China is on course to overhit annual 5G deployment target, figures show

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/5 14:49:29

Photo:Li Hao/GT

With connections on 5G networks topping 100 million in China, 5G technology is being relied on to remake the nation’s services trade, Chinese officials and industry executives said on Saturday during the ongoing China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), calling for international cooperation, rather than unilateralism, to improve global 5G standards. 

Over 480,000 5G base stations have been built nationwide and connections running on 5G networks have hit more than 100 million, Wen Ku, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), revealed at a forum on 5G-enabled emerging services trade during the CIFTIS, a major international trade gathering taking place in Beijing. 

That means China is well on course to hit the target of 500,000 5G base stations by the year’s end per the yearly 5G investment plans by the nation’s three biggest telecom carriers earlier this year.

The annual target could actually be overhit, according to figures revealed by Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China.

Some 15,000 5G base stations are being installed weekly in China and the nation is likely to have more than 600,000 5G base stations by the end of 2020, Meng said in a speech to the forum. 

Currently, over 385 operators are investing in 5G and global 5G connections are projected to reach more than a billion in 2023.

In Beijing alone, there were more than 24,000 5G base stations at the end of July and the city expects more than 30,000 will be installed by the end of the year, according to Yin Yong, vice mayor of Beijing.

Photo:Li Hao/GT

There are more than 3 million 5G users in the capital city and 5G coverage is in place within the fifth ring road. 

5G service is coming to a number of sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, media and transportation. During the pandemic, Chinese companies have actively explored the advantages of 5G technologies to introduce applications such as remote healthcare, education and working remotely, Wen said.

Speaking at the forum, Zhao Dachun, deputy general manager of China Mobile, said there is a promising prospect for 5G’s incorporation into services trade, which is set to improve service experience, renovate the way services are provided and make services more readily available.

Forum participants also urged global 5G cooperation to go deeper, and avoid decoupling, as marked US crackdowns on Chinese tech firms such as Huawei.

Efforts are needed to deepen international exchanges and cooperation to push for continuous improvement in global 5G standards.

Meanwhile, international collaboration in technology, standards and industry terms should be accompanied by enhanced cooperation in applications and joint efforts to seek business models for 5G integration into various industries in economies around the globe, the MIIT official said.

As Sinisa Krajnovic, executive vice president and head of digital services in market area North East Asia at Ericsson, put it, 5G development won’t come from one company and only collaboration can unleash the potential of 5G.

As of the end of June, 88 operators from 43 economies have launched 102 commercial 5G networks. The number of 5G base stations had surpassed 700,000 and there were more than 90 million 5G users, Yin said at the forum.

Global Times


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