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Tibet expects better 5G network coverage in 2020

By Palden Nyima and Daqiong in Lhasa | China Daily | Updated: 2020-01-09 09:45
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A pedestrian walks past a 5G promotion board in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province. [Photo by Su Yang/For China Daily]

The Tibet autonomous region plans to accelerate the application of 5G networks in the region this year, according to the regional government's work report published on Tuesday at the ongoing regional people's congress.

Qizhala, chairman of the regional government, said at the ongoing third session of the 11th Tibet People's Congress that the region expects all the seats of its cities and prefectures to be covered with 5G networks by the end of this year.

"In 2019, the region enabled more than 98 percent of its villages to be linked with 4G networks, optical fibers and broadband internet services," Qizhala said.

"Together with other provinces, the region has completed the task of telecommunication coverage in its rural areas ahead of the schedule of the country's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) in 2019."

Data show that by the end of November, the region's telecommunication industry saw revenue of more than 4.51 billion yuan ($650 million) generated from various telecommunication sectors. The region's total number of phone subscribers hit 3.96 million, or about 115 phone numbers for every 100 people. There are 3.24 million cellphone users.

During the same period, the region's number of fixed broadband internet users reached 926,000, an increase of 144,000 over the previous year.

Pema Jamyang, Party secretary of Pebar, a village in the region's Dingri county, said 380 out of 530 people in the village own cellphones thanks to overall social development and telecommunication.

"Years ago, without better telecommunication services in the village, life was not as convenient as today. Now we can no longer live without internet networks in our lives," he said.

Pema said his four family members have their own cellphones, and his two children study in high schools.

Located about 120 km from Mount Qomolangma, known in the West as Mount Everest, Dingri is in a remote area.

"In the past, if the villagers' yaks or sheep got lost, they had to travel days to find it. Now, in a few seconds, villagers can call other people to help," Pema said.

"I cannot always spend time with my children or wife," he said. "However, with a call or especially with a video chat, I feel we are very close because I can see them smiling or talking."

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