Beijing city has built 4,300 5G base stations in the city's urban core areas and iconic buildings to implement the superfast technology as the Chinese government has begun issuing 5G licenses to telecom firms. 5G is the next generation cellular technology with download speeds stated to be 10 to 100 times faster than the current 4G LTE networks. By the end of last month, China's capital city has launched pre-commercial 5G services in the administrative areas for Beijing's sub-centre, the new airport, the International Horticultural Exhibition, test venues for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Tiananmen Square and the main artery, Chang'an Avenue, the Beijing Youth Daily reported Tuesday
By 2021, the city's core zones, including the central business district, innovation centres and economic-technological development area, will have 5G network coverage, the newspaper report said citing the municipal communication bureau. Beijing has delivered 5,983 5G base stations to three telecommunications operators at the end of last month, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.
On June 6, China has granted 5G licenses to four of its major state-owned companies to roll out super-fast telecommunications system, amid simmering tensions with the US over technology and trade. Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued 5G commercial licenses to China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Radio and Television. It means those carriers can start rolling out commercial 5G applications. They were given a licence for testing at the end of last year.
The 5G networking standard is seen as a critical because it can support the next generation of mobile devices in addition to new applications like driverless cars. Chinese officials say a comprehensive deployment of the network will help develop industrial manufacturing, internet-connected cars, healthcare, smart city management and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The 5G technology is expected to generate about $1.54 trillion worth of economic output and over three million jobs between 2020 and 2025, a research report by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology said. The 5G stations are being installed in different parts of China, including Tibet as part of Chinese telecom giant Huawei which claims to have taken a strong lead over its competitors from rest of the world.
Huawei has become a central part of a US-China power struggle which started out in trade, and is now being played out in the technology sector. The US, which has banned Huawei has encouraged allies to block the world's largest maker of telecoms equipment from their 5G networks, saying the Chinese government could use its products for surveillance.
Huawei has denied official links with the Chinese government. Huawei rejects this claim and says it is independent from the government. Still, some countries including Australia and New Zealand have blocked Huawei from supplying equipment for 5G mobile networks.