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China Mobile eyes 5G expansion in rural areas

By MA SI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-11-03 09:43
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Technicians check a 5G station in Tongling, Anhui province. [Photo by Guo Shining/For China Daily]

China Mobile, the nation's largest telecom carrier, said on Tuesday that it aims to achieve continuous 5G coverage in rural towns across the country by the end of next year, as it works hard to build a top-quality network for the fifth-generation wireless technology.

The grand plan has been conceived as China Mobile has already built more than 560,000 5G base stations so far, which makes it the world's largest 5G network.

Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile, said the company is committed to offering high-speed, mobile, secure and ubiquitous connection services.

"We will work hard to ensure continuous 5G coverage in rural towns across China by the end of 2022, as well as effective coverage in important parks and developed rural villages by then," Yang said.

The telecom carrier will also beef up efforts to promote 5G applications and services like cloud games, augmented and virtual reality, and explore financial technology services like insurance and credit.

China Mobile said it has led 134 5G international standards projects, obtained 3,300 5G patents, and developed 360 million 5G mobile subscribers. Migu Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China Mobile that provides digital content and services, has accumulated 870 million users for its services that include video streaming, reading and music streaming.

All these efforts materialized after China sped up the rollout of 5G networks, and extended the application of 5G to more areas.

Xin Guobin, vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the nation's top industry regulator, said earlier that 5G applications are in full bloom. Enterprises are keen to explore the use of 5G in consumer sectors like culture, sports and entertainment, and in industries like manufacturing, mining, healthcare and ports.

But more efforts are needed to promote the construction of smart cities and communities, as well as to improve the informatization level in transportation, education, scientific research, healthcare, social security and other areas, Xin said.

Globally, there are already 176 5G commercial networks. More than 10,000 projects are exploring how 5G can drive industrial digitalization. On the consumer front, there are more than 490 million 5G users worldwide, according to Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei Technologies Co.

Ding Yun, Huawei's executive director and president of its carrier business group, said: "The 5G user penetration rate in China has crossed the threshold of 20 percent, which means rapid development of 5G will follow."

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