6G tech is promoted during an expo in Shanghai. (Photo/CHINA NEWS SERVICE)
China will vigorously promote the research and development of 6G to establish a beachhead in the next-generation telecom technology, while also seeking to widen the application of 5G in more industries, officials and company executives said on Wednesday.
The country has built the world's largest 5G network, with more than 2.84 million 5G base stations as of May and 5G signals are available in every county, according to data from government think tank China Academy of Information and Communications.
China will accelerate R&D work in 5G enhancement technology, and actively explore the potential key technologies of 6G, said Zhao Zhiguo, chief engineer at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, during the opening ceremony of the 2023 Mobile World Congress Shanghai, an expo for the telecom industry.
Zhao said additional efforts are required to deepen the integration and application of 5G in key fields such as mining and electric power.
In the past few years, China has emerged as a 5G superpower, and 5G will surpass 4G as the biggest technology in the country next year, said Mats Granryd, director-general of the Global System for Mobile Communications Alliance, the organizer of the Shanghai event.
"As a technology hub in China, the world's biggest mobile market, Shanghai is the natural host city for MWC in Asia. We are hugely grateful to the continued support of Shanghai and our partners and hosts," Granryd said.
China Mobile will focus on the development of 6G, strengthen cross-border and cross-industry cooperation in theoretical research and scenario-based applications, and push for a globally unified 6G standard, said Yang Jie, chairman of the world's largest telecom operator by mobile subscribers.
Yang said that with the deepening digital transformation in society, it will be difficult for a single technology to solve large-scale and complex problems.
It is necessary to fully draw on the experience of network innovation and development to promote a global consensus on the technology roadmap, evolution and other aspects of computational networks, Yang added.
Liang Baojun, deputy general manager of China Unicom, said the company will focus on five areas for future network technology research, including 6G and computing power networks.
China Unicom will conduct research and experiments in key 6G areas, and collaborate with partners to jointly establish 6G network standards, Liang said.
The International Telecommunication Union approved a 6G vision framework, a foundation document for global 6G work, earlier this month. This has pressed the start button for global research on the next-generation wireless technology, experts said.
The newly approved 6G standard now includes six key usage scenarios, compared to only three usage scenarios in 5G. A key feature is that 6G will allow the interworking of terrestrial networks with nonterrestrial technologies such as satellites, ITU said.
Wen Ku, secretary-general of the China Communications Standards Association, said it is important to balance the use of 5G and R&D of 6G, as long-term strategies are needed to develop both technologies. Efforts to promote the large-scale application of 5G will lay a solid foundation for 6G development. "Advancing the use of 5G is like building a good bridge and road for 6G," Wen said.
Meng Wanzhou, rotating chairwoman and chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co, said 5G is crossing a turning point from quantitative to qualitative growth, and the world is expected to have 5 billion 5G connections by 2030, from 1.5 billion connections in 2023, with more devices and cars connected to the wireless network.