Nation to ramp up 6G innovations, satellite-empowered networks
Published: Jan 12, 2022 10:12 PM
6G Photo: VCG

6G Photo: VCG

China vowed to increase support for 6G innovations and promote 6G international standardization in a digital economy development plan for 2021-25 released on Wednesday, reiterating the country's ambition of maintaining its edge in the ultrafast 6G era, despite challenges and hurdles.

According to the roadmap, which was launched by the State Council, China's cabinet, the added value of the core industries of the digital economy will account for 10 percent of GDP by 2025, and the digital transformation of the industry will reach a new level.

The 10-percent objective is a practical goal, considering China's current speed of digital development, and the country should have no difficulty attaining the set goal, Xiang Ligang, an independent tech analyst, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

China's digital economy has made marked progress, with various digital technologies playing a growing role in underpinning the economy's emergence out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

China had the world's second-largest digital economy with a scale of $5.4 trillion in 2020, trailing the US with its $13.6 trillion digital economy, according to a white paper on the global digital economy unveiled by the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology in August 2021.

"A large part of the incremental added value should come from the conversion of traditional industries into digital ones with the help of advanced technologies, such as new-energy vehicles and intelligent ports," Xiang said.

Under the plan, China will conduct a forward-looking layout of 6G network technology reserves, and increase support for 6G technology research and development, as well as actively participate in the promotion of 6G international standardization.

It said that China will actively and steadily promote the evolution and upgrading of space information infrastructure, accelerate the deployment of satellite communication networks, and promote the construction of satellite-powered internet. 

"The world is likely to agree on 6G standards around 2028, and from 2020-2025, China is likely to focus work on proposing 6G standards as well as research of relevant technologies," Xiang said. "The country will not lag in 6G development at any stage, whether in technical research or infrastructure construction."

A recent report released by the China Internet Network Information Center showed that China has become a major source for patent applications in the field of 6G innovations.

Xiang also said that the push of 6G technology entails the establishment of a complicated satellites network, and China might soon launch more low-Earth orbit satellites to make preparations for its 6G strategy. 

Observers warned that the development of 6G faces many challenges, as it will be difficult to form unified international 6G standards from a political perspective, given the divisive role of the US government.

Chinese government officials and industry experts have said that China will strive to formulate standards for ultrafast 6G, advancing innovation and embracing openness and win-win partnership.

Apart from 6G, the plan said that China will accelerate the construction of a national integrated big data center system with the coordination of computing power, algorithms, data, and application resources across the country.