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June 29, 2017

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China ‘to lead world in 5G by 2025’

CHINA is testing 5G networks in major cities including Shanghai and is expected to become the world’s biggest 5G network by 2025, industry officials said during the Mobile World Congress Shanghai, which opened yesterday.

China will rise to the top after commercially adopting 5G services about 2020 and 5G connections will hit 428 million by 2025, accounting for 39 percent of the world’s total connections, a report by the industry’s GSM Association.

The initial applications include enhanced mobile broadband services, Internet of Things, super high-definition (4K and 8K) video, virtual reality and augmented reality services.

The 5G networks, 20-50 times faster than 4G, will change automotive, transportation, finance, health care and other industries and boost the economy through innovation, industry officials told forums at MWC Shanghai, the world’s biggest telecommunications summer exhibition.

China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile carrier with more than 850 million users, is conducting 5G field tests in five major cities: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Ningbo and Guangzhou.

Large-scale trials will start from 2018, said China Mobile Chairman Shang Bing.

The major 5G investment will be over seven years from next year and the service is expected to account for about 25 percent of telecommunications carriers’ revenue, analysts said.

China Telecom has also started 5G field tests in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing and applied for 59 patents on 5G in 2016, which makes it one of the leaders in 5G.

Ericsson Inc also showcased 5G, Internet of Things and cloud technologies during the show. It joined Qualcomm and China Unicom to showcase advanced VoLTE (voice over LTE) technology in IOT, which can be used in public and government sectors, fire control and traffic monitoring.

Ericsson also demonstrated 5G’s possible applications in sports and virtual reality sectors, which require quick response speeds based on improved networks.

By March, China’s 4G mobile penetration rate was 61 percent, five times higher than two years ago. China Mobile has more than 583 million 4G users and has expanded its involvement in IOT and other new services, besides data and voice.

MWC Shanghai is a part of the Shanghai Digital Information Festival, the city’s biggest annual IT event. It has more than 650 exhibitors and expects 65,000 visitors.


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