Time flies like a white horse, and 2020 is in the past. 2020 is the year of 5g scale construction in China and the first year of 5g scale commercial use.
Novel coronavirus pneumonia and new infrastructure have been playing a double role in the past year. 5G has been breaking the cycle. While gaining strong support from the state and local governments in building 5G, it has also been continuously promoted by the industrial chain. China has also built the world’s largest 5G network.
According to the data of the Ministry of industry and information technology, as of December, 718000 5g base stations have been built in China, exceeding the annual target ahead of schedule. All prefecture level cities have achieved 5g coverage, the number of 5g terminal connections has exceeded 180 million, and more than 300 cities have opened 5g services.
Whether in terms of network deployment scale or user development scale, China’s information and communication industry has handed over a satisfactory answer. 5g has become the core of driving social and economic recovery, and the slogan of “5g changing society” has gradually been reflected in reality.
As we all know, 5g needs higher speed, more bandwidth and base stations, and its coverage is more dense than 2G, 3G and 4G. The trend of 5g is to make the connection points of wireless access closer and closer to customers. Therefore, the industry generally believes that China’s 5g network construction and industrial scale will further grow in 2021, and the growth rate will exceed that of 2020.
It is noteworthy that Xiao Yaqing, Minister of industry and information technology, pointed out at the 2021 National Conference on industry and informatization that in 2021, 5g network construction and application will be orderly promoted, 5g coverage in major cities will be accelerated, joint construction and sharing will be promoted, and more than 600000 5g base stations will be built.
It can be seen that the number of 5g base stations will no longer be the only focus in 2021. 5g network should be promoted from large-scale construction and extensive coverage to on-demand construction and in-depth coverage. Close to the needs of different scenarios, build high-quality 5g network to effectively support the needs of digital development of 5g and all walks of life.
From “overlay network” to “boutique network”
In July 2020, 3gpptsg#88e meeting finally determined 3gpp5grel-16 function and ASN. 1 freeze, and release-16 series of technical specifications will be officially released after the meeting. The completion and release of release-16 standard means that manufacturers can carry out R & D and manufacturing of corresponding products according to this version, further enrich the application scenarios of 5g Technology, and further accelerate the process of global 5g network deployment.
After the formal establishment of R16 standard, the Ministry of industry and information technology clearly proposed to focus on accelerating the network construction of independent networking. There is no doubt that only the way of independent networking can further show the performance of 5g. According to 3GPP planning, 5g standards are divided into NSA (independent Networking) and SA (independent Networking). Non independent networking is a hybrid networking mode in which 5g base stations are connected to 4G core network by transforming 4G network at the initial stage of 5g construction, while independent networking is a completely independent 5g network. Only SA network can fully provide three application scenarios and network slices of emmb (enhanced mobile broadband, i.e. large bandwidth), urllc (high reliability and low delay), mmtc (massive large connection, i.e. wide connection) 5g new feature network applications such as edge computing and cloud network integration.
At present, 5g in China has initially formed a leading trend. On this basis, independent Networking (SA) has become a new goal of 5g. The three major domestic operators are accelerating the evolution towards 5gsa, which is a new stage leading the development of 5g in China and the top priority of the development of 5g new infrastructure.
As the leader of 5g construction, China Mobile took the lead in building SA commercial network in China and the largest 5gsa network in the world.
By early November, China Mobile had actually opened 380000 5gsa base stations, nearly two months ahead of the original network construction plan. Another public report shows that China Mobile has built the world’s largest 5gsa commercial core network, and is fully commercial in all cities above prefecture level in China. The construction task is completed one quarter ahead of schedule. At present, China Mobile’s 5gsa commercial core network can support 100 million individual users and 20 million users in government and enterprise industries to use online at the same time.
Under the guidance of adhering to the 5gsa development strategy, the co construction and sharing between China Telecom and China Unicom have also made remarkable achievements. In November this year, China Telecom took the lead in announcing the commercialization of 5gsa in the world. So far, China Telecom has built more than 340000 sites, covering more than 300 cities across the country, and more than 70 million 5g users; China Unicom quickly completed the construction and commercialization of the world’s first large-scale 5g co construction and sharing network, and completed the end-to-end capability deployment of SA independent networking mode. In November, China Unicom realized the world’s first SA slice in Beijing and Guangdong. By 2021, China Unicom is expected to deploy SA slice commercially throughout the country.
There is no doubt that with the acceleration of 5g new infrastructure, China is ready for 5gsa business in 2020. 2021 will usher in the first year of independent networking, and the synergy between 5gsa network and digital development of various industries will continue to deepen exploration. At that time, China’s 5g network construction will also change from “overlay network” to “boutique network”.
At present, with the acceleration of 5g, the digital transformation of economy and society is faster and faster.
In the past year, government departments have issued a number of important policies related to 5g to speed up the construction of 5g network and industrial layout. In the past year, although the application of 5g industry has been partially implemented, small-scale commerce has been realized, and the era of 5g industry is coming, but from the current development situation, it still faces many challenges.
Behind the 5g network construction, the promotion of applications is the key. As Xiao Yaqing pointed out, we should take the 5g construction as the traction and coordinate the deployment of data centers and computing facilities. At the same time, focus on 10 key industries, form 20 typical industrial application scenarios, carry out industrial 5g private network pilot, and timely release 5g millimeter wave frequency planning of some frequency bands.
Taking the industrial Internet as an example, 5g industry-level applications in the past two years are mainly oriented to embB application scenarios. However, only the introduction of 5gsa network technologies such as urllc and mmtc can meet the needs of application scenarios. In the future, 5g slicing, 5g + MEC and other technologies and schemes will be widely used in thousands of industries represented by power grid, steel and cement to enable their digital transformation.
With the further large-scale deployment of national 5g new infrastructure in 2021, 5g business will gradually extend to various vertical industries, and 5g + integrated application scenarios of various industries will also be fully opened. At that time, the integrated application of vertical industries will show a spectacular scene of a hundred flowers in full bloom, and the corresponding business model will be more perfect.
However, it should be pointed out that 5g’s integrated application innovation in vertical industries also faces many challenges. Previous generations of mobile communication systems mainly meet the communication, Internet and social needs of “people”. Operators have little in-depth communication with other vertical industries and can not accurately know the needs of various vertical industries, which will test whether 5g can effectively enable the vertical industry in the future.
At the same time, the needs of various vertical industries themselves vary greatly, making it difficult to copy the successful experience of the consumer Internet era. For example, railway, power, emergency, public security, transportation and other industries require different communication system performance and solutions, which is difficult to replicate and promote on a large scale on the basis of a successful case.
In addition, many vertical industries do not see the application value of 5g in their industries, and the business model in the 5g era is also uncertain, which requires operators to explore and explore with vertical industries.
Therefore, only creating a business model suitable for 5g technology application is the basis for 5g’s success. With the further large-scale deployment of national 5g new infrastructure in 2021, 5g business will gradually extend to various vertical industries, and the integrated application scenario of 5g + industries will be fully opened. At that time, the integrated application of vertical industries will show a spectacular scene of a hundred flowers blooming, The corresponding business model will also be more perfect.
Editor in charge: Tzh