(Yicai Global) Sept. 29 -- China’s commercial application of fifth-generation wireless networks is still in the early stage, according to the head of Ericsson China.
The country’s 5G economy has not yet arrived, Zhao Juntao said in an interview at the PT Expo China yesterday. It is still in the phase of large-scale investment, he said.
5G’s operating model has not changed much from 4G, and its primary application is in video platforms, Zhao said. Once the full potential of the technology is released, the business model will change profoundly, forming a real 5G economy that can spread to all industries, he said.
5G applications in industrial scenarios are different from what consumers need in terms of equipment and network links, Zhao said, noting that the industrial chain requires each link to be modified and adapted.
Market researcher IDC identified seven fields in which 5G is mainly used: artificial intelligence visual checks, video surveillance, augmented reality remote assistance, remote inspection and monitoring, equipment data collection and monitoring, equipment remote control, and automatic guided vehicles communication. The first four rely on 5G to transmit image data, while the others rely on it for equipment data transmission.
The service industry chain for 5G industrial application is still being built, and the return on investment and commercialization still faces many challenges, Zhao said.
The digitization of manufacturing industry is far behind that of the service sector, he said. Moreover, in manufacturing planning is essential, as the investment cycle is long and the depreciation period of equipment can range from a few years to more than a decade, Zhao said, adding that the manufacturing sector is also more complex and fragmented.
“Compared with consumer service industries including retail, logistics, catering, and hotel, manufacturing industry has more standards, which are all different for historical reasons and for technology generations,” Zhao said. “So its problem is internal operation, which makes the application of 5G platforms even harder.”
Every industry is different, and every company in each industry is not necessarily the same, so it is not possible to use a sort of development template, Zhao said. Once large-scale replicability is achieved, the application of 5G throughout different fields will be possible, he said.
Editor: Futura Costaglione