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Thursday, June 28, 2018, 14:40
China Mobile steps up 5G push
By Ma Si
Thursday, June 28, 2018, 14:40 By Ma Si

People visit a China Unicom stand displaying 5G technology during the Mobile World Conference in Shanghai on June 27, 2018. (PHOTO / AFP)

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier by subscribers, said on Wednesday that it intends to build a globally leading fifth generation network by combining the 5G mobile communication technology with artificial intelligence and cloud technology.

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The plan is part of China Mobile's broader push to commercialize 5G services in 2020. The company has played a significant role in the finalization of the first phase of global 5G standards, which kicked off the final sprint toward commercial 5G services.

The plan is part of China Mobile's broader push to commercialize 5G services in 2020

Shang Bing, chairman of China Mobile, said: "We will focus on the standalone 5G network structure, push forward the cloud deployment of the superfast technology and build an intelligent network by boosting the operational efficiency with AI."

According to him, the company will establish a 5G innovation fund to promote the development and maturity of full-fledged industrial applications of 5G.

The senior executive did not elaborate on the specific investment size of the fund. But he said the Beijing-based company is vigorously conducting 5G trials in a string of cities and will start pre-commercial use of 5G in 2019 before its commercial launch in 2020.

"As the global telecom industry is heading toward the home stretch of 5G, telecom operators must accelerate the transformation toward smart network, lean management and platform services," Shang said.

Earlier this month, 3rd Generation Partnership Project, or 3GPP, a global organization supervising cellular standards, agreed at a recent meeting in Spain on the specifications for the stand-alone 5G network, finishing the first phase of 5G standards.

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Huang Yuhong, deputy head of the China Mobile Research Institute, said China Mobile has played a big part in completing the standards by leading the global 5G System Architecture project, which determines the structure of 5G networks.

China is expected to have 576 million 5G users by 2025, or over 40 percent of global consumption, according to a report released by global consultancy EY earlier this month.

The report, titled China Is Poised to Win the 5G Race, estimated that the nation's 5G capital expenditure is expected to hit 1.5 trillion yuan (US$223 billion) between 2019 and 2025. Proactive government support and industrial capital investments have helped shape a self-sustainable 5G environment in China, it added.

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