China promotes 6G technology R&D in an all-round way, calling for international cooperation: official
Published: Apr 28, 2023 05:57 PM
The 6th Digital China Summit is held in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province on April 28, 2023. Photo: Yin Yeping/GT

The 6th Digital China Summit is held in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province on April 28, 2023. Photo: Yin Yeping/GT

China is promoting 6G technology research and development (R&D) in an all-round way, with important tasks such as standard development and international cooperation being conducted in a systematical way, an official from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said during the 6th Digital China Summit in East China's Fuzhou, Fujian Province on Friday, as the country strives toward digital transformation and industrial upgrade.

While the nation has taken a global leadership position in the development of 5G in terms of the technology, level of applications and scales of users, 6G, a new concept to the world, has been brought on the table with government departments and industry participants placing priority on research and development and future industry layout in order to maintain the country's competitiveness.

Speaking at a session of the forum addressing 5G application and expectations for 6G, Zhao Ce, deputy head of the Department of Information and Communication Development, MIIT, said that the new generation of information and communication technologies represented by 5G and 6G are booming, accelerating a new era of technological revolution and industrial transformation, becoming an important driving force for economic and social development.

The ministry has steadily and orderly promoted the construction and application of 5G and development of 6G, with positive results having already been achieved, Zhao said.

The testing of 6G technology has already been launched, according to Zhao. Moreover, as part of the efforts to actively participate in international partnerships and promote the formation of a global consensus, the government is openly soliciting key technologies related to 6G development worldwide, the Global Times learned.

New generations of internet technology are often based on solid R&D of earlier iterations of technology. China has built the world's largest and most technologically advanced 5G network.

As of the end of March, a total of more than 2.64 million 5G base stations have been built, with China's 5G network covering all prefecture-level cities and counties across the country, and 5G mobile phone users already reaching 620 million, according to data shared by Zhao at the forum.

Moreover, the 5G applications have now been integrated into 52 of the 97 major national economic categories ranging from mining to port operations.

"By making full use of the experience from 5G commercialization, we will cultivate 6G application scenarios while focusing on potential key technologies of 6G such as ultra-large-scale antennas and sensing and communication integration," Zhao said.

Zhang Wang, deputy head of the Information Development Bureau of the Cyberspace Administration of China, said at the forum that 5G network performance and service capabilities will be further improved, so that it will better be connected with 6G in terms of technical standards and services.

Meanwhile, the development of 6G is inseparable from open cooperation, Zhang said, calling to strengthen international cooperation and promote international exchanges and technical cooperation in this new area.

This came just over a week since the Second Research Institute of China Aerospace Science and Industry Co announced that China's 6G telecommunication technology has made a key breakthrough with the first real-time wireless transmission communication experiment using terahertz orbital angular momentum.

The success of the experiment makes it possible to maximize the utilization of bandwidth and provides a guarantee for the development of 6G communication technology in China, according to a statement the research institute sent to the Global Times on April 19.

Data shared by an expert from the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology at the forum suggested that the formation of 6G vision and concept and the development of corresponding core technologies are expected to be mainly conducted between 2020 to 2025 while areas including the development of international standards and 6G industrialization would be the focus over the next five to ten years.