2019 World 5G Convention in Beijing: China has built 113,000 5G base stations; 130,000 by the end of 2019
China secured 870,000 5G mobile subscribers in just 20 days after the country kicked off commercialization of the (pre-IMT 2020 standard) 5G mobile technology on October 31st. About 113,000 5G base stations have already entered service and the number will hit 130,000 by the end of this year, marking China one of the world’s largest 5G deployments, the ministry said.
As China continues to expand its 5G market, it has never set limits on what percentage of the domestic market can be supplied and equipped by foreign tech brands, the nation’s top industry regulator said on Thursday, November 21st. Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said the world is at a tipping point for large-scale 5G network construction, and it is wrong for any country to use the excuse of cybersecurity risks to practice trade protectionism.
“No country should ban a company in its 5G network rollout based on unproved allegations of cybersecurity risks,” Miao said at the opening ceremony of the 2019 World 5G Convention in Beijing. The event runs through Saturday. China highly values cybersecurity and deeply understands that ensuring cybersecurity is a prerequisite for better growth of new-generation wireless technology, he added. “China sticks to transparent, equal and fair principles when purchasing 5G telecom equipment. We never preset market shares for domestic and foreign enterprises,” Miao said. “China welcomes global companies and research institutions to jointly build a 5G network and share the benefits of its development,” he added.
As the top industry regulator, the ministry will oversee Chinese telecom carriers’ bidding processes, and it encourages competition, Miao said, adding that delivering quality 5G products and services is the only way for companies to increase their market share in China.
The minister also called for international cooperation to accelerate the global rollout of 5G, highlighting the need to establish an international mechanism for recognizing 5G-related patents in a bid to build unified global standards.
Ke Ruiwen, chairman of China Telecom, said the telecom operator has established close ties with foreign companies and international associations to promote maturity of the 5G industry chain.
Foreign telecom equipment makers including Nokia and Ericsson as well as US chip giants such as Intel and Qualcomm have actively participated in China’s 5G testing and trial operations. Now they are scrambling to tap into opportunities in the country, which has built the world’s largest 4G network and is eager to do the same in the 5G era.
Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China, said the company is pleased to join hands with industry partners to accelerate development of 5G in China.
Qualcomm has partnered with Chinese smartphone makers to bring affordable and quality 5G handsets to the global market. Xiaomi Corp, for instance, said it will unveil at least 10 5G smartphones next year.
Nokia China President Markus Borchert said earlier this year that cooperation with multinational companies is highly regarded by the Chinese government. This makes the Finnish company more confident in the healthy, steady and sustainable development of China’s 5G industry, Borchert added.
China is set to become the world’s largest 5G market by 2025, with 460 million 5G users, according to the Global System for Mobile Communications Association.
The number of 5G users in China is expected to be higher than that in Europe (205 million) and the United States (187 million) combined by that time, the association said.
Raymond Wang, partner with global consultancy firm Roland Berger, highlighted China’s commitment to further deepen opening-up and said Chinese companies have the confidence to compete with their foreign counterparts on the global stage.
5 thoughts on “2019 World 5G Convention in Beijing: China has built 113,000 5G base stations; 130,000 by the end of 2019”
A white paper by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology notes that Beijing has built a number of 5G application demonstration zones in such fields as smart transportation, smart medical care, industrial Internet, smart urban management and ultra-high-definition video streaming.
Kong Lei, deputy director of the bureau, said that in order to promote the overall development of the 5G industry, Beijing will promote the landing of major 5G application projects and optimize 5G infrastructure.
With 1.27 billion LTE users and 817 million existing mobile Internet users, the Chinese players have the scale and expertise to drive 5G growth. They are offering some of the world’s most affordable 5G services.
Prices start at 128 yuan ($18.30) per month for 30GB of data — consumer-friendly rates that will drive adoption and help the global industry ecosystem get to scale. That means accelerated production of affordable handsets and apps development.
Currently, just nine 5G handset models are available in the China market, at prices of between 3500-8000 yuan, with another eight expected by year-end. But analysts believe the first 2000-yuan devices will launch in the second quarter of 2020, followed by 1,000 yuan phones in the fourth quarter. That will further drive take-up of 5G subscriptions and create an installed customer base for new and innovative 5G apps.
Worldwide, 56 carriers have built 5G networks and 40 have launched service. Among these, Huawei has won more than 60 contracts and shipped over 400,000 5G active antenna units (AAUs). Competition is one of the major decision factors behind 5G deployment. Telcos don’t want to be left behind as their rivals begin to offer new services.
5G will also enable control of applications that save manpower and improve efficiency and productivity. Already 5G is proving its value in verticals such as media and in security and authentication in large venues.
Broadcasters can now replace a $40 million outside broadcast van and satellite link with a 5G-enabled backpack. China CCTV used a 5G link to broadcast China’s national day ceremony from central Beijing on October 1.
5G is also supporting many innovative use cases at Beijing’s new Daxing Airport, like smart check-in, thanks to the large number of 5G-enabled cameras installed at check-in points and around the boarding gates.
These are applications that can be immediately implemented using chipsets and devices already in the market. It won’t take long for these to achieve scale. Future 5G use cases, like massive M2M and ultra-low latency, would have wait for the finalization of the standard next year or 2021.
— Daisy Zhu, Head of Marketing Operations, Huawei Wireless Network
Huawei Is a Paralyzing Dilemma for the West–Western democracies are struggling to balance the geopolitical challenge of China with their need for 5G technology. A common approach is essential.
Huawei, based in Shenzhen, is not owned by the state — being Chinese, it’s somewhere between collectively and privately owned. It was founded by Ren Zhengfei, who once worked as a researcher for the People’s Liberation Army. But he and his firm insist that Huawei never has built, nor ever would build, so-called “backdoors” into its equipment that would let it spy on, or sabotage, its customers’ networks.
There are arguments for giving Huawei the benefit of the doubt. First, it tends to be cheaper than its rivals, which include the European companies Ericsson and Nokia Oyj. Second, it seems to be quicker. Earlier this year, Deutsche Telekom AG, a German cellphone operator, claimed that rolling out 5G without Huawei would delay its network by at least two years and add billions in cost.
Then there’s the risk that excluding Huawei could antagonize China on trade and investment. In Germany, the bureaucracies opposed to Huawei are the spy agencies and the interior ministry, both tasked with security, whereas the economics ministry and the chancellery, both concerned with the overall Sino-German relationship, are more accommodating.
Finally, there are the principles of fairness and economic openness. There’s no evidence that Huawei has spied on its customers. And part of what makes the West “western,” or at least liberal, is that it doesn’t close its markets to others without good reasons.
Huawei’s critics, of course, have plenty of reasons for its exclusion. First, it’s implausible that any Chinese company can avoid becoming an arm of the state and the Communist Party. China’s National Intelligence Law of 2017 requires all the country’s companies to “assist” in national intelligence, and to keep that assistance secret. An earlier law defines national security as including economics and culture.
Second, 5G isn’t any old phone network. Unlike 4G, it’s the infrastructure for machines and devices to talk to one another on the so-called Internet of Things. If it works well, it will make entire cities “smart” and enable autonomous cars to drive themselves through them, all the while exchanging reams of data. Think of the human body: If 4G is the ears, 5G is the entire nervous system. Would you want China to have control over it?
The fear is not overblown. Whoever provides the software and hardware for 5G will also have a head-start in eventually transferring that prowess into 6G and 7G. And once a technology is baked in, a simple software update could turn a harmless feature into a mole. A banal analogy would be your smartphone, when its maker schedules an update that adds emoticons but suddenly seems to drain the battery much faster — and all of this coincidentally just before the launch of a new model.
So caution is advisable. Even at the risk of slowing down the roll-out, regulators would be wise to assure diversity among suppliers. They should also ring-fence the most sensitive parts of the infrastructure. Procurement rules can’t discriminate against individual companies, but they should establish criteria of trustworthiness. Suppliers that can’t fully meet them would be allowed to play only in the network’s periphery.
Just as important, the western allies must coordinate their approach. It makes little sense for, say, Denmark to exclude Huawei while Germany next door includes it. Autonomous cars, trucks and boats, geo-tagged goods in containers, patients with heart monitors: All of these and other connected nodes on the network will be moving across the border, constantly communicating with different “clouds” of server computers in the background. The data have to be safe on both sides of the border.
The West and its allies must therefore come to a common position on Huawei — and ideally on both China and data security generally. 5G and its successors have an almost utopian potential to solve many human problems. They also have a dystopian potential to turn our freedoms into a surveillance hell. The democracies need to confront this reality.
China 5G rollout to drive first smartphone shipment rise in 4 years – IDC:
The global smartphone market is set to return to growth for the first time in 4 years in 2020 on the back of China’s huge investment in 5G technology, according to the latest report from IDC. Worldwide shipments are expected to grow 1.5 percent year on year in 2020 to just over 1.4 billion following falls of 0.3 percent in 2017, 4.3 percent in 2018 and an expected 1.4 percent this year. The 2020 figure is set to include 190 million 5G smartphones, accounting for 14 percent of the total, driven by recent developments in the China market along with anticipation of aggressive activity from the smartphone supply chain and OEMs, said IDC.
The report expressed the hope that 5G smartphone prices will quickly come down quickly to boost the growth of this market segment. “Following three straight years of declining smartphone volumes there leaves little room for 5G to raise smartphone ASPs,” said IDC, adding that Android vendors are expected to drive down the cost of 5G smartphones starting with a host of first quarter announcements at both CES and MWC. Apple is expected to enter the 5G smartphone market in September 2020, with the real focus around pricing and market availability.
In contrast to the expected rapid 5G growth in China, demand in other markets such as Australia, Japan, and Korea in Asia/Pacific as well as some European countries is set to be slower than predicted, added IDC. The report said shipments so far in the second half of 2019 have come in much lower than expected, with accelerated 5G adoption globally depending on factors such as the arrival of 5G networks, operator support, as well as substantial price reductions.
March 15, 2020:
Beijing has put 26,000 5G base stations into operation, with 5G users reaching about 800,000, according to the Beijing Municipal Communications Administration.
Beijing municipal government rolled out policies in the past year to support the telecom industry by slashing the expenses in carrying out 5G infrastructure construction, said the administration in a statement.
According to a report compiled by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, the 5G commercialization in China is expected to generate a direct gross output of 10.6 trillion yuan (about 1.51 trillion U.S. dollars) from 2020 to 2025, plus an indirect gross output of about 24.8 trillion yuan.
Given the complexity of the current epidemic control and the economic development, it is an important and pressing task to expedite the development of 5G technology, said Chen Zhaoxiong, vice minister of Industry and Information Technology, recently.
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