China has entered a crucial period of 5G commercialization with large-scale applications already expanding into mines and ports, and is planning for the future of 6G, according to leading industry experts and company executives on Wednesday.
Wu Hequan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that the country has built up momentum three years after its 5G commercialization by applying 5G in 40 of the 97 major economic categories, and large-scale utilization has been achieved in mines, ports and other fields.
Wu said China's 5G subscribers and 5G base stations reached 455 million and 1.85 million, respectively, at the end of June.
"The country is also eyeing the early stage of advanced 6G research. More efforts will be made to establish international 6G standards as well as carry out 6G technological research with greater openness and innovations," he added.
The remarks were made at the 2022 World 5G Convention, which kicked off in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on Wednesday. The event demonstrates the latest 5G technologies and new application products and solutions.
Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile, said 5G is a crucial information platform driving industrial upgrade and societal transformation.
"China Mobile is stepping up its push to build 'new infrastructure' including 5G and computing networks, which is the company's top priority for future development. We will work to promote deep integration of various information technologies and make advanced processing power as common and easy to use as water and electricity," Yang said.
According to the most recent data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the nation has already built the world's largest 5G network. In the first half, the country invested nearly 90 billion yuan ($13.3 billion) in 5G.
As 5G and 6G efforts continue to deepen, industry experts at the forum said the metaverse will be one of the most impressive 5G applications in the near future.
"With the support of 5G technologies, the metaverse, which developed from virtual reality, is expected to create a brand new internet, different from the PC internet and the mobile internet. And the metaverse itself can be applied in sectors including energy, culture, education and finance, which expands 5G applications as well," said Tan Jianrong, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.