At a time when the epidemic situation in the century and the changes in the century are intertwined, and in the extremely difficult 2020, China’s development performance has become a bright color under the global economic haze. Especially in the information and communication industry, China has become a real 5g network power. In the past year, with the joint efforts of the industrial chain, China handed over a heavy 5g answer.
This is a satisfactory answer – by 2020, China has built the world’s largest 5g network. In this year, China’s 5g network construction progressed steadily, with about 580000 new 5g base stations, 330000 shared 5g base stations, and 718000 5g base stations.
This is also a world-renowned answer – China’s 5g network has achieved five “global firsts”: the world’s first and largest jointly built and shared 5g network; The world’s first 200MHz wide bandwidth and high-performance 5g network; The world’s first 5g network of TDD + FDD hybrid network; The world’s first and largest 5gsa network; The world’s first 5gsa shared network.
Spring goes and autumn comes, and time flies. In the past 366 days, China’s 5g network construction speed has improved by leaps and bounds. At the end of September, China has completed the construction goal of 5g base station in 2020 ahead of schedule. It not only eliminated the negative impact of the epidemic with practical actions, but also steadily promoted the construction of 5g network according to the principle of moderate advance, built on demand and deep coverage according to the needs of different scenarios, so as to create a high-quality 5g network.
Digital witness development – 580000 5g base stations were added throughout the year
Since the beginning of the year, affected by the epidemic at home and abroad and the market downturn, the pressure on China’s economy in 2020 is extraordinary. On March 4, 2020, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee held a meeting and proposed to speed up the construction of new infrastructure (“new infrastructure”). On April 20, at the regular press conference held by the national development and Reform Commission, the new infrastructure was officially defined.
As a major change point in the field of mobile communication, 5g has become the leading field of new infrastructure and a new driving force for economic development. All major emerging industries in China need 5g as industrial support. Strong policy support to escort 5g construction. The basic telecom enterprises undertaking the construction task are driving at full speed, and 5g network construction is accelerating into the “fast lane”.
In the past year, although the 5g commercial progress in some countries or regions around the world was negatively affected by the epidemic, on the whole, the 5g commercial network will still expand significantly in 2020.
GSMA believes that at present, the global 5g construction has not been greatly affected under the epidemic. As of September 2020, 107 operators have commercial 5g networks in 47 countries / regions and 18 operators have commercial 5g networks in Q3. It is estimated that by the end of 2020, 149 operators will have commercial 5g networks in 57 countries and regions.
In China, 5g network construction and development can be described as rapid. The figures constantly refreshed from the beginning of the year to the end of the year confirm the pace of accelerating 5g Construction:
By the end of March, China Mobile had more than 80000 5g base stations; China Telecom has built 40000 5g base stations and shared more than 20000 with China Unicom. The scale of 5g base stations in use exceeds 60000, covering more than 50 key urban areas.
At the end of June, more than 400000 5g base stations were built and opened by the three major operators across the country. On average, more than 15000 new base stations are opened every week.
At the end of September, 690000 5g base stations were built in China. China Mobile has achieved its annual goal and completed the construction project of 350000 5g base stations across the country.
At the end of December, China added about 580000 5g base stations and 330000 shared 5g base stations. The goal of covering 5g in all prefectures and cities has been achieved.
Previously, the Ministry of industry and information technology said that China has built the world’s largest 5g network, with a total of 718000 5g base stations. According to the law, the period from 2020 to 2024 is the construction period of 5g network scale; 2025-2018 will be the period of 5g network construction and improvement; 6G will be introduced around 2029.
In other words, in the first crucial battle of 5g construction, China gained an absolute leading advantage, laying the foundation for the next large-scale commercialization of 5g. Meng Pu, chairman of Qualcomm China, once commented: “5g is developing very rapidly in the world, especially compared with 3G / 4G in the past. This is the first time that China has taken the lead in deploying 5g in the world when new technologies evolve. From the perspective of industrial chain, Qualcomm has also been working with Chinese partners to promote the development of 5g in China.”
From the largest to the strongest — 5gsa network is the first to be put into use
In the past year, China’s 5g network scale has formed a leading trend. On this basis, independent Networking (SA) has become a new goal of 5g development. The three major domestic operators have accelerated their evolution to 5gsa, which is a new stage leading 5g development in China and the top priority of 5g new infrastructure development.
In March 2020, the notice on promoting the accelerated development of 5g issued by the Ministry of industry and information technology pointed out that basic telecom enterprises should be supported to take 5g independent Networking (SA) as the goal, control the construction scale of non independent Networking (NSA), accelerate the network construction of major cities, and gradually extend coverage to key counties and towns with conditions.
It is reported that 5gsa can better meet the needs of diversified scenarios in vertical industries through multi-dimensional innovation in architecture, technology and service: independent networking architecture introduces the concepts of service, software and intelligence, which can be plug and play to ensure user experience; New technologies such as network slicing, edge computing and uplink enhancement bring strong industry support capabilities to the network; At the same time, it will bring customized, open and professional service capabilities to lay the foundation for the formation of a new business win-win model.
Today, the world’s leading operators are actively evolving and deploying to sa independent networking. According to the latest GSMA report, as of August 2020, 47 operators in 24 countries around the world are investing in the construction of 5gsa public network. The powerful 5g network expansion will become an important infrastructure for the digital transformation of the industry in the future.
In 2020, the three major domestic operators will continue to make efforts in the field of independent networking, and the construction progress is far faster than that of other countries. At China Mobile’s 2020 Global Partner Conference, China Mobile said that it has built the world’s largest 5g independent networking network, which can provide 5gsa services for all cities and some key counties in China. On November 27, China Mobile Hong Kong announced the formal realization of commercial 5g independent networking, helping Hong Kong build a world-class smart city.
Prior to this, China Telecom has taken the lead in announcing that 5gsa networking has achieved large-scale commercial use. China Telecom has always been a practitioner of 5g independent networking. As early as February, China Telecom announced that it took the lead in completing the performance verification of the whole system of commercial equipment of 5gsa core network in the industry. At the same time, 5g end-to-end system function verification and interoperability test of different manufacturers were basically completed, which promoted the commercial ability of 5gsa equipment in function, performance and multi manufacturer networking, laying a foundation for the scale deployment of 5gsa.
As partners of 5g co construction and sharing, China Unicom and China Telecom took independent networking SA as the development direction and target architecture of 5g at the beginning of their cooperation, and carried out special research for this purpose, cooperating with chip and terminal manufacturers to carry out end-to-end cross networking compatibility test and verification. At present, China Unicom has taken the lead in opening the SA capacity of traction networks and terminals in many provinces, fully supported the development of Tob new market, and became one of the first operators in the world to realize the commercial use of SA.
The greatest value of 5g lies in its deep integration with the industry, enabling thousands of industries. With the realization of 5g independent networking commercial capability in the country, more and more users will enjoy the changes brought by 5g to their lives, and 5g enabling thousands of industries will also be turned from vision into reality.
Creating a historical precedent — remarkable achievements in joint construction and sharing of ITU
There is no doubt that China has taken the lead in the 5g field in the world, but it is precisely because of its leadership that there is no precedent for reference and can only continue to explore. For example, the 5g co construction and sharing mode of China Telecom and China Unicom is the first in the world, which is technically difficult, innovative and challenging.
On September 9, 2019, China Telecom and China Unicom signed the 5g Network Co Construction and sharing framework cooperation agreement, announcing that the two sides will cooperate to build a 5g access network and jointly promote 5g network deployment.
China Telecom and China Unicom have opened the precedent of 5g Network Co Construction and sharing. Since the formal co construction and sharing agreement was reached in 2019, on the one hand, the two sides have jointly promoted the deployment of 5g network, quickly opened 5g co construction and sharing in 31 provinces across the country, and realized the formal commercial use of 5g in more than 50 cities. On the other hand, they have actively promoted the technical evolution of 5g network and opened the world’s first 5gsa shared base station.
In this process, China Telecom and China Unicom give full play to their complementary advantages in network and frequency resources to effectively save the cost of network construction and operation and maintenance. Remarkable results have been achieved in TCO savings. After the ITU sharing, capex is expected to save about 40% and OPEX will save about 35% every year. According to preliminary statistics, more than 60 billion yuan of 5g construction investment has been saved in the two countries, so as to quickly form 5g network coverage capacity with the least investment and in the shortest time.
By the end of 2020, the scale of 5g base stations shared by the two sides has reached 380000, realizing 5g coverage in prefecture level and above cities and key counties, and achieving the goal of jointly building “one network”. Under the co construction and sharing mode, 5g construction speed, coverage, bandwidth, capacity and speed are doubled, greatly improving network efficiency and investment efficiency.
However, these achievements have not come easily. In the initial stage, 5g co construction and sharing faced many difficulties: in the NSA stage, the co construction and sharing of both sides was very complex, and there was no ready-made solution; Building and sharing NSA network should evolve to sa network; No ready-made and complete technical standards are available; The two top 10 operators in the world need to build a 5g network in the whole region.
Without any experience to learn from, China Telecom and China Unicom boldly explored and realized a number of innovations in 5g construction in co construction and sharing. The world’s first NSA sharing technology; Initiate the evolution technology from NSA to sa under shared network; The first international technical standard of 5g co construction and sharing; It has solved various problems in the construction, operation and management of 5g co construction and sharing network.
It is worth mentioning that the terminal adaptive network technology adopted by China Telecom has solved the problem of “four heads and 24 legs”, that is, four core network management, one base station and up to 24 interoperability relationships between base stations. It has successfully evolved from NSA sharing to sa sharing for the first time in the industry.
Finally, the two sides successfully achieved the goal of “one physical network, two logical networks, 4G / 5G efficient collaboration and independent operation”, initiated the world’s highest peak experience rate of 2.7g shared by 200m, made 15 key technology breakthroughs, 31 invention patents, proposed 7 5g international 3GPP standards and 7 CCSA industry standards, realized complementary advantages and improved development efficiency.
Recently, the “5g co construction and sharing of key technology research and industrial application” project jointly declared by China Telecom and China Unicom won the first prize of the “science and technology award of China Communications Society” in 2020. 5g co construction and sharing is a Chinese innovation model for Chinese operators to contribute to global 5g development, and opens a new idea for international operators to develop 5g.
At present, the great changes in the world that have not been seen in a century have accelerated the evolution, and there are many uncertainties in the epidemic situation and the external environment, but the only thing that can be determined is that the construction of 5g network in China will not slow down. China’s rapid deployment, efficient promotion and innovation breakthrough in 5g network construction will continue to show the world “China’s speed, China’s wisdom and China’s strength”!
Responsible editor: GT