In 2019, ZTE cooperated with Guangzhou Mobile and Guangzhou Metro to launch a 5G+ smart metro demonstration project. After a year of operation, the project has achieved fruitful results: the first to formulate and release a smart metro functional grade system, the first 5G metro demonstration station in China, the first 5G SA private network for metro in China, and the world's first physical recourse block (PRB)-based hard slicing for metro service under 5G SA environment, and the second prize of the 3rd "Bloom Cup" 5G Application Contest hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China.
The 5G+ smart metro demonstration project adopts the innovative "1 + 3 + X" architecture, including one 5G network, three major application fields and X application scenarios. It realizes integrated transport of various metro services in different scenarios and ensures differentiated network performance requirements are met through MEC + UPF sinking and end-to-end network slicing.
5G Private Network Customized for Metro
In response to the service scenarios and communication performance requirements of the metro system, the project customizes a 5G private network solution for Guangzhou Metro on the basis of Guangzhou Mobile's 5G network.
—Qcell digital indoor distribution system for seamless coverage of station hall and platform:
The Canton Tower Metro station consists of a transfer hall located on the first underground floor, a station hall on the second underground floor, and a platform on the third underground floor. The BBU, pBridge and pRRU are used to achieve seamless coverage of the three floors, providing wireless access for metro station services.
—Dedicated MEC + UPF sinking:
The dedicated MEC + UPF for Guangzhou Metro is built in Guangzhou Mobile’s equipment room near the Canton Tower Metro station to realize local service data offloading and ensure that metro service data stay within the metro network. And smart metro applications such as AR intelligent security and high-precision positioning are deployed on the MEC platform.
—Dedicated VPN transmission:
A dedicated VPN transmission line with a speed of 100 Mbps in both the uplink and downlink is deployed by Guangzhou Mobile to connect the MEC + UPF equipment room and the data center of Guangzhou Metro.
—5G terminals, application terminals and application platforms:
ZTE, Guangzhou Metro and its partners offer 5G CPEs, 5G phones, 5G AR glasses, intelligent security inspection equipment, high-definition cameras, gates, side gates, customer service equipment, a positioning platform, a big data platform for passenger flow analysis, and apps.
—End-to-end slice for metro services:
The project realizes end-to-end metro service slicing covering 5G core, transmission, RAN and terminals, and verifies the capability of the 5G private network in guaranteeing differentiated SLA requirements of various metro services. The core network allows metro data to be physically isolated with the UPF exclusively used by metro services. The transmission network uses L3 VPN to provide a logically isolated transmission path for metro service slicing. The radio access network achieves logical isolation based on QoS scheduling and hard isolation based on PRB resource reservation. Physical isolation between general services and metro services are enabled through different terminals.
X Demo Scenarios in 3 Major Application Fields
The 5G+ smart metro project focuses on three major scenarios: station operation management, passenger travel services and train base maintenance, in response to the pain points of the operation and management faced by Guangzhou Metro, such as frequent congestion of surveillance videos, largely delayed emergency response, insufficient network flexibility, low accuracy of passenger flow prediction, and lagged passenger flow monitoring. Multiple smart metro applications have been verified and demonstrated.
—5G-based intelligent security inspection: Scanned luggage pictures and related information generated on-site by the intelligent security inspection equipment are uploaded to Guangzhou Metro's security inspection cloud in real time through the 5G network. The AI-based image inspection technology automatically identifies the location and category information of the suspected dangerous goods, displays them on the large screen of a centralized inspection room in real time, and helps security personnel perform centralized remote security inspection. This greatly improves the efficiency of security check, saving more than 50% of the manpower.
—5G-based high-precision indoor positioning: The integrated positioning technology based on MEC + Qcell achieves meter-level high-precision indoor positioning. In addition to indoor positioning and navigation applications for individual users, the technology in combination with a big data platform can provide metro operational staff with passenger flow heat maps. Thus, the staff can know the accurate passenger flow distribution in time, effectively manage passenger flows, and reduce the safety risk during peak passenger hours. It can also provide data support for merchants' precision marketing through the exposure of network capabilities and combination with the big data analysis system of China Mobile.
—5G-based wireless HD video surveillance: The high-definition video streams of the surveillance cameras are sent in real time over the 5G network without the need for network cabling, which allows flexible, rapid deployments of video surveillance system in special scenarios such as tidal passenger flows and difficult cabling areas, and enhances the system's ability to respond to emergencies.
—5G-based AR glasses for security: The 5G-based AR glasses capture and send the image data back to a central command platform through the 5G network in real time so as to identify and deal with abnormal situations or suspicious persons in time. Embedded with a facial detection app, the glasses allow the wearer to perform facial detection on passengers. A passenger is identified through facial feature extraction, and the recognition result is pushed to glasses. 5G AR glasses change the metro system's security approach from passive to active and improve its emergency response efficiency.
—5G-based train base maintenance: The project demonstrates vehicle frame repair/overhaul through 5G-based visual flaw detection, AI-based early warning, and AR-assisted maintenance. The timely repair rate is increased by 30%, the failure rate is reduced by 20%, and the maintenance cost is reduced by 20%.
The 5G+ smart metro demonstration project has verified the capability of the 5G private network in transporting various metro services. 5G+ smart metro helps Guangzhou Metro enhance its intelligence, flexibility, safety and operational efficiency, and saves more than 30% of the on-site customer service personnel. The next step of the project is to verify more 5G+ smart metro services, form a 5G+ smart metro system architecture and industry standards, and promote the large scale application of 5G in the metro industry.