Sneak peek at China's latest 5G developments
Updated 21:00, 15-Mar-2019
By Wang Mengzhen
03:23

‍The 5G era is about to start in China. 

With faster download speeds and lower latency, many are counting the days until its commercial launch next year and Chinese mobile operators are now in the testing stage for 5G. CGTN brings you a sneak peek of what to expect.

It's joyous news that 5G is right around the corner, especially for insiders working in China's telecom industry. 

Attending the Two Sessions, China's key annual political gathering, National People's Congress (NPC) deputy Liu Guanghe is someone who has witnessed tremendous changes over the years.

National People's Congress (NPC) deputy Liu Guanghe at this year's Two Sessions in Beijing, China. /CGTN Photo

National People's Congress (NPC) deputy Liu Guanghe at this year's Two Sessions in Beijing, China. /CGTN Photo

"I started as a telecom worker in 1992. Back then, our network equipment was mostly imported. But domestic companies, both network operators and equipment vendors, gradually caught up and have taken the lead in many areas. Now China is at the critical stage of 5G research and development," said Liu, a general manager at China Mobile's Guangdong branch.

Compared to its predecessors, the fifth-generation wireless technology has three distinctive features: Ultra-speeds estimated to be 20 times faster than 4G, far fewer delays, as well as the capacity for broader network connections, meaning it can be applied more widely, not just on your smartphone.

Inside China Mobile's 5G exhibition hall, a cloud-robot named Xiao Chuang has caught our attention.

5G technology is at work in its data transmission between the cloud and the robot. As 5G aims to make our world smarter, researchers at China Mobile show how it could help power the Internet of Things.

"Behind me is the 5G remote driving system. We can control the vehicle indoors and manually intervene in situations such as severe environmental and extreme weather conditions thanks to 5G's faster speed and fewer delays. It can also be applied in scenarios like smart manufacturing and artificial intelligence," said Xiao Shanpeng, deputy director at Terminal Tech & Wireless Department, China Mobile Research Institute.

As one of the major mobile operators, China Mobile has been a key contributor in formulating global 5G standards, which were issued last June. 

China Mobile has played a key role in setting global 5G standards approved by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). /VCG Photo

China Mobile has played a key role in setting global 5G standards approved by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). /VCG Photo

"One motivation for global players is to have more say in technology patents with global standards, and China Mobile is no exception. With 1,000 related patents, China Mobile has played a key role in setting global 5G standards approved by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). This involves both collaboration and competition. But our common goal is to lower the cost and enlarge the industrial scale for 5G," Xiao recalled the international 5G meetings he attended.

And the Chinese mobile giant is eyeing more global cooperation. "We've worked with over 500 global operators to provide roaming services. We've launched attractive data packages, namely unlimited data package. And in recent years, we've set up 23 different branches in different countries and regions. 10 of them are from belt and road countries, and we will set up another 10 offices in the next three years," said Zhao Peng, the regional head at China Mobile International.

The whole world is testing 5G. Domestic network operators have established multiple base stations in almost 20 major cities nationwide. 

Experts say it will still take a few years for society to fully adapt to 5G technology after its commercial launch in 2020. So now it's just a matter of time before China will enjoy all that 5G offers.