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China Targets 560 Million 5G Mobile Users by 2023

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China aims to nurture 560 million 5G mobile subscribers by the end of 2023, and grow the penetration rate of fast wireless technology among big industrial enterprises to 35% by then, a three-year plan jointly unveiled by 10 government bodies disclosed on July 13.

The announcement of the twin goals reflects China’s vigorous promotion of the comprehensive and coordinated development of 5G and its efforts to further widen the use of 5G to empower a wide range of industries. The three-year plan was published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and nine other government bodies.

The application of 5G in different sectors, it said, is important to promote the digital, networked, and intelligent transformation of the economy and society. China has built 916,000 5G base stations so far, accounting for 70% of the world’s total. The number of 5G connections has exceeded 365 million, accounting for 80% of the world’s total.

According to the three-year plan, China aims to grow the penetration rate of 5G among individual consumers to 40% by the end of 2023, with 5G data accounting for more than half of overall online traffic. In the enterprise market, the plan called for efforts to popularise the use of 5G in big industrial enterprises, and to scale up its application in grid mining and other sectors.

The scope of pilot projects involving 5G plus connected vehicles will be further expanded and efforts will also be made to accelerate the digital transformation of the agriculture sector. To lay sound telecom infrastructure, China will accelerate the rollout of 5G networks to have more than 18 5G base stations per 10,000 people by the end of 2023.

China is likely to achieve several breakthroughs in its technological evolution, network construction and applications over the next five years. By the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), China will have built the world’s largest and most extensive stand-alone 5G network and achieve full network coverage in urban and rural areas.

This year, China will build more than 600,000 5G base stations, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. 5G is no longer for early adopters as it is improving people’s daily lives. 2021 will be the first year with large-scale 5G industry applications. Operators will need new capabilities in network planning, deployment, maintenance, optimisation and operations, to achieve zero to one, and replicate success from one to many.

5G applications have already been deployed in more than 20 industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, education and logistics. The technology has already proved its worth in coal mining, steelmaking and manufacturing by making production safer, more intelligent, and more efficient.

China has applied 5G technology in various areas, including deploying 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 exercise at Sihai Park in Nanshan District, Shenzhen city.

For the deployment of 5G applications in parks, 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.

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