China’s bet on 5G – heavy investment for rapid rewards

World Today

Chinese telecom companies are forging ahead with 5G technology, which allows for much faster network transmission. CGTN’s Yang Chengxi reports on the benefits it could bring.

It takes about 300 milliseconds for a human to blink, but only one millisecond for 5G signals to travel between terminals.

Telecommunications companies like Nokia Shanghai Bell have been investing heavily in the research and development of 5G equipment. According to it’s Lab Squad Group Leader, Xu Zhipeng, “5G provides 10 to 100 times faster speed, bandwidth than 4G.”

The company said the technology itself is ready, and it is working with major service providers in China, who want to make 5G commercially available by 2020.

The speed of 5G promises so much more than faster mobile internet. It benefits driverless cars, robot-powered manufacturing – anything that needs to receive command controls from afar. Experts argued it should enable doctors to perform operations on patients remotely with robot arms.

“Many operators already have the plan to deploy their 5G,” said Xu. “Meanwhile, many end customers, that means some logistics companies are looking for 5G solutions.”

One major logistics application of 5G is at container ports, said ZPMC, China’s largest port equipment provider.

“The biggest bottleneck for traditional ports in embracing information technology is actually internet capacity,” explained ZPMC technical director Ma Jin.

ZPMC produces driverless cranes as well as transport vehicles for China’s most advanced port area: phase four of Shanghai’s Yangshan port. Reducing internet delay is absolutely crucial for the operators sitting 1 kilometer away from the equipment. Every millisecond counts.

Ma Jin put it this way: “So how much would delays affect our remote operators? Right now, our video delay is 250 milliseconds. This may seem like just a fraction of a second, but fast-moving cranes would have moved about two meters. So our operators are monitoring images that are two meters away from what’s really happening. In the future we want this delay minimized.”

Precision remote control is one of the hallmarks of China’s smart port vision, and experts said that the power of 5G will be a crucial component to realize that future.

Edison Lee talks about the impending arrival of 5G technology in China

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes talks with global investment expert Edison Lee about plans to introduce 5G telecommunications technology into China.