China: Getting ready for 5G in 2020

China is set to become one of the world’s leading 5G markets with 460 million 5G connections by 2025 according to first ever China edition of GSMA’s Mobile Economy report series released recently.

“After spending billions over the last decade deploying 4G networks to all corners of the country, Chinese mobile operators are now set to invest a further $58 billion over the next two years to prepare for and begin 5G rollouts, laying the groundwork for China to become one of the world’s leading 5G markets,” says Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.

Chinese operators – China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom have aggressive plans for 5G and plans to leverage it in big way. Let’s look at their plans.

China Mobile has led the formulation of 5G architecture standards and contributed a large number of proposals on R15 standard setting. The company has steadily pushed ahead on network evolution and upgrade, conducting tests on the 5G network and trials on 5G business applications.

The company continues to conduct tests on 5G network and perform trials on business applications to ensure pre-commercial launch of 5G services in 2019. The company aims to provide direction and leadership for 5G development, exploring suitable 5G products and business models with industry partners to build a strong foundation for the ongoing transformation towards an intelligent network.

On the infrastructure side, the company has accelerated the development of NFV (Network Function Virtualization) and SDN (Software Defined Networking) and put virtualized NB-IoT core network into commercial use. China Mobile has built out the infrastructure for “5G+ edge computing” smart connection and continued to drive the application of new technologies such as cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence on a large scale.

China Mobile has rolled out “1-3-9 Collaborative Plan” to drive the development of one new network, three industry alliances and nine capability applications. The capability sharing platform, which was part of this collaboration initiative, was recognized as a national model of shared economy platform in China. The capability applications on the platform were deployed more than 800 billion times cumulatively while more than 300,000 other applications were incubated on it. In order to achieve synergy across industries, the company has made equity investments to enable collaborative development.

The 5G Joint Innovation Industry Fund facilitates end-to-end 5G industry adoption. We have made favorable progress in a number of strategic co-operations with local governments and large corporations to develop innovative 5G applications. This has included “5G+ High Definition Videos”, and applications for key verticals such as transportation and healthcare.

Recently, China Telecom was awarded the 3.5 GHz band to conduct nationwide 5G network trials. Leveraging the advantages of the 5G mainstream frequency band and insisting on open cooperation, the company will accelerate 5G deployment proactively and pragmatically. The company will appropriately manage the momentum, propel the development of non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) concurrently, and progressively expand the scale of network trials and the pilot project of applications.

With firm adherence to the overall principle of efficient development, the company will proactively grasp opportunities, appropriately manage the momentum, insist on open cooperation, facilitate efficient collaboration of 5G with 4G network resources and service capabilities as well as carry out 5G network precision investment construction in a progressive and focused manner, commencing 5G scale commercial launch on a timely basis.

Following the gradual affirmation of technical standards, the progress of 5G development began to speed up. In the first half of 2018, the company proactively embarked on exploring the landscape of 5G development and accumulating capabilities. Network trials in scale were conducted in many cities focusing on promotion of applications trials including HD video, AR/VR, automated driving, drone and industrial Internet.

Research on collaborative network trial for 5G and 4G was commenced, planning well for the landscape of 5G network, applications and business models. With firm adherence to the overall principle of efficient development, the company will proactively grasp opportunities, appropriately manage the momentum, insist on open cooperation, facilitate efficient collaboration of 5G with 4G network resources and service capabilities as well as carry out 5G network precision investment construction in a progressive and focused manner, commencing 5G scale commercial launch on a timely basis.

In December 2018, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology consented to China Unicom to use the frequency band of 3500–3600 MHz nationwide for launching the trial of 5G mobile communications system. The company is actively promoting 5G network and industry applications trial in key cities and plans to expand the scale of trial. The company is taking an active approach in researching and driving network co-building and co-sharing of 5G with various cooperation modes to lower the network construction cost.

The company is actively promoting 5G network and industry applications trial in key cities and plans to expand the scale of trial as appropriate based on the testing results and maturity of equipment. It will track closely the progress of the industry and strengthen the synergetic development of terminal, network and business, riding on the benefits of the value chain advantages of 3.5 GHz.

 

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