China rolls on with 5G deployment, development

As of the end of May, the domestic 5G network covers all prefecture-level cities, urban areas of counties across the country and 92 per cent of urban villages and towns.


Visitors try out 5G-enabled games during an expo in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. [Photo by Li Zhihao/for China Daily]

July 15, 2022

BEIJING – As one of the key projects of the 14th Five-Year Plan, China has achieved remarkable progress in 5G network deployment and the development of application scenarios, Securities Daily reported.

China had built 1.7 million 5G base stations by the end of May, with over 12 stations per 10,000 residents, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Tuesday.

As of the end of May, the domestic 5G network covers all prefecture-level cities, urban areas of counties across the country and 92 percent of urban villages and towns.

The number of 5G base stations in China accounts for about 70 percent of the global total, well ahead of other countries, Xiang Ligang, director-general of telecom association Information Consumption Alliance, told the newspaper.

The number of 5G connections in China is expected to increase to about 2 million by the end of this year, Xiang added.

The country’s 5G network construction is in an accelerated period, said Yang Ruyi, partner of ChaseStone Group.

For instance, Beijing earlier announced a plan to build 6,000 new 5G base stations this year, while the Shanghai Communications Administration said in June the city will speed up the infrastructure construction of 5G, gigabit optical networks and data centers in an appropriate in-advance manner.

When advancing 5G network construction, more attention should be paid to global market risks confronted by industrial and supply chains, Yang said, adding problems such as immature business modes, cutthroat competition in semiconductor chips and key electronic components still exist.

From the macro level, different regions saw unbalanced development of 5G construction which needs to be further optimized, said Wang Peng, an associate professor of Renmin University of China.

At present, 5G technology has been widely applied in all walks of life, boosting the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry.

According to the MIIT, 5G technology has been widely used in more than 200 smart mines, more than 1,000 smart factories, more than 180 smart grid networks, 89 ports and more than 600 hospitals across China.

Smart manufacturing, healthcare, and the internet of vehicles have urgent need for 5G application to promote industrial development, Yang said. These sectors also have some appeal for 5G, such as good network performance, high reliability, mobility and flexibility.

With steady progress of 5G construction, companies listed on the A-share market are putting more effort into innovation.

The 298 listed companies which belong to the 5G concept section have obtained 7,436 patent licenses so far this year, compared with 11,310 in 2021 and 10,580 in 2020.

Among the 47 companies that have released their H1 performance projection reports, 13 predicted net profits attributed to shareholders to increase over 100 percent year-on-year.

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