PARTNER CASE STUDY: China Unicom Global (CUG) lined up a diverse range of tier 1 clients across the logistics and warehousing industry in Europe, after years of developing a comprehensive offering of ICT services covering professional services, network deployments and IT system construction.

Leveraging its global network resources and integration capabilities across converged digital technologies, CUG focuses on the five main businesses: Big Connectivity, Big Computing, Big Data, Big Application and Big Security. It is also committed to providing global connectivity, cloud computing, data centre, ICT and loT solutions for operator and enterprise customers, and data roaming services for individual customers.

Its expertise in the warehousing sector covers data centre construction, fixed and wireless coverage, security systems, smart site monitoring and robot services.

The offering includes a smart campus platform which helps customers centralise site management, boost efficiency and reduce overall cost by creating a one-stop IT service with a local team of experts providing professional compliance consulting.

Tony Guo, General Manager of CUG Product and Solution Centre, explained its design teams have broad and deep knowledge of enterprise operations at the head office and branch levels, and the experience to understand a client’s business strategy. “We are able to help customers develop their enterprise IT architecture, including applications, information and infrastructure architecture.”

Guo noted clients demand tight delivery times, often as short as one month. Complicating deployments, many times part of a warehouse is already in operation when it is contracted to deliver a project. This means it needs to provide temporary 4G and 5G connectivity for as long as two months after the full network is installed to ensure the facility has uninterrupted service during the rollout and after completion.

“We also have to work with multiple parties, each with their unique demands,” he said.

Once its systems are operational at a warehouse, CUG provides continuous service covering systematic training for clients, quality assurance and technical support for engineers.

Tailor-made services available for warehouses:

  • Smart park visual operation and management platform
  • Smart safety checking
  • Network connectivity
  • 360° monitoring
  • Vehicle management system
  • System architecture professional consulting service
  • Overseas project management service
  • Maintenance and consulting service

Global resources
With more than 30 subsidiaries, some 60 international submarine cable systems, 20 international terrestrial cable border stations and 310 PoPs, CUG offers customised telecommunication networks with its extensive resources.

CUG’s Cloudbond service provides one-stop access, multi-cloud and multi-point networking for enterprise and carrier customers, using software-defined network (SDN) technology to navigate cross-cloud communication issues in different regions and network environments.

Its information system construction service supports everything from basic IT infrastructure buildouts and one-stop system implementation to data centre interconnection and video conference systems.

Projects start with the purchase and deployment of IT and networking equipment, and can include debugging, testing, system-based training services for customers, as well as maintenance support and quality assurance after launch.

Cases studies
A logistic company selected CUG to develop an integrated communications platform for a 20,000-square-metre warehouse in Warsaw, Poland, fitted with wired and wireless infrastructure, a video surveillance system, forklift charging stations and diesel generators.

The Polish facility, the company’s third in Europe, provides online shopping delivery services for local supermarket chains. The affiliate of the logistic company helps Chinese manufacturing companies and brands export to Europe though its integrated supply chain platform, delivering cross-border transportation and overseas warehouse distribution.

Since the warehouse was already in operation when the project began, CUG had to deploy its systems without impacting the on-going business. The project delivery was completed in one and a half months from design to construction.

With the shelf and ground stacking areas yet to be built, CUG had to ensure wireless coverage would support 360-degree video surveillance monitoring across the entire facility in phase two.

The project covered layout design, site survey, installation and maintenance services, including cabling work and installation of cameras.

A second implementation was carried out at a central warehouse in the Netherlands, were CUG deployed a highly-reliable wireless and wired network, with full redundancy and video surveillance coverage inside and outside.

The capabilities at the 20,000-square-metre storage centre include a security intrusion alarm connected to the main alarm system by a local provider and automatic fire suppression equipment in the data hall.

CUG was required to install temporary internet connectivity before the dedicated network was completed. Guo said it faced a number of obstacles during the rollout, including overcoming difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and delays by the client, but managed to complete the project on time.

“The deployment required working with the client, their local operating team and local security team, each with different systems which we had to coordinate,” he stated.

CUG also is in the middle of building out the IT capabilities of a China-based e-commerce company’s warehousing and logistics park in Poland, with wired and wireless networks, virtual terminal service, video surveillance and security system.

The facilities consist of six warehouses averaging 50,000 square metres each and will serve as the warehouse and logistics base in Europe for the e-commerce company.

Additional features such as three-dimensional multi-story storage area, robot storage and retrieval, intelligent sorting and roller-line transportation will be added in the future.

“We aim to achieve an integration of IT technology and traditional logistics technology, and create a smart park that suits the demands of our customer,” he said.

These three case studies in Europe are just a few of the many ICT implementations CUG has carried out for the warehousing and logistics industry, with a focus on multi-system collaboration across all ICT components, including network access, 360-degree monitoring, vehicle management, and security and safety systems.

Developing a unified operation and management platform for each facility promotes data sharing among various systems for improved data analytics.