When the epidemic of the century and the changes of the century are intertwined, in the extremely difficult 2020, China's development performance has become a bright color under the gloom of the global economy. Especially in the information and communication industry, China has become a veritable 5G network power. In the past year, with the joint efforts of the industry chain, China has handed over a heavy 5G answer sheet.

This is a satisfactory answer – in 2020, China has built the world's largest 5G network. This year, my country's 5G network construction has steadily progressed. About 580,000 5G base stations have been added, 330,000 shared 5G base stations have been built, and a total of 718,000 5G base stations have been built.

This is also an answer sheet that has attracted worldwide attention – China's 5G network has achieved five "world firsts": the world's first and largest co-construction and shared 5G network; the world's first 200 MHz high-bandwidth high-performance 5G network ; The world's first 5G network with TDD+FDD hybrid networking; the world's first and largest 5G SA network; the world's first 5G SA shared network.

Spring and autumn come, and time flies. In the past 366 days, the speed of China's 5G network construction can be described as leaps and bounds. At the end of September, my country has completed the 2020 5G base station construction goal ahead of schedule. Not only has it eliminated the negative impact of the epidemic with practical actions, but also steadily promoted the construction of 5G networks in accordance with the principle of being moderately ahead of schedule, keeping close to the needs of different scenarios, building on-demand, in-depth coverage, and creating high-quality 5G networks.

Digital Witness Development – New 580,000 5G Base Stations in the Year

Since the beginning of the year, the pressure on China's economy in 2020 has been extraordinary due to the impact of the epidemic at home and abroad and the market downturn. On March 4, 2020, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held a meeting and proposed to accelerate the construction of new infrastructure ("new infrastructure"). On April 20, at a regular press conference held by the National Development and Reform Commission, the new infrastructure was officially defined.

As a major transformation point in the field of mobile communications, 5G has become a leading field of new infrastructure and a new driving force for economic development. The major emerging industries that my country focuses on developing all need 5G as an industrial support. Strong policy support escorts 5G construction. The basic telecommunications companies undertaking the construction tasks are running at full speed, and the 5G network construction has accelerated into the "fast lane".

In the past year, although the progress of 5G commercial use in some countries or regions around the world has been negatively affected by the epidemic, the overall 5G commercial network will still achieve substantial expansion in 2020.

GSMA believes: At present, the global 5G construction under the epidemic has not been greatly affected. As of September 2020, 107 operators had commercialized 5G networks in 47 countries/regions, and 18 operators had commercialized 5G in Q3. It is expected that by the end of 2020, 149 operators will have commercial 5G networks in 57 countries and regions.

In China, the development of 5G network construction can be described as a leap forward. The numbers that are constantly refreshed from the beginning of the year to the end of the year confirm the pace of 5G construction speeding up:

At the end of March, China Mobile had more than 80,000 5G base stations; China Telecom had built 40,000 5G base stations, and shared more than 20,000 with China Unicom. The scale of 5G base stations in use exceeded 60,000, covering more than 50 key urban areas.

By the end of June, more than 400,000 5G base stations had been built and opened nationwide by the three major operators. On average, more than 15,000 new base stations are opened every week.

At the end of September, my country had built a total of 690,000 5G base stations. China Mobile achieved its annual target and completed the construction of 350,000 5G base stations across the country.

At the end of December, my country added about 580,000 5G base stations and built 330,000 shared 5G base stations. The goal of 5G coverage in all prefectures and cities has been achieved.

Earlier, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stated that China has built the world's largest 5G network, with a total of 718,000 5G base stations. According to the law, 2020-2024 is the 5G network scale construction period; 2025-2018 will be the 5G network construction and perfection period; 6G will be introduced around 2029.

That is to say, in the first tough battle of 5G construction, my country has gained an absolute leading edge, laying the foundation for the large-scale commercialization of 5G in the next step. Meng Pu, chairman of Qualcomm China, commented: "5G is developing very rapidly in the world, especially compared with the previous 3G/4G, the speed of 5G network deployment is very fast. This is also the first time that China has developed a new technology evolution. At the same time, leading the world began to deploy 5G. From the perspective of the industry chain, Qualcomm has also been working with Chinese partners to promote the development of 5G in China.”

From largest to strongest – 5G SA network is first put into use

In the past year, my country's 5G network scale has formed a leading trend. On this basis, independent networking (SA) has become a new goal of 5G development, and the three major domestic operators have accelerated their evolution towards 5G SA. This is a new stage for my country to lead the development of 5G, and it is also the top priority for the development of new 5G infrastructure. Heavy.

In March 2020, the "Notice on Promoting the Accelerated Development of 5G" issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology pointed out that it supports basic telecommunications companies to target 5G independent networking (SA), control the scale of non-independent networking (NSA) construction, and accelerate the development of major cities. Network construction, and gradually extend coverage to key counties and towns where conditions permit.

It is reported that 5G SA innovates from multiple dimensions of architecture, technology and services, and can better meet the needs of diverse scenarios in vertical industries: the independent networking architecture introduces service-oriented, software-based, and intelligent concepts, 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 brings customized, open and professional service capabilities, laying the foundation for the formation of a new business win-win model.

Today, the world's leading operators are actively evolving and deploying SA independent networking. The latest GSMA report shows that as of August 2020, 47 operators in 24 countries around the world are investing in the construction of 5G SA public networks. 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 far exceeds that of other countries. At China Mobile's 2020 Global Partner Conference, China Mobile stated that it has built the world's largest 5G independent networking network, which can provide 5G SA services for all prefectures and above and some key counties in the country. On November 27, China Mobile Hong Kong announced that it has officially realized commercial 5G independent networking, helping Hong Kong build a world-class smart city.

Prior to this, China Telecom had already taken the lead in announcing the large-scale commercial use of the 5G SA network. China Telecom has always been a practitioner of 5G independent networking. As early as February, China Telecom announced that it was the first in the industry to complete the overall system performance verification of the 5G SA core network commercial equipment. At the same time, the 5G end-to-end system function verification and interoperability testing of different manufacturers were basically completed, promoting the functional and performance of 5G SA equipment. It has commercial capabilities in networking with multiple manufacturers, laying the foundation for the large-scale deployment of 5G SA.

As 5G co-construction and sharing partners, China Unicom and China Telecom have taken the independent networking SA as the development direction and target architecture of 5G at the beginning of their cooperation, and have made special efforts for this purpose, and cooperated with various chip and terminal manufacturers to carry out end-to-end development. Cross-networking compatibility test verification. At present, China Unicom has taken the lead in driving networks and terminals to open SA capabilities in many provinces, fully supporting the development of the new toB market, and becoming one of the first operators in the world to realize the commercial use of SA.

The greatest value of 5G lies in the deep integration with the industry, enabling thousands of industries. With the realization of the commercial capability of 5G independent networking across the country, more and more users will enjoy the changes brought by 5G to their lives, and 5G's empowerment of thousands of industries will also turn the vision into reality.

Create a historical precedent – ITU's co-construction and sharing have achieved remarkable results

There is no doubt that China is already leading the world in the field of 5G, but it is precisely because of its leadership that there is no precedent to learn from, and it can only continue to explore. For example, the 5G co-construction and sharing model of China Telecom and China Unicom is the first in the world, and it 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 parties will jointly build a 5G access network and jointly promote 5G network deployment.

China Telecom and China Unicom set a precedent for co-construction and sharing of 5G networks. Since the co-construction and sharing agreement was formally reached in 2019, the two sides have worked together to promote the deployment of 5G networks, quickly opened 5G co-construction and sharing in 31 provinces across the country, and realized the official commercial use of 5G in more than 50 cities. Technological evolution has opened the world's first 5G SA shared base station.

During this process, China Telecom and China Unicom leveraged their complementary network and frequency resource advantages to effectively save network construction and operation and maintenance costs. The TCO saving results are remarkable. After the telecommunication sharing, the CAPEX is expected to be saved by about 40%, and the OPEX is saved by about 35% every year. Preliminary statistics show that the two companies have saved more than 60 billion yuan in 5G construction investment. In the true sense, they can quickly form 5G network coverage with the least investment and in the shortest time.

By the end of 2020, the scale of 5G base stations shared by the two parties will reach 380,000 stations, achieving 5G coverage in cities at the prefecture level and above, and key county towns across the country, and completing the goal of jointly building a "one network". Under the co-construction and sharing model, 5G construction speed is doubled, coverage is doubled, bandwidth is doubled, capacity is doubled, and speed is doubled, greatly improving network efficiency and investment efficiency.

However, these achievements did not come easily. In the initial stage, 5G co-construction and sharing faced many problems: the co-construction and sharing of both parties in the NSA stage was very complicated, and there was no ready-made solution; the co-construction and sharing of the NSA network had to evolve to the SA network; there were no ready-made complete technical standards available; the world The two major operators in the TOP 10 need to jointly build a 5G network in the whole area.

In the absence of any experience to learn from, China Telecom and China Unicom have made bold explorations to achieve a number of innovations in 5G construction through joint construction and sharing. The world's first NSA sharing technology; the first NSA evolution technology under the shared network to SA; the first international technical standard for 5G co-construction and sharing; Solve various problems of 5G co-construction and sharing network construction, operation and management.

It is worth mentioning that the terminal adaptive network technology adopted by China Telecom has solved the problem of "4 heads and 24 legs", that is, 4 core network management and 1 base station, and as many as 24 interoperability relationships between base stations. It is the first time in the industry to successfully realize the evolution from NSA sharing to SA sharing.

In the end, the two parties successfully achieved the goal of "one physical network, two logical networks, 4G/5G efficient collaboration and independent operation", and pioneered the world's highest peak experience rate of 2.7G shared by 200M, and achieved 15 breakthroughs in key technologies. 31 invention patents, 7 5G international 3GPP standards and 7 CCSA industry standards have been proposed, realizing complementary advantages and improving development efficiency.

A few days ago, the "5G Co-construction and Sharing Key Technology Research and Industrial Application" project jointly declared by China Telecom and China Unicom won the first prize of the 2020 "China Communications Society Science and Technology Award". 5G co-construction and sharing is a Chinese-style innovation model for Chinese operators to contribute to global 5G development, opening up new ideas for 5G development for international operators.

At present, the world is undergoing a major change unseen in a century. There are many uncertainties in the epidemic situation and the external environment, but the only certainty is that my country's 5G network construction will not slow down. my country's rapid deployment, efficient advancement and innovative breakthroughs in 5G network construction will continue to show the world "China's speed, China's wisdom, and China's power"!

Responsible editor: gt

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