, transportation, and industry for many years, starting from the needs of industry customers, focusing on the core scenarios of the industry, and creating 5G + industry solutions suitable for large-scale application and promotion through solution design, Product Research & Development, and business application promotion.

Facing the future digital economy and society, market demand is the fundamental driving force for the development of each generation of communication technology. Chen Shanzhi said that from 5G’s "scene connection and scene adaptation" to 6G’s "global coverage and scene intelligence connection", 6G has greatly improved its coverage, network performance and application range compared with 5G, which will further stimulate new momentum in the industry and generate greater social and economic value.


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