May 24, 2022

The 2022 Winter Olympics Eyes Gold Medal in Low Carbon

                   

Since the concept of a “Green Olympics” was adopted in 1993, Olympic Games’ hosts have taken it upon themselves to make this environmental vision a reality. Beijing has also taken this to heart – at the very start of preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing released the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics Low-Carbon Plan. The plan promotes innovation and application demonstration of low-carbon technologies, as well as institutional innovation to achieve carbon neutrality.

The Beijing Winter Olympics has since achieved multiple records within the fields of technology, environmental protection, construction, and more. It will be the first Olympic Games that uses only green electric energy such as photovoltaics (PV) and wind power. In terms of buildings, all new stadiums will comply with the 3-star Green Building Evaluation Label (GBEL) standard, and a great deal of existing stadiums have been reconstructed to meet the 2-star GBEL standard. In terms of technological innovation, Beijing is the first host city that uses carbon dioxide to make ice on a large scale, with carbon emissions close to zero.

It will be the first Olympic Games that uses only green electric energy such as photovoltaics (PV) and wind power.

As the official communication service partner of the Beijing Winter Olympics, China Unicom Beijing has applied cutting-edge technologies and implemented green concepts to build a premium network. China Unicom Beijing deployed advanced all-optical cross-connect (OXC) and built an intelligent all-optical network, upon which it has launched SmartLink private lines for packet-enhanced OTN (PeOTN). We will be able to provide a premium connection experience for the main media center and competition venues across three competition zones in two cities, and establish solid assurance for 4K/8K UHD live broadcasting.

OXC deployed at core sites

Beijing, the economic center of China, inevitably suffers from heavy intra-city service traffic. Its bandwidth requirements have increased rapidly, and services featuring flexible scheduling, low latency, and high reliability are in great demand. In response to this shift in the landscape, China Unicom Beijing has sorted out services on the live network and deployed the OXC solution in hub buildings at core sites. The solution adopts an innovative all-optical backplane architecture for core sites, eliminating the need for inter-board fiber connections. As a result, the overly complicated conventional system consisting of multiple devices and cabinets is transformed into only one device in one cabinet, reducing its footprint by about 70% and slashing carbon emissions during new equipment room construction.

OXC integrates all optical-layer components, including the optical amplifier (OA) board, optical supervisory channel (OSC) board, and optical grooming DWSS board, into a single board. The overall optical-layer power consumption of a single site is reduced by 36%, cutting carbon emissions in device running. It is estimated that 200,000 kWh of electricity can be saved each year using this technology, which is equivalent to planting 8,700 trees.

Modernizing the SDH

As the largest information infrastructure provider in Beijing, China Unicom Beijing has high volumes of SDH private lines on the live network, serving key industries including government, bank, securities, and Internet. However, most SDH devices have been running for over 20 years. These devices may have a small capacity but they consume a large number of optical fibers, a huge equipment room space, and a lot of energy. Facing the service bandwidth acceleration and intelligence requirements of these industries, SDH devices cannot keep pace with service development and fail to meet China’s carbon peaking and neutrality goals.

China Unicom Beijing launched its SDH-to-OTN Modernization strategy across its entire access network in phases. and completed SDH modernization on the entire access network in phases. Old SDH devices were replaced by PeOTN devices, and SDH private lines were replaced by SmartLink private lines, successfully transforming the legacy network into a low-carbon all-optical network.

We first selected the Wangjing site (one of the eight core sites) and the aggregation and access rings as the first showcase project: 94 SDH devices of different models from multiple vendors were retired, and two OTN devices were used to carry all previous private line services of the old devices. A total of 240,000 circuits were migrated, saving the space of 64 standard cabinets and about 258,000 kWh of electricity each year, which is equivalent to the effect of planting over 11,000 trees.

A total of 240,000 circuits were migrated, saving the space of 64 standard cabinets and about 258,000 kWh of electricity each year, which is equivalent to the effect of planting over 11,000 trees.

Space & Energy Savers: ONT+OLT

By using Fiber to the Room (FTTR) products, we’ve lowered power consumption through features like intelligent hibernation. The Wi-Fi 6 chip used on the optical network terminal (ONT) has the intelligent hibernation function and performs automatic frequency adjustment.  During off-peak hours, the chip reduces scanning frequency and during peak hours, it increases scanning frequency and dynamically adjusts transmit power, reducing power consumption by 20%. Moreover, the Wi-Fi function of user terminals can be woken up on demand, slashing the battery power consumption of terminals by 30%. The yearly electricity savings by one set of FTTR devices per family is equivalent to the amount of carbon emissions absorbed by one tree.

The optical line terminal (OLT) applies an energy-saving architecture and uses the industry’s first PON board that integrates multiple modes, reducing the equipment room space required by 60%. SFP+ optical modules double the density and the modular devices support four levels of power consumption adjustment (standard, basic, deep, and optimal), reducing power consumption by 43%.

As the sole communication service partner of the Beijing Winter Olympics, China Unicom Beijing aspires to continuously spark innovation. While providing solid assurance for services of different stadiums, China Unicom Beijing will also accelerate its SDH-to-OTN Modernization plans and FTTR deployment. It will continue pushing forward with retiring old devices and deploying green energy solutions, explore technological innovations and applications of transmission bearer and access networks, and promote evolution to intelligent and low-carbon optical networks, and thus help various industries achieve carbon peak and neutrality goals.

Read the previous posts in this series:

China Unicom Beijing: Committed to Safety at the 2022 Winter OlympicsChina Unicom Beijing: Bringing Smart & Digital Multimedia to the 2022 Winter OlympicsChina Unicom Beijing: Technological Intelligence at the Winter Olympics

About the Author

This is a guest post from China Unicom Beijing.

China Unicom Beijing is one of the leading provincial operations at China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd. (“China Unicom”), which was established on January 6, 2009. The operator is a pioneer in network technologies and continues to innovate digital and intelligent transformation to provide better services for customers like governments, enterprises, and financial customers.

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