Three Chinese telecommunication service providers unveiled 5G strategies at the Mobile World Congress 2019 (MWC2019) in Shanghai on Wednesday, aiming to help promote China as a world leader in the sector.
China Unicom launched its “5Gⁿ Empowering Intelligent Connectivity” campaign. The “n” refers to its “Five New” strategy, which means new governance, new genes, new operation, new power and new ecosystem.
It emphasized that 5G is not equal to “4G + 1G” but can achieve faster data transmission, lower latency, energy savings, costs reductions, higher system capacity and massive device connectivity.
The development of 5G technology will add value to corporates by increasing the capability of their products, boosting profit margins and improving user experience, Fan Yunjun, senior vice president of China Unicom, said in a speech at the China Unicom International Partners Meeting on Tuesday.
China Unicom has so far applied 5G technology in 11 industries, including TV broadcasting, manufacturing, healthcare, education and tourism, he said.
China Unicom has set up more than 130 experience service centers in 40 cities, allowing users to enjoy high-definition videos, augmented reality and virtual reality entertainments, Mai Yanzhou, another senior vice president, said in Huawei’s “5G is On” event in Shanghai on Tuesday. The company will soon launch more than 40 5G products, he added.
In January, China Unicom, together with Qingdao Port (Group), Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries and Ericsson, launched a “5G smart port” project in Qingdao, Shandong province. In February, it announced a “5G smart factory” program with Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd in Shanghai. It also started providing 5G telecom services to medical teams in the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Expo, a six-month event starting from late April. The company is the exclusive official partner of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
China Unicom 5G Application Innovation Alliance has been set up recently with 200 initial members and will launch 200 projects and build 50 laboratories with 5G technology, Li Guohua, the president of China Unicom, said in the opening ceremony of MWC2019 on Wednesday. China Unicom will collaborate with more companies and share 5G resources, Li added.
China Mobile unveiled its “5G+” campaign, emphasizing that the company will adopt a “5G +4G” strategy to build a high-quality communications network with 4G and 5G technologies. It said it will promote the integration of new digital technologies “AICDE”, which refers to artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, cloud computing, big data and edge computing. Its “5G+X” strategy will cover various sectors including manufacturing, transportation, power, agriculture and entertainment.
China Mobile has revamped its core and cloud-based networks with more than 900 key device upgrades in 40 Chinese cities, Li Huidi, executive vice president of China Mobile, said in the “5G is On” conference. In the second half of this year, the company will build 50,000 5G base stations in 50 Chinese cities, Li said.
In January, China Mobile, China Southern Power Grid and Huawei ran a successful test to manage a power system in Bantian in Shenzhen through a 5G base station within a non-standalone (NSA) telecom network. It was the first test on a “5G smart grid” in the country.
In April, China Mobile, together with Ningbo Zhoushan Port, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries and Huawei Technologies, announced the successful trial of a “5G smart port” project in Meishan in Ningbo, Zhejiang province. It used 5G technology to control a gantry crane and improve port automation.
On June 12, the telecom giant and the Fourth People’s Hospital of Sichuan Province jointly launched a “5G smart hospital” program. On June 18, Sichuan People’s Hospital provided remote medical consultations with 5G technology to a man who was injured in a 6.0-magnitude earthquake in Changning county.
China Mobile has recently launched four initiatives for its global 5G development, Yang Jie, the chairman of China Mobile, said in an opening speech in MWC2019. The company will accelerate its global 5G industrial development by formulating 5G “Release 16” global standard and developing universal smart devices, supporting multiple modes, bands and forms; innovate on 5G coordinated application to help cultivate new industry; deepen global 5G open operation; and co-build 5G security assurance mechanism by setting up a global security evaluation system, he said.
China Telecom said it targets to build a cloud-based 5G network and focus more on artificial intelligence. It said it will upgrade its existing standalone (SA) and NSA networks in 40 plus Chinese cities to realize a cloud-based SA architecture. It will continue to facilitate “migration to cloud” with innovative approaches such as edge computing, network slicing and super uplink. It targets to build a smart society to provide more convenience to citizens.
Multi-access edge computing (MEC), which enables cloud computing to be done at the edge of a mobile network, is the key to the robust nature of the 5G industry chain, Wei Leping, chairman of China Telecom’s Technology Steering Advisory Committee, said in the “5G is On” event. Mobile carriers should avoid a so-called “arms race” but deploy some computing, storage and service capabilities at the network edge to realize local, short-distance and distributed development of applications, services and content, Wei said.
Wei, who is also an executive vice chairman of Technology Steering Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, warned that too much competition in the 5G sector would lead to a waste of resources and investment. He said success of 5G ecosystem would depend on government guidance and support.
China Telecom will embrace the SA architecture when developing its 5G network, Ke Ruiwen, chairman and chief executive of China Telecom, said at MWC2019. The company has already made some achievements with Huawei in the end-to-end performance tests on its SA network and will try to connect terminals with both Huawei and ZTE equipment, Ke said. It will also run verification tests with products of global suppliers such as Ericsson and Nokia, trying to upgrade its SA network by 2020, Ke added.
Ke said China Telecom, which has 100% coverage in villages with its 4G network and 90% coverage in urban cities with its fiber network, will continue to fulfill its social responsibility by providing telecom services to the underprivileged in remote places in the 5G era.