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China Targets Over 2 Million 5G Base Stations by End of 2022

China aims to install over two million 5G base stations by the end of 2022 to expand the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that brings convenience to people’s lives, Xiao Yaqing, the Minister of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) disclosed.

Xiao made the announcement at the “Ministers’ Corridor” held after the second plenary meeting of the 5th session of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing. The congress is China’s law-making body that meets once a year every March.

China’s 5G goals may seem colossal given that the country already enjoys an extensive 5G network. The country has launched over 1.4 million 5G base stations so far providing services to more than 500 million users. In sheer numbers, China is a leading adopter of ICT technology.

In terms of ICT, the main advantages of the 5G network are:

  • greater speed in the transmissions
  • a lower latency
  • the greater capacity of remote execution,
  • greater number of connected devices and
  • the possibility of implementing virtual networks (network slicing)

In short, 5G technology fits the needs of digital adoption better than traditional technologies. Speed in transmissions is vital to enjoying the latest emerging technology in the market today (e.g., metaverse, AIoT). By being able to enjoy a higher speed, files and programmes can be accessed in remote applications without much waiting.

It is notable that the degree of intricacy in communications today means there’s a greater volume of data transmitted – which translates to a more pronounced need for robust architecture. Not only is there more intense demand for the cloud, but also more portable devices (mobile phones, computers, etc.) can access it.

Latency is the delay incurred since an order is made on a device until the action becomes a reality. In 5G the latency will be ten times less than in 4G. That means being able to perform remote actions in real-time.

Of course, MIIT is looking beyond 2022 and will likely triple its 5G base station in the upcoming years. Under its aggressive plan, China aims to have 26 5G base stations for every 10,000 people by the end of 2025. In comparison, in 2020, there were five 5G base stations for every 10,000 people in China. Already, the ministry mentioned, the power of 5G was in full display during the recent 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

As advantageous as 5G technology is, it also has its downsides. While it is definitely a lot faster in carrying data compared to 4G and other traditional transmission methods, a 5G network has limited coverage. Simply put, more 5G base stations are needed to cover the same amount of space a 4G base station would cover.

China is definitely using ICT to the hilt and is poised to take strong advantage of its digital economy. As reported on OpenGov Asia, the recent gathering of regional leaders in the recent “Two Sessions” meeting attests to that. During that meeting, the latest in digital transformation technologies were discussed – from cryptocurrency to the latest emerging tech: the metaverse.

Indeed, digital adoption is pushing China forward an, in li with this, the plan of more 5G base stations is synchronous to the fourth state-owned 5G state carrier operating this year in the country.

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