Beijing enters 5G era

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 14, 2018
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At 10 a.m. on Aug. 13, Beijing officially entered the 5G era as a live video was projected onto the big screens in the Beijing Unicom Building.

The new generation wireless data network is being introduced by China Unicom, one of the major telecommunications carriers in China. According to a staff member at the company's Beijing branch, the 5G network could be used to transmit 4K high definition (HD) signals, with sharpness 16 times higher than what could be transmitted through 4G. The staff member said 5G-capable mobile phones will become available in the first half of next year, and China Unicom will begin recruiting field testers.

According to a person in charge at the Beijing branch, China Unicom has built four 5G base stations in Beijing, and it is aiming to finish building experimental networks for testing, application incubation, and business promotion by the end of this year. The 5G base stations will first cover some key areas in the Chinese capital such as its subsidiary administrative center, the new airport, Chang An Avenue, Finance Street, the International Horticultural Exposition Area, and the 2022 Winter Olympic Park. The Beijing International Horticultural Exposition will be the first event in the city to use the 5G network.

According to reports on China's timetable for developing the 5G network, the country plans to kick off test runs this year, pilot commercial uses in 2019, and realize large-scale commercial expansion in 2020. To compensate for the small number of 5G base stations at the beginning, 4G and 5G networks will coexist for a couple of years in Beijing. This means that telecom companies will continue to service 4G mobile phones, and that 5G-capable phones will be backward-compatible with 4G signals.

Officials from the Beijing Municipal Communications Administration said that they have worked out schemes to speed up the overall planning and construction of 5G capabilities in Beijing. Meanwhile, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology will be working to promote the 5G information and communication industries by supporting network carriers to develop 5G model applications for driverless vehicles, healthcare services, industrial networks, smart cities, and ultra HD videos. Already, the Beijing branch of China Unicom has started collaboration with Baidu and other companies in such fields as driverless vehicles and big data.

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