Huawei package to turn airports smart

  • September 27, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

At its Huawei Connect online conference this week, the Chinese tech giant launched a cloud networking package aimed at making airports smarter.

Features include one-stop access, one network for all services, one cloud across multiple areas, and one-stop integrated security. This can empower the digital transformation of airports to increase operational efficiency, improve security assurance and enhance travel experience, paving the way towards smart airports.

Today’s global civil aviation is undergoing rapid digital transformation. Airports – where transportation services for airlines, passengers and cargo carriers take place – are shifting their digital focus from high-speed growth to high-quality growth. Against this backdrop, airports need to address a number of pressing problems.

For example, they should converge data of traditional siloed networks to support new services, such as smart stand allocation. They also need to improve passengers’ wifi experience at terminal buildings to rise in the Airports Council International (ACI)’s passenger satisfaction rankings. Furthermore, because service cloudification breaks the traditional physical boundaries, airports need to address the new security concerns. And due to the ever-expanding network scale, airports must also urgently increase operations and maintenance efficiency.

Huawei vice president Alex Sun said: “With continuous technological innovations on airport security, efficiency and experience, Huawei will continue to work with more customers and partners worldwide to advance the airport cloud-network solution, in turn boosting digital transformation for smart airports.”

Huawei’s airport cloud network consists of the airport terminal access network, backbone network, cloud data centre network, and integrated network security. This has the following four capabilities:

  • One-stop access and Wifi 6 continuous networking: It builds on AirEngine Wifi 6 to create a gigabit wireless access network for high-density continuous coverage throughout the airport terminal building. In particular, four-element smart antennas increase the coverage distance by 20%, achieving full wifi coverage without blind spots. Furthermore, intelligent algorithms are used to steer roaming in real time, ensure network-wide roaming handovers without packet loss, and ultimately prevent interruption to passenger services such as video and gaming.
  • One network for all services and IPv6+ enabling more innovations: It draws on IPv6+ technology to build a centralised backbone network for multiple services. The resulting benefits include Mbit/s-level hard slicing, hard isolation of traffic from more than 1000 applications, and 100% bandwidth guarantee for key services. These traits enable the backbone network to accommodate various services, such as security check, security protection, retail and ground handling.
  • One cloud across multiple areas and network-as-a-service (NaaS): After airport services are migrated to the cloud, cloud data centres are distributed across wide areas. As such, it supports automatic network deployment to accelerate service provisioning and uses intelligent technologies to predict faults and accurately locate them in minutes. The proactive network fault prediction rate can reach over 90%, improving airports’ operational efficiency.
  • One-stop integrated security and cloud-network-security collaboration:Airport service data are becoming more valuable, and data security is becoming a top priority. In response, it introduces a cloud-network-security collaboration system that builds on a zero-trust architecture for dynamic detection and intelligent analysis. This enables real-time insights into the network-wide security posture and detection of threats at an accuracy of over 96%.

Huawei plans to join forces with more airports and partners to explore and implement innovative airport technology, accelerating digital transformation towards smart airports.