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China Southern Power Pilots TD-LTE Smart Grid

06.08.2013 15:49:00


China Southern Power Grid Co., Ltd. (CSP) invests, builds, and operates power networks in Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, Guizhou, and Hainan provinces and regions. Their service area has a population of 230 million and encompasses more than 386,000 square miles (1 million sq. km).

The Guangzhou Power Supply Bureau (GPS) serves 4.7 million people in a 2,870 square mile (7,434 sq. km) area of Guangzhou province. It is a subsidiary of China Southern Power Grid (CSP).

CSP planned to upgrade their smart power distribution grid with wireless communications technology. They built an integrated data collection platform and several small-scale test zones to collect and analyze data from a pilot.GPS that performed the pilot.


Poor communication between power control systems in equipment rooms and the 100,000 distribution terminals scattered around the city slowed Smart Grid development in areas such as:

  • Automatic power distribution
  • Automatic and intelligent metering
  • Video surveillance
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) capability

In addition, the pilot shows several particularly challenging areas.

Wired access

CSP originally routed many of its distribution terminals from substations to customers over power supply lines. However, wired networks are not feasible in some crowded urban areas because of:

  • Required government approval
  • Complex construction sites
  • High material and labor costs
  • Complicated follow-up maintenance

Public networks

Public networks failed to meet service requirements because of poor security, high lease costs, and insufficient service resources.

Short-distance communication

The city’s geography limited short-distance wireless communication interfered with service. Users could only use it for simple services on a small scale. 


Huawei provided a wireless 4G Smart Grid solution that eased construction problems and freed wired networks from environmental restrictions. Huawei’s wireless broadband private network also overcame the poor performance and limited resources of 2G/3G public networks.

Time-Division Long-Term Evolution (TD-LTE) technology

The solution uses 4G TD-LTE base stations in existing substations and office buildings. The base stations operate on a 1.8G industry-dedicated wireless spectrum.

In addition, Huawei deployed dedicated TD-LTE distribution terminals with Remote Terminal Units (RTUs), Data Transformation Units (DTUs), and Feeder Terminal Units (FTUs). The base stations combine data from multiple electric power terminals and sends it via an existing transmission network to a host station.

High-bandwidth with wide coverage

Huawei’s base stations provide full access for distribution terminals near transformer stations. The terminals meet high-bandwidth requirements for automatic power distribution, metering, and video surveillance. Base stations cover a 1 mile (1.5 km) radius, offer 99.999% reliability, and provide more than 30 Mbit/s of bandwidth.

Huawei used several technologies to improve transmission strength:

  • Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO)
  • High-gain antennas
  • High-Power Amplifiers (HPA)
  • Multiple industry-specific terminal deployment modes

Automatic power distribution and metering

Almost every customer site requires at least one automatic power distribution and/or automatic metering device. While each site only generates a small volume of information, the aggregate of all the single-sites is huge.

To handle the load better, Huawei provided concurrent access to more 400 terminals per 1 square mile (1.5 sq. km). Each optimized base could handle more than 3,000 concurrent logons from the terminals. Full access permitted follow-up access expansion, including automatic metering and automatic distribution terminals and charging piles. 

Electric power terminals come in various models that may require different deployment approaches. Huawei used a differentiated modular deployment mode to handle terminals regardless of the model. For example, Huawei used underground cabinets and ultra-long-distance deployment to improve coverage and enhance communication quality without compromising operational security and stability.

Multi-level Quality of Service (QoS)

Different service applications in automatic power distribution networks work on different priorities. Huawei’s LTE system integrates radio resource management and tailored priorities for electricity services. The solution also supports multiple services while ensuring that important data, such as automatic remote service data, transmits preferentially.

The QoS mechanism works with real-time online terminals and a latency minimizing solution to ensure less than 100 ms end-to-end latency. The TD-LTE solution also uses an array of end-to-end data protection methods, including 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and authentication encryption, to ensure high data security and reliability.


Huawei helped CSP build a wireless Smart Grid network with several key benefits:

  • Verified the feasibility of building wireless Smart Grids in crowded urban areas
  • Improved distribution communication efficiency and reduced maintenance costs through simpler deployment and maintenance
  • Multiple-service application support
  • Higher bandwidth capacity

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