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IN DEPTH: Ahead in 5G Technology
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Ahead in 5G Technology
By Anastasia Chapman

BT 201908 IN DEPTH 02Customers experience 5G-enabled mobile phones at a store in Shanghai on June 30, 2019

You may have heard news about how China has been cornering a substantial chunk of the world’s strategic minerals and metal supply crucial for producing new technology. That includes lithium, copper, manganese, rare earth used in everything from electric cars to smartphones. Now, a recent forecast says that China is on its way to becoming the world’s largest 5G market with 460 million users of the next-generation super-fast network by 2025.


BT 201908 IN DEPTH 10The report further states that this trend has long been forecasted by industry stalwarts, considering how China has been playing a pioneer in building the next-generation network, while experimenting with cutting-edge applications, such as remote surgeries.

A big reason behind this development is because China holds the world’s largest mobile market by both network size and subscribers, and it is also way ahead than that of the United States (187 million) and Europe (205 million) combined in the 5G race.


BT 201908 IN DEPTH 08But why all of a sudden China is going all out to make breakthroughs in the fifth-generation mobile communication? National pride is one thing: this development means a lot to China as it sees 5G as its best chance to lead wireless technology development on a global scale. Like in the 1990s, European countries adopted the 2G trend before other parts of the world. Japan became the harbinger of the 3G technology during the early 2000s, and the United States took over the launch of 4G in 2011.


This time China is leading the trail! Instead of playing catching up, they are making waves with never-seen-before innovation in the telecommunication industry. The Chinese government views 5G as crucial to the country’s economy and tech sector. After years of bearing the copycat tag, Chinese tech companies want to become the next innovative global giants - the likes of Microsoft and Apple. Chinese mobile operators have even spent billions over the last decade deploying 4G networks to all crannies of the country.

中国政府认为5G对国家经济和科技行业至关重要。中国科技公司希望成为下一个创新的全球巨头 - 像微软和苹果一样。

BT 201908 IN DEPTH 04Now the telecom biggies are all set to invest £678 billion in the next two years to prepare for and initiate 5G rollouts, laying the foundation for China to become a global leader in 5G technology. Backed by 5G, China’s mobile ecosystem is expected to add 6 trillion yuan (£678 billion) in value to the country's economy in 2023, 5.2 trillion yuan more than in 2018.

The government-backed research institute, The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, estimates that 5G will create more than 8 million jobs nationwide in China by 2030. The firm also believes that major industries, including healthcare and energy, will spend billions of dollars collectively on 5G equipment and wireless service once the technology is launched.

How Is China Making Its 5G Dream Come True?

Shanghai explains Chinas 5G rollout plans for October 2019China starts its nationwide 5G commercial network rollout in Shanghai in October

China’s mobile industry has always been a driver of modernisation and inclusion. It has also contributed to the country’s economic growth and created a new generation of digital consumers, while transforming society and primarily, its tech industry. The Chinese government along with the country's prominent mobile operators, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, took the initiative of making the 5G dream a reality after they scramble to conduct trial operations of 5G systems in a string of cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. China Mobile even claims that its tests alone represent the world’s largest 5G trial network. The Chinese government, in association with the telecom giants, are aiming to commercialise the technology by 2020.

In 2013, under the government’s guidance, Chinese telecoms began conducting research on 5G, while technical trials of similar technologies were held in 2016. Meanwhile, Beijing also dedicated itself to providing Chinese operators with a wide spectrum for 5G. Such arrangements are way cushier for telecoms in China. In the United States and many other countries, operators are required to pay billions of dollars as a regulatory fee for even the right to use slivers of the spectrum. These radio frequencies radiating from the spectrum carry wireless signals and are critical to cellular service, especially 5G, which will need wide swaths of bandwidth to provide users with superfast speeds.

BT 201908 IN DEPTH 09中国如何实现5G梦想?


How China Plans To Capitalise The 5G Technology?

BT 201908 IN DEPTH 05China’s plan to establish a brand-new wireless infrastructure based on the “non-stand-alone” 5G mobile specifications could help advance the country’s development and promotion of autonomous driving technology.

The technology titans of China are looking to leverage the faster online connections and other advanced features from upcoming 5G networks to help boost the domestic economy. For starters like investing in the creation of more autonomous cars and smart cities. A prime example of this future technology is the new city of Xiong’an that the government is building 80 miles southwest of Beijing to tackle with over-crowding in the city.

China Telecom and China Mobile have established test labs there, whereas tech firms, like Baidu, are using the next-generation wireless technology to live-stream events in virtual reality and, as in Fangshan, that allows autonomous vehicles to transmit data with each other in an attempt to avoid collision.

The setup is further supported by local authorities that encourage developers to come up with 5G-based applications related to urban infrastructure and telemedicine, while Chinese companies capitalise on the 5G technology to add intelligence and connectivity to their factory equipment.

Considering the populous nation that China is, the government strongly believe that 5G will help its administrations to run functions orderly and also manage the population by smoothing the flow of traffic and generally making cities more habitable and efficient.

An exhibitor demonstrates an augmented reality application at the Mobile World Congress ShanghaiAn exhibitor demonstrates an augmented reality application at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai





What Can Chinese Businesses Expect Out Of It?

BT 201908 IN DEPTH 07China is racing to develop 5G wireless technology to enable a new generation of smart, connected devices-and robots

Robust access to 5G networks could give Chinese businesses a superior edge in cultivating and monetizing services to establishments that use them - the way Silicon Valley benefitted from the several applications, like YouTube, Uber, Instagram and Facebook, right after 4G LTE networks were launched. The US, being the first nation to present 4G on a wide scale, gave a push to all the American MNCs to take quick advantage of the technology to grow and expand their businesses globally. In the same way, Shenzhen, which is China’s manufacturing nucleus, could capitalise 5G to connect huge volumes of devices to the cloud and prepare to become a leader in the Internet of Things.

China Telecom technicians set up a 5G base stationChina Telecom technicians set up a 5G base station


硅谷在推出4G LTE网络后立即受益的有YouTube,Uber,Instagram和Facebook等多种应用。美国是第一个大规模推出4G的国家,这促使所有美国跨国公司迅速利用该技术在全球范围内发展和拓展业务。同样,作为中国制造核心的深圳可以利用5G资金将大量设备连接到云端,并准备成为物联网领域的领导者。

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