Systems and hardware almost ready for commercial use, spokesman says
China will continue to refine its policies and beef up support to speed up commercial use of the 5G network, an official with the country's top industry regulator said on Tuesday.
Wen Ku, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said the ministry will continue to support the development of the superfast fifth-generation wireless technology by telecom carriers and encourage local authorities to come up with more support policies.
"We will also encourage the coordination between related businesses with different sectors to explore the in-depth application of the technology," he said.
He noted that products related to the 5G network, including systems, chips and terminals, are almost ready for commercial use, and the technology will be extensively used in key areas such as industrial internet and connected car technology that ties computers on the vehicles to Wi-Fi.
Chen Zhaoxiong, vice-minister of industry and technology, said that the development of the 5G network could give rise to massive opportunities in industrial growth and job creation.
The ministry will make continuous efforts to promote the use of 1,000Mb broadband connections and expand the coverage of fiber-optical broadband services, he said.
Meanwhile, the ministry will upgrade telecom networks and operation systems by the end of November to ensure that mobile phone users nationwide can switch service carriers without changing phone numbers, he said.
He explained that it could require substantial efforts as it involved the upgrading of operation systems of a total of 1.6 billion users in the country.
In the meantime, a "floor-price" will be set for low-income and elderly populations to further promote mobile networks, he said.
In order to better protect the rights of consumers, the number of service packages offered by the telecom carriers will be trimmed by more than 15 percent this year, according to Wen.
Carriers are also required to make public all their service packages and make them all available for the users, he added.
"We will step up investigations on wrongdoings so that consumers can see their telecom bill plain and clear," he said.
China has expanded the download speed of its fixed and mobile broadband sixfold compared with five years ago, while the charges for broadband connections and mobile internet were down by 90 percent, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
China's digital economy reached a total volume of 31 trillion yuan ($4.5 trillion), or 34.8 percent of its GDP, in 2018, according to the ministry.