One of China’s most economically developed and internationalised regions, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is vigorously promoting the development of green and low-carbon network technologies.

China’s green digital economy

In recent years, collaboration between Huawei and China Mobile Guangdong has developed an all-optical network cluster for the Greater Bay Area which now boasts the world’s largest green all-optical switching hub network.

Based on continuous ICT innovation, specialists say the systems will set a global example by helping 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 fibres have an unparalleled advantage over copper lines when it comes to bandwidth, latency, anti-interference, and reliability. In addition, they help to reduce power consumption by 60% to 75%.

By using Huawei OTN devices that apply optical communication technologies, China Mobile Guangdong is pushing for the retirement of power-hungry and inefficient SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) devices in multiple cities, such as Huizhou and Shaoguan.

Currently, SDH modernisation has been implemented for about 5,000 SDH devices, saving 3,000 square metres of space. Additionally, about 7.9 million kWh of electricity is saved and carbon emissions reduced by 5,000 tons each year, the equivalent of planting 196,000 trees.

China Mobile Guangdong has also introduced an 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.” The measures reduce 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%.

The 2,000 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.

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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.

For example, in the city of Zhongshan in Guangdong, 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/sub-districts and extends to 277 village nodes, providing local, 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 centres 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.

The benefits brought by these private lines included high bandwidth and convenient capacity expansion, better satisfying the requirements of financial customers on latency, security, and reliability.