(Yicai Global) Jan. 21 -- China had built more than 130,000 fifth-generation mobile network base stations by the end of last year as part of the country's greater focus on construction of 5G infrastructure, and its shipments of 5G-compatible handsets had already surpassed 13.8 million in the Chinese market, the country's information technology agency has announced.
It has also handed out 5G access licenses for 35 types of smartphone terminals, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei said at a press conference yesterday.
"China should focus on accelerating the building of standalone networking after the International Telecommunication Union officially issued the Release 16 standards," Miao noted, adding, "only standalone networking can further display the 5G mobile network's performance."
Corresponding investment will be colossal, so the base stations' research, development and innovation will be as economical as possible to trim outlays on corporate management, Wen Ku, a ministry spokesperson, stated in answer to a question by Yicai Global.
The building of 5G networks calls for around 6 million base stations, whose cost goes as high as from CNY1.2 trillion (USD171.5 billion) to CNY1.5 trillion. Complete 5G coverage will be achieved by 2025 at the latest, Li Yizhong, the former minister, also noted at the 2020 Made in China Forum on Jan. 11.
China's state-owned telecoms operators China Telecommunications and China United Network Communications announced in September they were banding together to build shared 5G base stations because of their prohibitive cost. These joint stations exceeded 27,000 as of the end of last month, Wang Zhiqin, deputy head of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, said recently.
One-fifth of 5G applications will focus on Internet of Things targeting consumption, while the rest will apply to other IoT fields, especially Industrial Internet, Miao stated when touching on 5G technology's uses. Fostering a huge number of 5G applications is thus necessary in vertical sectors, he stressed.
The super-high velocity of 5G's data transmission will further accelerate the process of gaining information via phones and meet high-end consumer segments' demand for virtual reality, super-high-definition videos and expansive online games, Miao said, by way of example, adding the building of 5G networks can also relieve online congestion in densely populated regions. The larger 'blue ocean' -- of untapped potential -- is still IoT and Industrial Internet, he advised.
Editor: Ben Armour