LIVE FROM 5G SUMMIT & USER CONGRESS, BANGKOK: China’s deployment of private 5G networks jumped nearly tenfold over the past 18 months, with industry internet and smart city applications accounting for more than half the total rollouts.

Wang Xinhui, member of the advisory committee of IMT-2020 (pictured), cited Ministry of Industry and Information Technology data showing 5G industry private networks rose from 2,300 at end-2021 to more than 20,000 at end-June.

Nearly 7,000 factories deployed 5G networks, with 691 mines across China using the technology. Other key sectors adopting private 5G networks are healthcare, education and logistics. 

Wang noted developments are all part of China’s push for digital transformation across industries, a point highlighted by GSMA Ltd CEO John Hoffman in his keynote earlier, noting China’s aggressive push to establish new business models to drive wider usage across various sectors.

The rise in adoption across so many sectors shows “why standards matter”, Wang said.

Looking at 6G, Wang doesn’t agree with others that claim the technology is being rushed. “By focusing on a couple of key fundamentals we’re laying the foundation for the network of the future.”

Wang also highlighted the country’s growth in 5G base stations, rising from 1.4 million sites at end-2021 to 2.3 million a year later and to 3.2 million at the end of September.

Turning to the consumer segment, he said 5G penetration in the country rose 9.5 percentage points to 42.8 per cent at end-2022.