China to embrace commercialized 5G by 2020

China is accelerating 5G development, and will launch commercialized 5G in 2020, said Miao Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, last week at the Global 5G event in Beijing.

Miao said that the focus is on the integration of 5G with fields such as the industrial internet and the internet of vehicles, with which China aims to construct a safe and ubiquitous 5G mobile network.

Concrete measures have been taken to that end. A 5G Promotion Group was jointly established in 2013 by three ministries: the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Additionally, a technology R&D test was launched in January, in partnership with countries and regions including the European Union, the United States, Japan, and South Korea, all of which are the regions with the fastest broadband and Internet speeds.

Features of 5G – the fifth generation of mobile networks – include higher data speeds, larger traffic volume, ultra-low latency, and support for a wider range of devices. These upgraded capabilities can be the basis for new applications in VR, AR, 3D videos, smart cities, smart life, and smart manufacturing, said Cao Shumin, president at the Academy of Telecommunication Research under the MIIT.

In terms of the expected escalation in mobile data consumption accompanying 5G technology, Wu Hequan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering suggested telecom costs to consumers per unit of data would decrease 10 times by the 5G era.

Currently China has 500 million 4G users, and aims to increase the number to 600 million by 2016.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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