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Friday, July 10, 2020, 14:33
Development of 5G to make its mark after COVID-19 pandemic
By Zhou Mo
Friday, July 10, 2020, 14:33 By Zhou Mo

The significance of the 5G network will become greater in the post-pandemic era, and the next-generation mobile network will help industries speed up digitalization.

The coronavirus outbreak may have partly affected the 5G network’s deployment on the Chinese mainland in the first quarter, but it has made people more reliant on the internet for communication. Investment in 5G is expected to accelerate after the pandemic, said Tu Jiashun, principal scientist of core network at Chinese telecom equipment-maker ZTE.

The central government has rolled out plans to promote the construction of new infrastructure as part of efforts to boost economic growth and spur domestic demand

“We’ve not changed our expectations of the global 5G network,” Tu told China Daily. “Although the pandemic may lead to a decline in 5G’s deployment and investment in some countries in 2020, we see a significant growth of 5G investment in China this year, and many other countries are expected to increase 5G investment over the next couple of years.”

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The central government has rolled out plans to promote the construction of new infrastructure as part of efforts to boost economic growth and spur domestic demand. The move is likely to give 5G development a shot in the arm, and propel digital transformation in various industries.

Tu said the success of 5G depends on whether it can achieve new applications in various industries, especially in targeting vertical industries. The applications need the fundamental infrastructure based on standalone 5G network. “The digital transformation of traditional vertical industries is still being started. ZTE will strategically invest in the digital transformation of the industries after 5G,” he said.

Shenzhen-based ZTE has built an open platform for digital transformation of vertical industries by combining cloud technology, big data and an artificial intelligence engine that has been verified in the 5G network. “It’s just like these new technologies making the traditional telecommunication industry realize the digital transformation from 4G to 5G in just a few years, greatly improving its efficiency. Digital transformation of the vertical industries will also greatly improve their income and efficiency,” said Tu.

And the business could become a new growth engine for ZTE as it will bring a massive number of users and traffic, he added.

With a data speed 100 times faster than the 4G network, 5G is believed to be the backbone for powering the internet of things, autonomous vehicles and smart cities. According to projections by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, total 5G investment in the country is expected to reach 1.2 trillion yuan (US$171 billion) by 2025, creating more than 3 million jobs.

READ MORE: China's 5G network construction gathers speed

“With leading global operators preparing for 5G commercialization, the world is entering the acceleration’ stage of 5G development in the coming five years,” Xu Ziyang, chief executive officer of ZTE, told an investors conference in June. 

He said 5G smartphones are expected to see fast growth, and ZTE plans to launch four to five core products this year.


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