China streams its first 5G VR video
Updated 22:57, 28-Jan-2019
By Gong Zhe

China successfully conducted its first test of 5G virtual reality (VR) video streaming on Monday.

Three companies jointly conducted the test.

- The VR video shooting technique was provided by China Central Television (CCTV), the parent company of CGTN;

- The network for video streaming was done by China Unicom, one of the three giant mobile carriers;

- The 5G infrastructures were made by Huawei, the telecom equipment giant.

The technology will be soon used in a real-life scenario: to do a live VR streaming of the 2019 chunwan gala.

This year's chunwan, set to be performed on February 4, will be held simultaneously at three locations: Beijing, Changchun and Shenzhen.

It's obviously impossible for a viewer to be at all these locations at the same time. So video streaming is required to have a full chuwan experience. And VR can greatly enhance that experience by providing a 360° view of all the locations.

To bring more hype to chunwan, CCTV will launch some interactive programs beforehand and highlight videos afterward.

This was one of a series of tests CCTV is conducting with 5G. The previous test was conducted by using 5G to stream 4k videos, which was also a success.

5G is not commercialized in China for now. But Huawei has already built the world's first 5G base station chip and the three carriers are building infrastructures for the service. The matured, commercial 5G service is set to launch in 2020.

VR is welcomed in China. While a lot of people don't know much about the technology, they see VR as a potentially great way of entertainment. There are also building designers using VR to show their work to investors in order to leave a deeper impression than flat video renders.