A 5G network in one of the world’s most remote regions

5G base station in the Hoh Xil Nature Reserve, Sanjiangyuan National Park

ZTE has rolled out a 5G network in China’s Hoh Xil Nature Reserve in the remote Sanjiangyuan National Park. Hoh Xil is China’s largest uninhabited national nature reserve, an incredible UNESCO World Heritage site. Sitting at an astonishing average elevation of 4,600 meters, it is considered the “forbidden zone for humans” due to its extreme high-altitude conditions. With only half the oxygen of lower altitudes, freezing temperatures down to -45°C, frequent blizzards and relentless winds, Hoh Xil has an incredibly harsh climate that keeps human presence to a bare minimum.

The immense size of over 190,000+ square kilometres means traditional patrol methods struggle to provide comprehensive coverage; even the 17,000+ patrol staff are devoting their best efforts to this. 5G enables remote monitoring to supplement on-site patrols, avoiding frequent trips into remote high-altitude areas. This allows staff to maximize protection with limited resources.

Patrol staff face prolonged isolation

The remote, uninhabited areas across the national park lack network coverage, meaning patrol staff face prolonged isolation when camping there for months. Both the loneliness from separation and harsh environmental conditions take a toll on staff well-being and safety. 5G connectivity helps address this by enabling video calls and urgent communications so staff can stay mentally and physically supported even in remote areas. It also allows them to share their daily experiences and nature wonders on social media.

Innovative applications of 5G

Through innovative applications of 5G, this project creates mutual benefits for the reserve’s delicate ecosystem, dedicated staff protecting it, nearby populations and general public interested in its preservation.

In this interview, Alex Wang, Managing Director of 5G RAN Solutions at ZTE, explains why and how the company has managed to roll out a 5G network there.

The fabulous supporting video, “Guardian of the Guardians”, shows the extreme conditions of he region and the challenges faced rolling out a 5G network there.

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