China rolls out 718,000 5G base stations, 6G exploration is underway

China has rolled out more than 718,000 5G base stations, with 5G network covering all cities at the prefectural level or above, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Xiao Yaqing said on Monday, revealing the country also has plans for 6G development.

China rolls out 718,000 5G base stations, 6G exploration is underway

China has taken the global lead in 5G network construction, as measured by the number of base stations, network quality and manufacturing levels of telecom equipment, Xiao told a press conference in Beijing, citing many companies including Huawei and ZTE that have partnered with global heavyweights including Nokia and Ericsson.

The country’s commitments to 5G have hit tens of billions of yuan and 5G terminal connections have topped 200 million, possibly ranking the first globally, according to the minister. Mobile phone shipments hit 163 million last year with the availability of 218 new models.

The integration of 5G into industrial network has also made conspicuous headway, with projects underway concerning 5G plus industrial network exceeding 1,100.

“China’s self-reliance and self-improvement will surely contribute to global industrial and Information development,” the ministry said. 

Vowing to strengthen international telecom cooperation in 5G research and development and applications, and to create a globally coordinated industrial ecosystem for there to be a safer, opener and more mutually trusting environment, Xiao also highlighted 6G that remains in the exploration stage.

The country would take part in global efforts to push for common standards and the maturity of new technologies, he said.

5G strength apparently underpins the country’s industrial capacity. China’s industrial added value grew up to 31.3 trillion yuan ($4.84 trillion) in 2020 from 23.5 trillion yuan at the beginning of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), rendering it the world’s top manufacturing nation for the 11th year in a row. 

In the arena of new-energy vehicles (NEVs), the ministry has over recent years announced more than 60 supportive policies and measures. The country’s NEV production and sales have gained the world’s top spot for the sixth consecutive year, with over 5.5 million units having cumulatively been promoted. 

Nonetheless, competition within the NEV market is fairly fierce, Xiao said, pledging efforts in the pipeline to address the issues in technical, quality and consumer experience terms. 

The ministry will further raise standards and toughen quality regulations when it comes to user experience, he stated, urging NEV companies to continue improving manufacturing levels.

The ministry also vowed to expand opening-up in NEV development, saying to hold an open and cooperative attitude in technological innovation, international trade and standard rule making.

Citing another highlight, Tian Yulong, chief engineer and spokesperson of the ministry,said that the Chinese government has focused on the integrated circuit (IC) industry with ramped-up tax cuts for chipmakers, measures to foster talent training, among wide-ranging moves to create a market-oriented, law-based and international business environment for industrial development, according to Tian.

China’s IC sales revenues amounted to 884.8 billion yuan with an average growth rate of 20 percent during the 13th Five-Year Plan, tripping the global average over the period, Tian disclosed, citing semiconductor industry estimates.

Originally published at Global times