Chinese carriers wrest 5G lead
Intensified research and development activities, industry partnerships mark the push toward 2020 commercial rollout
Editor's Note: On Friday, the ongoing Fifth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, will hold a forum on "5G Era: Opening and Cooperation for a Better Future". In the run-up to the key event, in interviews with China Daily, industry luminaries recalled how China's sustained R&D efforts have helped the nation maintain its pioneering role in evolving 5G mobile communication technology, related standards and the licensing phase.
Chinese telecom companies are seeking to maintain their lead in the global race for 5G commercialization.
They are stepping up research and development of the fifth-generation mobile communication technology, which is said to be at least 10 times faster than 4G services.
They are also deepening partnerships with various industries to roll out commercial services sooner than later, industry insiders said.
For instance, China Mobile Communications Corp, the world's largest telecom carrier with more than 910 million mobile subscribers, is planning to combine 5G with artificial intelligence and cloud technology for an ultramodern network that is slated for a 2020 rollout.
The company has played a significant role in the finalization of the first phase of global 5G standards, which kicked off the head stretch toward commercial 5G services.
Shang Bing, chairman of China Mobile, said: "We will focus on the standalone 5G network structure, push forward the cloud deployment of the superfast technology and build an intelligent network by boosting the operational efficiency with AI."
According to him, the company will establish a 5G innovation fund to promote the development and maturity of full-fledged industrial applications of 5G.
The senior executive did not elaborate on the specific investment size of the fund. But he said the Beijing-based company is vigorously conducting 5G trials in several cities and will start pre-commercial use of 5G in 2019 before the planned commercial launch in 2020.
The new technology will enable superfast downloads of "heavy" files like movies, self-driving cars and streaming of virtual reality games.