China to step up efforts on 5G tech development

China Unicom technicians testing the equipment at a newly built 5G network base station in Tongling, Anhui province, on Tuesday. China said the first commercial 5G smartphones are likely to become a reality this year.
China Unicom technicians testing the equipment at a newly built 5G network base station in Tongling, Anhui province, on Tuesday. China said the first commercial 5G smartphones are likely to become a reality this year.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • China will ratchet up efforts to commercialise 5G communication technology, and welcomes foreign enterprises to join the process as part of the country's push to expand opening-up policies, the top industry regulator said.

Mr Wen Ku, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a news conference on Tuesday that the first commercial 5G smartphones are likely to become a reality this year.

"Chinese enterprises will deepen their partnerships with foreign companies so that global consumers can benefit from faster telecommunications and other 5G-related services as soon as possible," Mr Wen added.

Foreign technology firms have played an active role in China's third-phase 5G tests - which ended in December - and they have prepared pre-commercial devices, he said.

The comments came as China conducts trial operations of 5G systems in several cities and aims to fully commercialise the superfast technology by 2020.

A test for virtual reality live transmission via the 5G network in China was successfully completed on Monday.

The broadcast, enabled by telecom equipment maker Huawei's technology, will allow TV audiences to have a panoramic view of this year's Spring Festival gala.

 
 

Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei also called on the US government to stop the "wrong practice" of putting restrictions on exporting US technology and products to Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, a major Chinese chipmaker.

"The US Commerce Department is misusing national security concerns and abusing export control measures.

"It is groundless for a country to use such excuses to put an export ban on a company that is still under construction, and has not yet started mass production," Mr Miao said.

CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2019, with the headline 'China to step up efforts on 5G tech development'. Print Edition | Subscribe