Chinese telecommunication operators like China Mobile and China Unicom have announced a trial launch of commercial use of 5G messaging service.
Some provincial regions and cities will start to pilot 5G messaging of cold wave warning information and emergency fire alarm services to the public.
At present, all prefecture-level cities, more than 97 percent of towns and 40 percent of villages in China are covered by 5G internet. The technology is reshaping lives and industries.
Rapid development of 5G
China has built more than 1.15 million 5G base stations, forming the world's largest and most technologically-advanced 5G stand-alone (SA) network, according to Xie Cun, director of the information and communication development department at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
5G technology has brought people faster internet speeds, smoother video playing and better gaming since its commercialization two years ago.
The number of 5G base stations accounts for more than 70 percent of the world's total and 5G users in the country number 450 million, more than 80 percent of international users.
China plans to promote construction of 5G base stations in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period. [Photo/IC]
According to MIIT, the total number of mobile phone users of the three major telecommunication enterprises – China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom - exceeded 1.64 billion by the end of October this year, a net increase of 46.94 million over the end of 2020. The number of 5G smart phone terminal connections reached 471 million, a net increase of 273 million over the number at the end of the previous year.
However, some experts said that 5G development in China is still in an early stage, lacking of base station coverage and application depth.
The launch of 5G messaging is expected to provide users richer, smarter, safer and more convenient messaging experiences. Industrial insiders predict that the 5G messaging service will have promising development thanks to the large-scale commercialization of 5G, an improved penetration rate of smart terminals and development of digital and payment technologies.
Chen Min, professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, said that as a major change in the communication system, 5G is expected to experience a 10-year development period.
He added that 5G is used in the industrial internet in the current development stage as demand of industrial interconnection scenarios is relatively clearer there than in other industries. He said he believes that more consumer-oriented 5G applications will be developed in the future.
Expanding industrial applications
5G technology is being used in various industries like education, telemedicine and manufacturing, improving operational quality and efficiency.
Xie pointed out that many universities and colleges in China are exploring 5G applications in teaching and testing. Pilot projects concerning 5G-based air classrooms, virtual laboratories, cloud examination rooms and smart campuses are underway, accumulating experience for pilot applications of a 5G smart education system.
As for medical care, applications like 5G plus emergency first aid, remote diagnosis and health management are underway in more than 600 tertiary hospitals nationwide.
5G is also playing a key role in augmented reality (AR) tour guiding, 4K/8K livestreaming and immersive teaching, and has improved consumption experience in gaming and entertainment, live events and residential services.
The technology is also indispensable in industrial scenarios and has greatly contributed to transformation and upgrading of traditional industries and cultivation of advanced manufacturing. Development of the 5G plus industrial internet has improved quality and efficiency of smart manufacturing.
5G applications will be widely promoted in all kinds of industries to help improve operation and production quality and efficiency. [Photo/IC]
A white paper on 5G underground mobile communication networks was jointly released by China Mobile, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd, the China National Coal Association and China University of Mining & Technology, Beijing on Nov 21, 2021. The white paper includes the idea of building a comprehensive underground smart communication network, creating a new space for the 5G industry.
Peng Honghua, president of Huawei's 5G Product Line, said that the company has proposed a technological innovation direction in which 5G DMN will become a fully resilient, fully sensing, and fully converged network for underground communications based on the four technological systems of the 5G DMN vision.
He said that the new 5G network is expected to solve problems during digital and smart transformation of the mining industry and to help build a fully smart mine with intelligent sensing and decision-making and an automatic performance system.
Huawei previously cooperated with Jinneng Holding Group in establishing a mining laboratory and has made effective practices in remote equipment control, unmanned smart inspection and collaborative equipment operation.
Xie said that so far there are more than 10,000 cases of innovative 5G applications nationwide, covering 22 major industries in the national economy. He added that rapid launch of 5G application scenarios such as industrial manufacturing, mining and ports is relatively mature and 5G is being used in core businesses instead of auxiliary production.
For example, Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle Co., Ltd. has completed smart upgrading of its automatic parts delivery system based on the independent 5G private network developed by Inspur, which has improved overall production capacity by 26 percent.
State Grid Corporation of China in Jiaxing, East China's Zhejiang province, realized risk inspection of power transmission towers based on big data and images and videos collected by unmanned aerial vehicles, guaranteeing reliable power supply in the region.
The MIIT unveiled the second group of typical 5G plus industrial internet application scenarios and key industrial practices on Nov 22. They will be promoted in more production and manufacturing procedures.
Han Xia, chief engineer of the MIIT, said that 5G and the industrial Internet are showing their crucial role in cost reduction, quality and efficiency improvement and green development of the real economy.
Constructing a deep convergence ecology
5G plus industrial internet will play a role in construction of digital China. [Photo/IC]
China will build a high-speed and ubiquitous, integrated and interconnected, intelligent and green, safe and reliable new type of digital infrastructure system by 2025 to support its goal of becoming a manufacturing and internet power and construction of digital China, according to the 14th Five-Year Plan for Information Communication Development released by the MIIT.
The plan says that by the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, 26 5G base stations will be available for every 10,000 people and all area of cities and towns will be covered with 5G internet.
He also mentioned that a high-quality industrial Internet network covering all regions and industries will be basically built and a group of 5G plus industrial internet benchmarks will be launched during the period.
Speeding up industrialization of 5G applications is also highlighted in the plan. 5G convergence is an important engine to promote digital, networking and intelligent transformation.
Xie explained that during the 14th Five-Year Plan period, the MIIT will join hands with other ministries and local governments to promote 5G applications in 15 key industries in the fields of information consumption, the real economy and livelihood service.
At the same time, the MIIT will support local governments, industrial associations and industrial alliances to summarize 5G application development, promote the practices to more industries and boost construction of digital China.
Wang Peng, deputy director of the Information and Communication Administration of the MIIT, said that there are more than 1,800 5G plus industrial Internet projects under construction at present in China. The number of influential industrial Internet platforms exceeds 100 with more than 76 million connected devices.
During the 14th Five-Year Plan period, the country will accelerate upgrading and renovation of the industrial internet via emerging internet technologies.
Xie said that to achieve the goal of the plan, the ministry will focus on 5G, gigabit optical networks, and the industrial internet in the near future and speed up digital development of the economy and society to achieve high-quality industrial development.
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