As the COVID-19 cases resurged in China in the past couple of months, the Telecommunication Data-Based Travel Itinerary Card (hereinafter referred as the Travel Itinerary Card), a cellphone app, was jointly launched by China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Academy of Communications in March 2022. The big data provided by the three biggest Chinese telecommunications operators are utilized to provide itinerary inquiry services for mobile phone users across China. It supports one-click inquiry of the countries (regions) a user has visited within 14 days and the domestic cities he/she has stayed in for more than 4 hours. If a user’s card shows a yellow or red color, the user needs to put his/her travel temporarily on hold and might even need to start self-quarantine. The Travel Itinerary Card has become something that a person must have under the current pandemic environment.
In March this year, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region suffered a second major COVID-19 outbreak. The local government immediately escalated its COVID-19 prevention and control measures comprehensively. People were required to show a green Travel Itinerary Card in order to access hospitals, airports, railway stations, office buildings, supermarkets, and other public areas. As the confirmed cases continued to rise, the number of itinerary inquiries had increased dramatically. The original database system had faced a huge challenge to process such a massive amount of data and started to break down. As a result, the number of user complaints had also increased significantly.
Previously, after the customer service team received a citizen complaint phone call, a case would be opened and a work order would be generated to be sent to the IT team for data analysis at the backend. A SQL query would be manually created and sent to the old database system to fetch data. The average query return time was about 3 minutes. After that, the results would be compared with other related data and verified by the IT team before submitting to the customer service team. In general, about 300 citizens’ complaints could be handled daily. This workload was manageable when COVID-19 cases were under control, and the response time could meet most customers’ needs.
However, since the resurgence of COVID-19 in March, the number of customer complaint calls had grown exponentially. The original database system had shown severe performance degradation. Although both the customer service team and the IT team were on three 24x7 shifts, they could not support all the inquires. Under that circumstance, user experience was seriously affected. For example, if a user was at an airport or an emergency room and it took 2 hours or even longer for his/her inquiry to be answered, it could potentially put the user’s life or property at stake.
Under the unprecedented public pressure, the local Inner Mongolia government and Inner Mongolia Mobile quickly initiated a special project to upgrade the infrastructure of the information system. As China Mobile’s long-term top class big data intelligence platform provider, Borrui Data Technology (Beijing) Co. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Borrui Data), the parent company of Boray Data Technology Limited, answered the call and immediately took the challenge. Borrui Data had successfully implemented RapidsDB, its independently-developed distributed in-memory relational database to meet the urgent demand. It helped the local government and Inner Mongolia Mobile quickly adapt to the daily-changing COVID-19 situation and gain positive feedback on improved user experience.
Borrui Data is the patent and intellectual property owner of RapidsDB. Compared with the data access speed of disk-based traditional databases, RapidsDB is more than 100 times faster. It is ideal for various use cases, which require high database performance and fast response to queries.
The Inner Mongolia Telecommunication Data-Based Travel Itinerary Card use case epitomized the strength and value of RapidsDB. During the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 15 billion travel itinerary records were inquired monthly by users living in Inner Mongolia. Relying on the superior data processing ability of RapidsDB, the query response time related to a customer complaint, which originally took 3 minutes, had been reduced to less than 3 seconds. A single user query with a specified date could be returned within a second. A single user query with a specified date range could be returned within 2 seconds. It is also important to mention that since Borrui Data participated in the project, it only took the company 10 days to implement the new system, replacing the old traditional database with RapidsDB. The overall 60-times data query efficiency improvement was instant. The performance of RapidsDB as well as the professional customer service and tech support of the Borrui Data team was acclaimed by the clients. “The new database system is super-fast. The performance is outstanding!”, said one customer.
Today, the lightning-fast, reliable, and secure RapidsDB is fully supporting the pandemic prevention and control measures of the Inner Mongolia government by establishing a social safety net for people’s lives. It has also provided a strong technical foundation for China Mobile’s telecommunications business.
As a Chinese key-technology pioneer and national specialized innovative technology enterprise, Borrui Data will continue to take on its corporate social responsibility and make technology breakthroughs to support the technology advancement, industrial reform, and digital transformation of China and further demonstrate the potentials of Chinese fundamental software in various fields of digital economy.