China to Be a Driving Force in a 5G World
By Li Linxu
The picture shows a patrol robot based on 5G network is inspecting in a converting plant （PHOTO: XINHUA）.
By the end of 2023, China's 5G user penetration rate will exceed 40 percent and its 5G users will exceed 560 million, according to a new action plan released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), in conjunction with nine other ministries and government agencies.
The plan, titled 5G Application Raising the Sail Action Plan (2021-2023), aims to create a new and integrative ecology for information technology (IT), communications technology (CT), and operational technology (OT) .
Striving to achieve dual breakthroughs in the depth and breadth of key fields in 5G applications and build the dual pillars of technological industry and a standards system, the plan has set a series of goals to achieve in the next three years, such as 5G network access traffic exceeding 50 percent, the annual growth rate of 5G Internet of Things (IoT) terminal subscribers exceeding 200 percent, and developing more than 30 key industry standards.
China has built the world's largest optical fiber network, 4G and 5G independent networking networks, said Liu Liehong, vice minister of the MIIT, on July 13. Currently, China has deployed 961,000 5G base stations accounting for 70 percent of the world's total and the number of 5G connections has surpassed 365 million accounting for 80 percent of the world's total.
The country will further improve its 5G coverage, according to the plan, every 10,000 people are expected to have 18 base stations and over 3,000 5G industry virtual private networks are expected to be built in China by the end of 2023.
Focusing on information consumption, the real economy and wellbeing services, the action plan will prioritize promotion of 5G applications in 15 key industries including media convergence, industrial internet, Internet of vehicles, smart logistics, smart mining, smart agriculture, smart education, smart healthcare, and smart cities, so that a 5G innovative application system can be initially formed in the next three years.
More than 100 5G application models in each key industry will be formed, according to the plan.
5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, promising to deliver much faster wireless service and a more responsive network. It is making massive change in how we live and work, ushering in new advances from advanced augmented reality (AR) experiences to self-driving cars.
The technology has already proved its worth in mining and manufacturing by making production safer, more intelligent, and more efficient.
It is worth mentioning in particular that, in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, 5G is extensively applied in various fields such as digital health, teleworking and distance learning and has played a unique role in enabling people to access vital services such as health and education.
While the impact of the epidemic is undeniable, industry experts believe that global adoption of the 5G network remains strong, with as many as 1.2 billion connections by 2025, according to the latest forecast by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association.
International cooperation will be strengthened, stressed the plan, adding that China will support building 5G overseas promotion channels and service platforms, promote mature 5G applications to go abroad, and encourage enterprises to actively participate in 5G International Organization for Standardization (ISO).