ZTE has secured the “2023 Top 10 5G Private Network Practices" award for its fully connected factory project. This recognition was achieved in collaboration with Wuhan Iron and Steel Corp. and the Hubei Branch of China Unicom at the 5G Private Network Integration and Innovative Development Forum organized by Communications World.
The Construction Guide for 5G Fully Connected Factory, released by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), proposes to promote the construction of 5G fully connected factories for 10,000 enterprises, build 1,000 classified and distinctive factories and create 100 benchmark factories. Implementation of 5G fully connected factories goes beyond merely integrating 5G technology into the industrial Internet. Instead, it requires the integration of enterprise-specific applications and the utilization of various emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, edge computing and big data.
Since 2021, Wuhan Iron and Steel, China Unicom and ZTE have collaborated to establish a fully connected 5G factory. This project is the first in Hubei Province to deploy a 5G dedicated core network and bearer network within an enterprise park. Currently, 63 5G shared base stations have been deployed in the factory park (excluding 5G exclusive sites), with a 5G coverage rate of over 95%, making it one of the largest 5G enterprise private networks in China. Numerous applications tailored to iron and steel scenarios, such as 5G+ autonomous driving, 5G+ intelligent iron water dispatching, 5G+ high-risk operation monitoring and 5G+ ecological protection, have been successfully implemented in a sequential manner.
After two years of exploration and practice, Wuhan Iron and Steel's fully connected factory has established a 5G construction and application mode of 1 (exclusive core network) + N (shared 5G stations) + X (industrial control private network). In the industrial control private network, ZTE has introduced a dedicated 5G industrial control computing base, facilitating the seamless integration of Information Technology (IT), Communication Technology (CT) and Operational Technology (OT) domains while meeting the high reliability requirements of industrial control networks.
As a significant achievement, large-scale implementation of unmanned driving has been realized across various production lines, including hot rolling, cold rolling and silicon steel. This advancement signifies the successful utilization of 5G technology to enable autonomous driving within Wuhan Iron and Steel's operations.
The 5G fully connected factory, as an important application scenario of the industrial Internet, vigorously promotes the construction of new infrastructure represented by 5G. Wuhan Iron and Steel, China Unicom and ZTE have jointly created an industry benchmark for 5G fully connected factories and applied this mode to more steel enterprises. The collaborative commitment fully serves the digital transformation of the metallurgical and steel industry and facilitates its long-term, high-quality development.