SCIO press conference on development of industry and information technology in 2021

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People's Post & Telecommunications News:

What results have China achieved in 5G developments and applications and what are the shortcomings? What are the MIIT's deployment and plans for future 5G development and what are the priorities? Thank you. 

Zhao Zhiguo:

Thank you. Over the past year, the MIIT has implemented decisions from the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and mobilized forces from all industries to promote innovative 5G development all while making notable progress. 

First, we have strengthened policy guidance. The MIIT, together with nine other departments, issued a three-year action plan aimed at coordinating 5G integration and application, and fostering new drivers of economic and social development. We worked with the National Health Commission to carry out 5G plus medical health pilot programs that expand 5G applications in the medical health sector and build a model of sound development of smart medical care. We also worked with the Ministry of Education to carry out 5G plus smart education pilot programs to promote the high-quality development of 5G-enabled education. 

Second, we have achieved steady progress in 5G development. China has built the world's largest 5G network with the most advanced technologies. By the end of last year, the country had built more than 1.4 million 5G base stations, of which more than 800,000 are jointly built and shared. The 5G network covers all prefecture-level cities, urban areas of more than 98% counties and 80% townships. The breadth and width of 5G coverage continued to expand during the past year. China's 5G mobile phone shipments stood at 266 million units last year, up 63.5% year on year, showing a steady growth trend.

Third, the application innovation has been improved in both quantity and quality. We organized the fourth "Bloom Cup" 5G Application Competition, which collected more than 12,000 projects from almost 7,000 participants. The number and quality of the projects reached a new high. The application of 5G+4K/8K ultra HD video and 5G+AR/VR was applied to many scenarios last year, such as the art performance marking the 100th anniversary of the CPC's founding, live events, and housing and shopping services, bringing a new experience to consumers. 5G applications in the fields of industry, culture and tourism, energy, and transportation have also continued to expand. Take the 5G plus industrial internet as an example. Typical scenarios, including remote equipment control, machine vision inspection and production efficiency control, have been applied in-depth in key areas, such as mining, ports, iron and steel, and electricity and petrochemical sectors, which has helped enterprises improve quality, reduce costs, improve efficiency and realize green and safe development. Notable progress has also been made in this regard. 

Of course, we should also note that there are still challenges in 5G development, including the bottleneck in technology industries, immature business models and the ecological environment yet to be further optimized, which needs coordinated forces from all sectors to promote the scalable development of 5G. The year 2022 is crucial for the scalable development of 5G application, and we will continue to implement the policy decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, boost the coverage of the 5G network, and advance in-depth integration of 5G and vertical industries. Our major efforts are as follows:

First, we will further consolidate the 5G industry base. We will encourage industrial sectors to make key 5G technology breakthroughs, support enterprises in actively participating in the formulation of a series of international 5G standards, encourage them to develop various 5G chips and modules in a timely manner to meet diversified demands of the industrial application, boost the growth of new end-use products, such as 5G smart mobile phones, wearable devices, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), to enrich carriers of 5G technology applications. 

Second, we will make steady progress in 5G network development. We will take a moderately proactive approach in advancing 5G network development, further implement the principle of joint development and sharing, continue to expand 5G coverage in counties and towns, improve deep coverage level of the 5G network in crowded areas, such as high-speed trains, transportation junctions, and shopping malls, as well as key sectors of industries and medical care. 

Third, we will promote large-scale utilization of 5G. We will strive to do a good job in implementing the "Sailing" action plan for 5G application , hold the fifth "Blossom Cup" 5G application competition, and carry out related work on pilot "5G plus medical care" and "5G plus smart education" projects. We will also promote the application of 5G technology in broadcasting, travel, and other scenarios to help deliver a smart Winter Olympics. We will upgrade the "5G+industrial internet" application and tap into a batch of typical application scenarios at production lines and factories, connecting 5G technology throughout the whole process of engineering projects. We will implement a plan to improve 5G application for individuals and work to launch new types of terminals and apps in a bid to increase people's sense of accomplishment and happiness. Thanks.

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