The need for 5G networks is not only being felt in Japan, South Korea, and the U.S.— the nations that people tend to think of when it comes to the adoption of wireless technologies. China, for example, has a massive market size and a large use of IoT already.
China as a whole is the world’s top and largest mobile market. The nation’s leading provider, China Mobile has the world’s largest mobile customer base—more than 800 million subscribers.1 But the need for 5G networks in China isn’t driven solely by huge numbers of people using mobile devices. It’s also driven by the need to use 5G technologies to enable the broader use of IoT applications to transform business processes.
For example, the nation’s industrial companies want to make greater use of the IoT to monitor and manage their facilities across the nation. Whether you’re talking about a huge factory complex, smart and secure cities, or an oil pipeline that spans provinces, companies can benefit greatly from IoT systems that collect and analyze data at the edge and transmit relevant information in real time. Use cases like these require the speeds and intelligence of 5G networks.
At Intel, we are working actively with our ecosystem partners to enable this transformation to 5G networks, in China and elsewhere in the world. Intel is uniquely positioned to bring the worlds of wireless, computing and cloud together in a seamlessly connected and smart 5G future. Our focus is on the end-to-end network, not just certain elements within the network like a new air interface. We are working to deliver the technologies that enable network operators, equipment manufacturers and solution providers to bring 5G networks to life. We are also working closely with industry groups that are defining the standards for interoperable 5G networks.
In the case of China, Intel recently completed the first stage of a China 5G technology research and development trial led by China IMT-2020 Promotion WG backed by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the three largest mobile operators. Of the seven enterprises participating in the first stage of R&D trial effort, Intel was the only processor chip company. The tests done by Intel focused on solving challenges related to mobile edge computing and the Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) technologies that will enable higher capacity, throughput and low latency on 5G networks. I’m happy to report that we completed these PoC performance tests successfully, and we were recognized for our contributions at the China International Communications Exhibition 5G innovation development forum held recently in Beijing. The second stage of the trial is underway with the goal of verifying these 5G solutions on a base station.
Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, the need for 5G networks is about much more than faster throughput and a better experience on wireless devices. It’s really about business transformation. The 5G networks that are now in development will enable the full convergence of computing and communications and open the doors to use cases like real-time analytics at the edge, autonomous vehicles, telemedicine and smarter security. These and countless other use cases need not just greater speed but also the capabilities of smarter, more efficient and more reliable networks that offer reduced latency to support real time applications and decisions. That’s the promise of a 5G world.
If you’re interested in a closer look at the work Intel is doing to enable the end-to-end 5G transformation, you can listen to my new podcast on this subject. You can also find more information on our 5G website.
1Source: China Mobile Limited corporate overview.