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China Leads the World in 5G Base Stations

businessman with phone looking in night city

China has taken a global lead in the development of 5G, with a total of 819,000 5G base stations built so far, accounting for over 70% of the world’s total. The vice-minister of industry and information technology released the figures at the ongoing China International Big Data Industry Expo 2021 in Guiyang, capital of Southwest China’s Guizhou province. The number of 5G terminal connections in the country has exceeded 310 million, accounting for more than 80% of the world’s total.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), China built the world’s largest optical fibre and 4G network, with over 99% of the villages across the country connected to both technologies. The government had several significant achievements in building the world’s largest 5G mobile network and aims to build more than 600,000 5G base stations in 2021. The ministry will shift its focus from network “coverage and popularisation” to “improvement of speed and quality”.

China has applied 5G technology to several different areas such as the deployment of 5G applications in parks. As reported by OpenGov Asia, Nanshan District installed three smart solar panel benches which can store electricity through the absorption of solar energy in the daytime. The smart 5G bench is equipped with free WiFi access, phone-charging ports and wireless charging. People can place the mobile phone on the bench and it will automatically charge the phone. They can also use the free WiFi to listen to music while exercising nearby. The benches have become parkgoers’ favourite for leisure and exercises at Sihai Park in Nanshan District, Shenzhen city.

Nanshan has piloted 12 scenarios at Shenzhen Talent Park, Dasha River Ecological Corridor, Shenzhen Bay Coastal Belt and Sihai Park. The scenarios include colour frequency, low-light 5G video cameras, 5G flexible screens, driverless cleaning vehicles and smart toilets. With a vocal service to remind walkers, the automated cleaning vehicles are applied along a section on Dasha River Ecological Corridor, about 2 kilometres between the mouth of Dasha River at Shenzhen Bay and Shennan Boulevard. The vehicle has two operation models with one to sweep the whole area and the other to spot certain places. It can also turn about to avoid pedestrians.

The colour frequency, low-light 5G cameras are installed in hard-to-reach patrol areas in parks and areas along rivers and lakes. The cameras can capture videos in dim light. In Sihai Park, whose lake size takes up one-third of the total area, the cameras can remind park visitors if they are getting too close to the water area and if they are in possible danger. Visitors can learn the distribution of toilets, the number of visitors and sanitation conditions of toilets through the screens installed on the walls. Exhaust fans automatically operate as and when needed.

The park’s story is the tip of the iceberg of applications of 5G in Nanshan District, Shenzhen City. The city is encouraging the use of 5G in industrial Internet, Internet of Vehicles, high-definition videos and smart drones. Model projects will be selected each year and will each receive a maximum subsidy of US$4.7 million. Shenzhen City will spend more money on applications of 5G in firefighting, production safety, emergency services, police affairs and urban governance to build a digital government. To become a global benchmark city in the construction and application of 5G networks, Shenzhen unveiled a slew of measures to promote high-quality 5G development.

The country acknowledges the importance of big data in global scientific and technological innovation, industrial restructuring, and economic and social development. It is planning to accelerate efforts to expand the application scenarios of big data and strengthen infrastructure construction and talent cultivation in the industry. Simultaneously, it will establish and improve governance systems and regulations as well as expand international cooperation to boost the big data sector. The big data industry has become a significant and decisive force to promote the transition of the industrial economy towards the digital economy.

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