China aims to complete the construction of the 5G network during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, when countless progress will be made in network speed and coverage, while continuing to develop vertical applications, a senior official said on Monday.
The country will further consolidate the fundamentals of digital economy development, expand consumption and create more new industries in the digital economy era, Xiao Yaqing, Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said on Monday during a press conference after the second plenary meeting of the Fourth Session of the 13th National People’s Congress.
China has rolled out 718,000 5G base stations throughout the country, mostly scattered in large and medium sized cities, including 330,000 shared among the country’s four major telecom operators, data from the MIIT showed.
More than 600,000 5G base stations were built and put into operation in China in 2020, a spokesperson from the MIIT said at a press conference in January.
The base station is essential for the layout of 5G. How to build a high-quality 5G network with wide coverage, fast speed and good service experience at a low cost is an important issue.
Last year, more than 1,100 5G+ industrial internet projects were launched, including a 5G-based remote consultation that was used in more than 60 hospitals in 19 provinces. New products and services that require 5G are emerging, such as 5G+ autonomous driving, 5G+ smart grid, and 5G+ online education.
“During the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic last year, we all saw the support found in the digital economy. Online education, medical care services, family interactions, and online shopping have all been effectively guaranteed through the digital economy,” Xiao said.
“The development of China’s digital economy is in a growing phase and the future prospects are very broad,” he added.
Meanwhile, the minister stressed the importance to prevent any duplication of projects in the newly emerging strategic areas such as microchips and 5G networks.
“The development of new industries should not rush up and should be done in an orderly manner, in accordance with market regulations and under the rule of law,” Xiao said.