Technicians from China Mobile check a 5G base station in Tongling, Anhui province. (Photo by Guo Shining/for China Daily)
With nearly 1.6 million 5G base stations, China now owns the largest 5G network worldwide, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Tuesday.
Zhang Yunming, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said China has the world's largest mobile broadband and optical fiber network, and the network quality has reached or even surpassed the levels of developed countries.
Zhang said 5G has been applied to a wide range of sectors including transportation, medical care, education, culture and tourism, and the industrial internet has been applied in 45 categories of the national economy. The remarks were made at a forum held to celebrate World Telecommunications Day that fell on Tuesday.
The industrial internet refers to the convergence of industrial systems with the power of advanced computing, analytics, sensing and new levels of connectivity.
Currently, more than 2,400 5G industrial internet projects are under construction in China, as the nation beefs up its industrial upgrade drive that attempts to boost the marriage between digital technologies and traditional sectors, data from the ministry show.
Zhao Houlin, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, said earlier that China's consumer internet and industrial internet have entered the fast lane, putting China among the leaders in global innovation and development.
To better pounce at the opportunity, last month, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology unveiled the 2022 work plan for industrial internet, calling for efforts to build 10 factories that are fully covered by 5G, and cultivate about 10 industrial internet public service platforms in specific regions this year.
Moreover, efforts will be made to construct regional sub-centers of national industrial internet big data centers in Chongqing, and Shandong, Zhejiang, Liaoning, Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces, the plan said.
Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China, said the digital economy is becoming a key driving force to promote consumption upgrades and stabilize economic growth. In the future, digital and real economies will get increasingly intertwined.
Digital technologies represented by 5G, artificial intelligence and the internet of things, are penetrating all fields of the economy and society, such as automobiles, manufacturing, agriculture and logistics, Meng said.
Gan Bin, vice-president and chief marketing officer of Huawei Technologies Co's wireless solutions, said 5G has opened more doors to digitalization and intelligence, and 5.5G, an evolution of 5G technology, will further boost digitalization and intelligence.
Gan said 5.5G wireless technology will deepen the digital and intelligent transformation with ubiquitous 10 gigabytes per second experience and the capability to have 100 billion connections such as cars and other devices.
China is also making progress in helping draft international telecom standards. The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a Beijing-based telecom think tank, said under its coordination, Chinese telecom companies such as Huawei and ZTE are making progress in drafting the telecom standards on the radio interface for the integration of satellite communication systems and terrestrial 5G networks.