China vows faster 5G development despite epidemic

BEIJING (Xinhua) – China will quicken the development of 5G technology to crank up the economic engine in the battle against the novel coronavirus outbreak, said a symposium attended by chairmen of the country’s top mobile operators.

5G technology plays an important role not only in epidemic control and work resumption, but in promoting investment, consumption and economic upgrading, said Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology Chen Zhaoxiong.

Tailored measures will be adopted to fast-track the construction of the 5G network in regions with low health risks, said Chen.

The application of 5G technology should be enriched, said Chen, urging efforts to nurture a platform economy based on it.

Chen also noted that the coordinated development of enterprises in the 5G industrial chain, research on core 5G technology and relevant international cooperation should be encouraged.

China’s three major telecom operators said 80 per cent of the country’s 5G network construction was on schedule in the first two months, while more than 550,000 5G base stations were expected to be put into operation nationwide by the end of this year.

Investment in 5G infrastructure is also set to increase at a large scale in 2020, reaching about CNY120 billion (about USD17.3 billion), said a report published by S&P Global (China) Ratings, a wholly owned subsidiary of S&P Global Inc registered in Beijing.