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China can play key role in mapping out 5G standards

By Fan Feifei in Wuzhen, Zhejiang | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-05 07:50

China is now at the forefront of research and development when it comes to 5G technology.

Industry leaders underlined the country's role in helping to lay the foundations of a unified global standard for the next generation of mobile technology.

Telecom carriers have invested heavily in 5G, carrying out tests in several major cities, Bi Qi, chief technical officer at the China Telecom Research Institute, told a forum at the 4th World Internet Conference on Monday.

"The government should formulate corresponding policies to encourage them," he said. "Meanwhile, other players involved in the telecom sector should also participate."

Wang Jianya, president of Nokia Shanghai Bell, is confident that China will pioneer 5G research and development before it is rolled out in the next few years.

This in turn will help develop a standard blueprint across the sector.

"The key issue for 5G is producing a unified global standard," Wang said.

A joint venture of Nokia Corp and State-owned investment firm China Huaxin, Nokia Shanghai Bell has been promoting the commercialization of 5G with domestic telecom carriers.

China Mobile Communications Corp, the world's largest telecom carrier by subscribers, has stepped up efforts to develop 5G technology.

It plans to launch a pre-commercial service in 2019 before launching a fully commercialized 5G network in 2020.

"With the rapid development of 5G, internet of things (IoT) and big data, we are entering the digital era," said Sha Yuejia, vice-president of China Mobile.

"As intelligent manufacturing, smart transportation and healthcare become more popular, this will promote the economic momentum to achieve a new leap forward in our society," Sha said.

So far, the company has established more than 2.23 million base stations with more than 900 million mobile users and 200 million IoT connections.

It has also worked on intelligent solutions covering mobile authentication, home security, smart cities and logistics.

High-tech companies, such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp, are also keen to help formulate 5G global standards and promote its commercial use.

China is expected to become the world's largest 5G market before 2025, according to a report released by GSMA Intelligence, a global mobile think tank, and the China Information and Communications Technology Academy.

The report also forecasts that 5G connections here will reach 428 million by 2025.

John Hoffman, CEO and director of GSMA, estimated that global telecom carriers will invest 3.3 trillion yuan ($499 billion) in mobile infrastructure by 2020.

Up to 500 billion yuan will come from China.

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