The telecommunications industry is experiencing a surge in demand for emerging multimedia networks, such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), future 6G mobile network communications, metaverse, and high-definition live video streaming. This results in a growing challenge for cloud service providers to offer ultra-fast network connections within a short timeframe and a specific range.


PolyU and Alibaba Cloud have joined forces to pioneer advancements in signal quality estimation technology, marking a significant leap forward in the telecommunications industry. This partnership leverages PolyU’s expertise in electrical and electronic engineering and Alibaba Cloud’s robust cloud computing platform to enhance the adoption of dynamic networks, crucial for the telecom sector’s evolution.


Led by Professor Alan Lau, the research team has made remarkable strides in accurately assessing signal quality across fibre-optic networks by integrating optics, physics, and big data analytics. This innovation not only provides cloud service providers with a deeper insight into signal transmission but also bolsters the stability and implementation efficiency of dynamic networks. A notable achievement of this collaboration is the reduction of signal-to-noise ratio estimation error from 22% to 4%, potentially increasing network capacity by 10% without comprising reliability.


This technology has been extensively implemented by Alibaba Cloud across its data centres in 15 countries and regions, significantly enhancing its capability to support major e-commerce sales events like the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. With the increasing demand for high-bandwidth multimedia applications, this advancement comes at a crucial time. It addresses the urgent need for ultra-fast, reliable network connections to accommodate surges in online traffic especially during large-scale events.


Professor Alan Lau emphasises the importance of accurate signal quality assessment in dynamic environments to mitigate nonlinear interference and maintain signal integrity. Dr Xie Chongjin, Senior Director at Alibaba Cloud, praises PolyU's technology for its ease of implementation and its substantial impact on network reliability and agility. This collaboration paves the way for future innovations in the field.


The research project has secured matching funding from the Innovation and Technology Commission’s Partnership Research Programme.