July 17, 2023
China Mobile, ZTE and Sanjiangyuan National Park have rolled out a 5G network at the Zhuonai Lake Protection Station in Kekexili, China’s largest uninhabited region.
The project aims to provide new levels of environmental protection and monitoring and to safeguard the area’s protected wildlife and ecosystems.
In particular, the site is home to Tibetan antelope during their birthing season and regular patrols are conducted by station staff in the area. Traditionally, these patrols rely on satellite phones which often see dips in connection, posing safety and logistical challenges to staff.
The new 5G network covers a radius of six miles, allowing workers to stay continually connected as they conduct patrols.
All network infrastructure at the site had to be robust and capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions, with all equipment at the site powered by solar energy, and designed to withstand force 11, and temperatures as low as -58°F.
The team said the project demonstrates the benefit of 5G technologies for environmental purposes, opening up “possibilities for future environmental protection, ecological monitoring, scientific expeditions, and changes in the management of protected areas.”
According to Sun Lijun, deputy director of Sanjiangyuan National Park Administration, the deployment of 5G marks a crucial step towards achieving smart management of national parks, saying it will “significantly enhance the efficiency of scientific management in national parks” and establish a more comprehensive mechanism for protection and research in Kekexili.
The partners said they plan to roll out similar projects in other world heritage sites, harnessing communication technologies to provide monitoring and protection services.
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