6500+ Provisioned Smart Link Services Upgrade to Smart Link 2.0

6500+ Provisioned Smart Link Services Upgrade to Smart Link 2.0

Wang Chuanbao, Deputy General Manager of China Unicom Beijing, delivered a keynote speech titled "China Unicom Smart Link, Creating a Colorful Future" at the "Fiber to Everything, Intelligent Future" launch event of Ultra-Broadband Forum (UBBF) 2020. In his speech, Mr. Wang spoke about the differentiated experience and value-added services that China Unicom Beijing's Smart Link brought to enterprise private line users over the past two years. He also shared a case about Smart Link self-service rate adjustment assisting people during the epidemic, and expects that cloud-network synergy and intelligent Smart Link 2.0 will benefit new infrastructures and help make the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games a smart success.

Smart Link Becomes Industry Benchmark for Premium Private Lines

Smart Link is a smart private line product produced by China Unicom Beijing. Two years ago, operators' enterprise private line products failed to differentiate themselves from one another, and could not meet the new requirements for deterministic low latency, flexible self-service rate adjustment, and self-management and self-service. Service requirements drive network service upgrade, and differentiated high-quality private lines are imperative.

China Unicom Beijing officially released the Smart Link product in November 2018 in response to these new market demands. This is the world's first premium enterprise private line product based on PeOTN and the intelligent cloud-based NMS iMaster NCE. It provides enterprise users in China with differentiated private line services that are loaded with SMART features such as high security and reliability, user self-management, intelligence and flexibility, low latency, large bandwidth, and transparent visualization.

Over the past two years, Smart Link has provided over 6,500 services, an increase of more than 40 times. It has been widely used across various industries, such as finance and securities, Internet enterprises, and research institutes, and has boosted business development, and data growth of differentiated value-added Smart Link services. Currently, Smart Link users use the self-service function to view services on average 1.5 times a month. On the private line self-service page, users can view service parameters such as bandwidth, latency, availability, and service health. The number of parameters available is 61 times more than those available at the initial stage of service provisioning. Self-service also drove the normalization of value-added services such as online self-service bandwidth on demand (BOD). In September 2020, China Unicom Beijing responded to 352 online self-service rate adjustment requests, which is 100 times more than in the initial phase. Based on the new daily charge model and monthly settlement, self-service rate adjustment brought more than CNY300,000 value-added revenue in September, 231 times more than at the initial stage of service provisioning.

The Smart Link case successfully ensures optimal transmission of National Health Commission data. In mid-late February, China launched health codes, which collected data provided by provinces and then aggregated it to the National Health Commission data analysis platform through a data private line.

Smart Link is a hard pipe private line with high security and hard isolation. It is equipped with OTN encryption boards to ensure ultra-secure transmission of COVID-19 data and safeguards residents' privacy. The bandwidth of this data private line fluctuates in accordance with the epidemic threat level. The online self-service rate adjustment function of Smart Link supported frequent bandwidth adjustments at the initial stage of health code provisioning and the bandwidth acceleration caused by two outbreaks in Beijing during March and June of last year. After the threat level was lowered, the bandwidth was immediately restored to its original rate. China Unicom Beijing's Smart Link was instrumental in helping the people of Beijing resume work.

Prospect of Smart Link 2.0: Cloud-Network Synergy, Intelligent, and Ultimate Experience

China Unicom Beijing is evolving towards Smart Link 2.0, and will upgrade from enterprise private line to full-service and full-network E2E connection services to vertically connect multi-cloud services such as industry cloud, private cloud, and enterprise cloud. It will also horizontally integrate multiple access services such as 5G/MEC and 10G PON. Through cloud-and-network synergy and diversified access, Smart Link can better serve new infrastructure and industrial Internet, especially for the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

Smart Link will first strengthen cloud-network synergy to provide an ultimate experience, while centralized cloud and network management implements one-stop provisioning of cloud and private line services. Users can implement self-service through a unified user interface.

  • Smart Link provides wide coverage for high-value industry users. The site selection of new cloud pools and data centers will no longer be restricted by network access conditions. Instead, it can be deployed nearby to provide high-value users with one-hop access to the cloud at ultra-low latency.
  • The differentiated and high-quality connection services of Smart Link will also effectively boost the cloud services and subsequent services of China Unicom Beijing, as well as implement cloud + private line + X service convergence, bringing outstanding cloud to users through superior networks.
  • Smart Link will further apply intelligent technologies to improve the autonomous driving capability of networks. Network faults can be predicted and proactively prevented. Specifically, intelligent is used to determine whether the primary and secondary routes share the same fiber, analyze the health status of the optical network in real time, predict faults, quantify service availability, and perform closed-loop optimization. Intelligent service analysis and intelligent rate adjustment will be enabled, evolving from current user-requested rate adjustment to a superior user-authorized automatic rate adjustment. Users' potential business intents and solution upgrades will be integrated and interlocked. User behavior profiles based on big data analysis will be created, and service upgrade solutions for VIP customers based on service SLA visualization and service change requirements will be proactively provided.

Intelligent technologies will improve the autonomous driving capability of the Smart Link network from L2 (partial autonomy) to L3 (conditional autonomous driving).

As a partner of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games, China Unicom Beijing will provide private lines and cloud services for the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games. The operation center for the Olympic Games will allow users to experience a series of differentiated services thanks to Smart Link, including private network slice management, service health prediction, survivability analysis, and other private line health check reports, such as sports event rebroadcasting private network, sports event private network, sports event relay private network, and sports event customer private network. A smart Winter Olympic Games will be made possible thanks to active/standby service private line routes and GIS locating of risks, private line SLA and available network resource management, and intelligent acceleration solution based on the sports event plan and network traffic.

Wang Chuanbao concluded that the exploration and successful practices of Smart Link are a result of China Unicom Beijing and Huawei's combined efforts. Smart Link 2.0 will provide a smarter life for more customers and realize Innovation & Intelligence.