China Unicom Aims to Launch Early 6G Applications by 2025
China is set to introduce early 6G mobile applications by 2025, according to China Unicom’s chairman and CEO Liu Liehong. This move puts the country on track to roll out commercial services by 2030. The announcement was made at the China Development Forum (CDF), a two-day conference regarded as Beijing’s answer to the World Economic Forum’s annual summit in Davos, Switzerland.
Liu stated that early 6G “application scenarios” will be introduced by 2025 in China, which has been conducting research and development on the technology since 2019. He expects the commercial launch of 6G in China to begin in 2030, according to a report by local media National Business Daily.
The Minister of Industry and Information Technology Jin Zhuanglong also spoke at the CDF and stated that China is leading the pace of 6G research and development worldwide. He added that the country is already ahead in rolling out 5G mobile networks and applications.
These statements made at the CDF about China’s 6G efforts follow the Global 6G Conference, held from March 22 to 24 in Nanjing. Telecommunications industry experts at the conference reached a consensus that 6G mobile services in the country will start to roll out by early 2030.
China’s confidence in pursuing major technological advances is reflected in the efforts declared by China Unicom’s Liu and the head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), despite intensifying trade and tech conflicts with the United States. China’s three telecoms network operators – China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom – have all been reported to be involved in early 6G research and development, as they also expedited the roll-out of 5G infrastructure and services across the country.
However, tensions between Beijing and Washington have led to major telecoms equipment suppliers Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp being handicapped by various US sanctions, including access to advanced semiconductors used in smartphones and networking gear.
In spite of the disruptions caused by US pressure and the coronavirus pandemic, China has already built the world’s largest 5G mobile network, with more than 2.31 million 5G base stations deployed at the end of last year, according to MIIT data.
This year will mark the beginning of a long journey for 6G, as new studies are initiated by more countries and organizations around the world, according to a report last month by the non-profit telecoms industry body the GSM Association. The World Radiocommunication Conference in November is expected to set the spectrum foundations for 6G, and the International Telecommunications Union is expected to finalize the draft recommendation for global mobile communications in 2030 and beyond this summer.
In conclusion, China is pushing ahead with its plans to roll out 6G technology, confident in its ability to lead in technological advancements despite trade and tech conflicts with the United States. With its early applications expected to launch by 2025, China is on track to commercialize the next-generation mobile technology by the dawn of the next decade.
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