Insight
China to start commercial use of 5G in 2020
Last Updated: 2016-12-29 08:39 | CE.cn
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By Shen Hui

Recently, after ZTE, Datang and other domestic system equipment manufacturers have completed the key technology test in the first stage of 5G, the Polar Code led by Huawei was adopted by the standard organization 3GPP as the control channel encoding scheme of 5G. After many years following, China has gradually got into the first camp of 5G R&D.

At the 5G mobile information communication technology seminar hosted by FuTURE MOBILE COMMUNICATION FORUM on December 2 and 3, Liu Lihua, vice Minister of MIIT, said that the current 5G standardization work has been kicked off, and 5G R&D has entered a crucial stage. China will start commercial use of 5G in 2020.

IoE, anytime, anywhere

After several years of in-depth research and discussion, the vision of 5G is basically clear. "It can provide mobile broadband data access of more than 10 Gbps (gigabit per second). Even in the case of high-speed movement, users can still enjoy the network speed like a tornado," said Zheng Jifeng, general manager of Great China Region Market of Keysight Technologies Inc.

Topspeed is only one of the many objectives of 5G. According to the difference of information interaction objects, the International Telecommunications Union believes that the 5G applications will cover three major scene categories in the future: enhanced mobile broadband, massive machine class communications and ultra reliable low latency. "As the main development direction of the new generation of mobile communications, 5G will further meet the massive needs of mobile Internet and IoT application in the future based on the enhanced user experience," said Liu Lihua.

Such a goal setting comes from an increasingly pressing and practical consideration. "At present, China has built the world's largest 4G network with the base station number exceeding 2.4 million and users exceeding 710 million. The development of 4G network has greatly promoted the rapid growth of mobile Internet." Liu Lihua said that from January to October this year, the access traffic of mobile Internet grew 123.7 percent year-on-year. It is forecasted by the industry that the mobile Internet traffic will increase by 1000 times in next 5 to 10 years.

At the same time, the IoT also put forward a challenge to the existing mobile communication. According to the data provided by Magnus, CTO of Ericsson Asia Pacific, by 2020, the number of global networking terminals will reach 28 billion, of which about 18 billion are the IoT terminals. "The rapid development of the IoT requires that the information technology should not only meet the needs of information exchange and transmission between human beings, but also achieve the goal of IoE," said Zhu Hongbo, dean of IoT College, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications.

In short, the vision of 5G mobile network is to achieve everything access at anytime and anywhere".

Trillion-dollar level industry derived

"The integration of mobile communications and the Internet is changing people's production and life style, and its development has become an important engine for promoting information consumption, stimulating effective investment and promoting the sustainable and healthy development of economy," said Liu Lihua.

According to statistics, the IoT connection number of global operators was 230 million in 2015, which provide the operators a market share of about USD 7 billion. This figure will reach USD 24 billion in 2020. While with the advance of 5G technology's R&D, the world will have 100 billion connections and a vertical industry application of trillion-dollar level is expected to be derived by 2025.

The communication ability of existing network has greatly restricted the development of the IoT. The industry insiders expect that with the officially launching of 5G commercial use, the IoT, unmanned technology and other industries are expected to usher in the outbreak period. For example, the unmanned technology requires much on the low network latency and high reliability, however, the low latency is a very difficult problem in the whole communication industry. At present, the response time on 3G network is 500 ms and 4G is 50 ms. "Now there are no much ways in the industry to reduce the time delay, while 5G proposes that the network response time should be reduced to less than 1 ms, which is a challenge for researchers," said Bi Qi, chief engineer of China Telecom Beijing Research Institute.

In additionally, it is another stumbling block in front of the 5G researchers that how to provide support for massive users and guarantee the safe network accessing for billions of equipment.

The potential risks cannot be underestimated. A typical case is that Ukraine power system occurred a large-scale power outage due to the hacker attacks at the end of 2015. “In the era of IoT, information security is facing a greater challenge, 5G needs brand new network security solutions," said Guo Tao, senior vice president of Nokia Shanghai Bell.

Expected commercial use in China in 2020

"From this year, 5G R&D has speed up globally and trials in and out laboratory have been launched successively. China has made clear the frequency of the 5G experiment as well and comprehensively launched the 5G technology R&D experiments," revealed Liu Lihua. According to the deployment of MIIT and China IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group, as well as the plan of 5G commercial use developed by the three major operators, China will launch the second stage 5G network test in 2017 and large-scale experimental networking in 2018. On this basis, China will start the construction of 5G network in 2019 and officially launched 5G commercial network as early as 2020.

In terms of the next step of China's 5G development, Liu Lihua suggested that the industries at home and abroad should be coordinated to promote the formation of the 5G global standard and strengthen the frequency coordination; at the same time, the 5G technology and product development should be speeded up and the key technology bottlenecks in wireless transmission and new network architecture should be broken through. It is necessary to drive the R&D with experiments, further strengthen the research on the innovational integration between 5G and industrial Internet, IoV and IoT, carry out the R&D, demonstration and verification of key technology and product applications, support the deep cooperation between telecommunication enterprises and Internet companies, and actively explore and develop new technologies, new industries, new formats and new models.

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