China leads in global 5G rollout

By Chen Qingqing in Shanghai Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/26 22:18:43

Collaboration an industry consensus, technology beyond geopolitics

Two employees welcome attendees to MWC19 Shanghai at the entrance to the Huawei exhibition hall. Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

Workers at a coal mine in Central China's Henan Province can now enjoy the cool air of an office instead of driving an extractor in the pit itself as a low-latency 5G network, enabling distance monitoring, allows them to work remotely, minimizing errors while improving safety and efficiency.

In an ambulance, even without professional doctors aboard, nurses can perform an ultrasound on patients in urgent cases and ultrafast 5G speeds help real-time interaction, making remote doctors available for the patient. 

Compared with 4G, the 5G era is about all connectivity. With its superfast speed and low latency, it accelerates the digitalization of society by collecting and processing data much faster. 

At MWC19 in Shanghai, the largest annual telecoms industry event in Asia, attendees gather around a Chinese handcraft artist, who embroiders carefully, and a 5G-powered live broadcast transmits the image carefully in 8K TV so that viewers can see her delicate work in real time. 

Patrol robots on production lines connected with 5G networks are able to upload data to cloud services and process it spontaneously. Passengers board a smart bus in Southwest China's Guizhou Province by scanning their faces while a camera captures real-time images and transmits them with the help of a fast network with ultralow latency. 

5G technologies have officially become reality. The market has been anticipating the arrival of the next generation of wireless technology, and the recent release of 5G licenses has put China into the fast lane. 

China is now in a leading position in 5G rollout, Mats Granryd, director general of the industry body GSMA, said at a summit during the MWC19 on Wednesday. 

"As 5G becomes a reality, we call on governments and regulators in the region to actively shape a favorable business environment that encourages investment in advanced networks and allows operators to extend next-generation digital services to all Asia's citizens," he said. 

Although industry representatives at MWC19 appear to be excited about various scenarios empowered by 5G, generating growing business value, many of them understand that the US government, which has been pressuring other countries to exclude Chinese players from their 5G deployment, is casting a shadow over industry collaboration for building the 5G ecosystem.

The Trump administration has been reportedly considering new orders to stifle the 5G supply chain by demanding that vendors to produce 5G devices intended for the US outside China, which has put foreign vendors like Ericsson and Nokia into a quandary as they have production bases in the country. 

"Technology should be beyond geopolitics," Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO of Telenor Pakistan, told the Global Times on Wednesday, noting that 5G has been developed based on a broad collaboration among carriers, vendors and businesses, which is different from 4G.

Collaboration to prevail

Cutting off cooperation and stifling supply chain go against the consensus reached by the telecoms industry. An open environment is a must for 5G rollout as the global industry is striving toward unified 5G standards, and no one can realize massive deployment by isolating itself, industry representatives said. 

For instance, Ericsson has a factory in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province for producing wireless devices, which has become a major manufacturing and supply hub for the Swedish company on a global scale, and it has also helped upper- and lower-end industries to grow, Zhang Zhiwei, chief marketing officer of Ericsson's Northeast Asia region, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"We need to embrace openness by working together in various sectors ranging from chipsets and modules to end devices," he said. 

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