Multibillion-dollar investment in the next five years in China's 5G to empower business and traditional manufacturing
Published: Feb 23, 2021 03:36 AM

Photo: VCG

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2021, which usually takes place in Barcelona, Spain in February, was scheduled to be held in Shanghai this week. This comes after China became the world's largest 5G market, while being the first one to effectively contain the COVID-19 outbreak. 

A multibillion-dollar investment in China's 5G is expected in the next five years, which will empower more business and traditional manufacturing. 

With the rapid deployment and popularization of technology, China has become one of the global leaders in 5G applications and the world's largest 5G market, according to a report unveiled on Monday by GSMA, the organizer of the event, ahead of the MWC 2021, which is scheduled to take place from Tuesday to Thursday in Shanghai. 

In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commercialization of 5G at the global scale has been moving forward at a robust pace, and by the end of 2020, a total of 52 countries and regions worldwide with 135 carriers have deployed 5G services, the GSMA said. It forecasted that by the end of 2021, a total of 178 carriers will deploy 5G services in 61 countries and regions. 

As a major equipment manufacturer, the Chinese tech firm Huawei appeared unhindered by the Washington-led political crackdown on 5G deployment over the past year. As of now, among 59 countries and regions, with more than 140 commercial 5G networks, over half of the total equipment installed was provided by Huawei even though some countries banned its products, according to media reports citing Huawei's executive director, Ryan Ding Yun.

Ding told a panel on Monday, ahead of the official launch of MWC2021, that 5G would empower more industries, bringing opportunities for digitalization in some traditional sectors like manufacturing and mining while increasing the productivity of those industries. 

Wang Tao, executive director of the board of Huawei, also shared some application scenarios of 5G empowering manufacturing in China. For example, in mining operations at a depth of 534 meters, a 5G-powered inspection robot can replace a human to further ensure the safety. Also, a 5G-powered remote monitoring system could help workers in a steel production firm, in Central China's Hunan Province, to get away from a noisy and hot working environment by increasing the production efficiency by 26 percent.  

By 2025, nearly half of the connection in China's mobile industry would be done with 5G technologies, and from 2020 to 2025, in total 1.36 trillion yuan are forecasted to be invested in mobile construction, within which 90 percent will be used in 5G, according to GSMA.