China Unicom Beijing: Committed to Safety at the 2022 Winter Olympics


December 15, 2021


From February 4 to 20, 2022, the Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, China. Preparations have been ongoing since October 2021, with many international tests, training week activities, and domestic testing conducted in Beijing (including Yanqing district) and Zhangjiakou.

The Olympic spotlight is now well and truly on Beijing.

Olympic events are becoming increasingly digitalized, yet to deliver an unforgettable Winter Olympics, safety must always be the top priority. At a conference on security at the Winter Olympics, relevant departments were instructed to implement stringent security measures to prepare for a simple, safe, and successful Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

As the only official communication service partner for the Games, China Unicom brings leading network information security experts as well as innovative and highly reliable applications to help the organization and assurance departments of the Winter Olympics achieve higher network security.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, many people will be unable to watch the Games in person. However, that doesn’t need to detract from the experience thanks to a cutting-edge 8K/VR live broadcast platform. However, with openness comes security risks. As network security is a key element of the Winter Olympics, China Unicom Beijing will ensure high network and information security with advanced technologies and strong technical capabilities – it has built highly secure and reliable Smart Link private lines based on the optical transport network (OTN) technology.

To meet the high network security requirements of the event, China Unicom Beijing will build an all-round network security system focused featuring high intelligence and a mature ecosystem.

Replacing legacy devices greatly reduces potential faults

The smallest defects can lead to the biggest failures. When it comes to network security, network devices are especially important. On the live network of China Unicom Beijing, most SDH devices were first deployed more than 10 years ago. They’re now outdated and lack replacement boards and parts, exposing the network to risks. To improve network security, China Unicom Beijing evolved the SDH network by replacing legacy, at-risk devices with packet-enhanced OTN (PeOTN) devices. In this way, highly secure hard pipes with larger capacity can be used to carry services for improved security during the Winter Olympics.

The decade-old equipment is replaced by the Huawei OSN 9800 M series

China Unicom Beijing built E2E OTN hard pipes covering the entire city of Beijing to physically isolate different Olympic services, enabling exclusive bandwidth and high privacy. Moreover, private line bandwidth can be adjusted without service interruption, bringing better and more secure service experiences for the Games.

Intelligent prediction of network faults helps mitigate risks

Proactive prediction and prevention help prepare for every eventuality. China Unicom Beijing applies intelligent technology to Smart Link private lines to predict and proactively prevent network faults, improving network security. An intelligent co-route identification technology is used to determine whether the fibers of the working and protection routes are in the same cable. Additionally, the health status of optical networks can be analyzed in real time to predict faults, quantify service availability, and perform closed-loop optimization, mitigating network risks in advance.

Smart Link private lines can intelligently analyze services, making bandwidth adjustment faster and more intelligent. During the Winter Olympics, Smart Link private lines can quickly adjust bandwidth based on the game schedule and service bit rates to cope with emergencies. User behavior profiles will be created based on big data analysis, and service upgrade solutions based on SLA visualization and change requirements will be proactively provided for users.

Redundant paths are always available to ensure data security

Advanced protection technology provides high security. Smart Link is a hard pipe private line with high security and physical isolation. It is equipped with OTN encryption boards to ensure ultra-secure transmission and effectively safeguard the global 8K/VR live broadcast during the Winter Olympics. In addition, the industry-leading automatically switched optical network (ASON) 2.0 technology is used to protect services against multiple fiber cuts, achieving network-level and link-level protection.

The ASON 2.0 technology supports flexible large networks and automatic private-line recovery in seconds. With diamond-level automatic recovery capability, ASON protects services against multiple fiber cuts and ensures that services are automatically switched from faulty to available routes. The protection switching time is less than 50 ms, achieving 99.99% or higher availability of Smart Link private lines, ensuring the highest reliability for Winter Olympics services. Intelligent chips built in network devices can predict service interruptions, so that configurations can be optimized in advance for smart O&M and risk mitigation. Moreover, a flexible network with multi-route protection further improves stability and availability of data transmission.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are just around the corner, and China Unicom’s preparation is entering the critical stage. While ensuring effective pandemic prevention and control, the network team of China Unicom Beijing will continue to use advanced OTN technologies based on practices in large-scale test games. We will offer all-round, multi-dimensional security protection to ensure stable networks during the Winter Olympics, helping to deliver an unforgettable experience to the world.

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.

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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