LIVE FROM MWC19 SHANGHAI: Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile, used his keynote speech to highlight the role of technology as “the core engine to drive the economy going forward”, while calling for collaboration to drive the advancement of 5G technology.

“In an era of the intelligent connectivity of everything, we have to keep a very sharp eye on the latest things in the market. We have to rise in tandem and in line with the development of industries so we can accelerate our transformation and innovation, so that we can better shoulder our responsibilities,” he said.

The executive noted that in 2018, China’s digital economy was worth CNY31 trillion ($4.5 trillion), but this is forecast to rise to CNY150 trillion by 2035. This will see the digital economy grow from a 34.8 per cent share of GDP to 55 per cent.

He was speaking shortly after China Mobile outlined plans to launch commercial 5G services in more than 50 cities before the end of 2019. At the heart of this was what he called “5G+AICDE convergent innovation”, which sees 5G as part of a jigsaw that also includes secure big data and cloud and network convergence.

The intention is to support the transformation of industry in sectors including smart agriculture, smart energy and smart factory. “With the support of 5G technology, we will be able to provide tailored services based on different demand and different customers,” the executive said.

Yang also touted a number of areas in which global collaboration is needed to drive 5G development. This includes work in areas such as standardisation, with a focus on 5G Release 16, and efforts to drive standalone 5G to maturity.

He also called for collaboration on 5G applications and a co-built 5G security assurance mechanism, including unified networks standards for network security and certification and the establishment of a global security evaluation system.