China is poised to invest more than $100 billion in 5G by 2025
According to financial projections from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, the country’s three mobile network operators–China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, stand to generate $283 billion in revenues from 5G services between 2020 and 2025.
That return comes on the back of what CAICT estimates to be investments of between $134 billion and $223 billion in standing up 5G networks in the massive country. To get a better understanding of how the three operators will realize hundreds of billions in new service revenues, let’s take a look at recent trial activity.
First and foremost, there are consumer-facing use cases like streaming increasingly high-quality video to handsets. China Mobile, working with Huawei and CCTV, has recently been testing out live 4K streaming over what the partners refer to as a “dual-band convergent network” comprising multiple gNodeBs in Beijing.
In a press release, Huawei said the video had a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels at 50 frames per second. “Real 4K video transmission consumes a large amount of bandwidth,” according to the technology giant. “The transmission rate on a 5G network can reach 10-100 times that on a 4G network. This caters for the ultra-high bandwidth and ultra-low latency required by…real 4K live streaming.”
Moving away from consumer applications, China Unicom has put together a consortium of 32 industrial companies, including automaker Dongfeng Motor, manufacturer ZPMC, Huawei and Alibaba, to examine private 5G network applications. China Unicom has set up trial networks in Beijing, Shanghai, Gunagzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Xiong’an New Area.
Crunching the numbers in terms of how 5G will drive broader economic development, CAICT forecasts a cumulative direct and indirect value associated with the new levels of network enablement at more than $5 trillion by 2025.
Artificial intelligence is simultaneously viewed as a technology that will be opened up by 5G, and something that will be necessary to not only operate 5G networks but also derive value from them. To that end, China Unicom is working with Ericsson to explore the intersection of the two.
The carrier and vendor are working on AI-based managed services with an eye on improving network quality and, in turn, user experience. The duo are setting up an AI lab to research applications around network design and optimization that will inform production deployments on Unicom’s network.
In another industrial-facing trial, Ericsson and China Unicom are developing 5G-based harbor automation services at the Qingdao Port; based on field trials, automation solutions can cut down on port operations labor costs by some 70%.
“We would like to cooperate with major 5G equipment suppliers and leading industrial equipment suppliers to create differentiated value to enterprise customers,” Zhang Yong, GM of the China Unicom Research Institute said. “The Qingdao 5G smart harbor project is a pilot of 5G industrial cooperation.”
The post Recent 5G trial activity in China focuses on industrial enablement appeared first on RCR Wireless News.