Shang Bing, chairman of China Mobile, said despite its tremendous subscriber and IoT growth, past performance won’t guarantee future success, so it must remain alert to new threats and challenges.
Speaking at the GTI Summit yesterday, he said: “We are facing a new round of industrial shifts. The unknown is much bigger than the known. Operators need to keep up with the times to accelerate their transformations. Only by doing this can we be a winner in the new industrial revolution.”
China Mobile, which has rolled out mobile IoT networks in 346 cities, aims to add more than 120 million IoT connections in 2018 to take is total to more than 320 million connections, he said.
The operator has 1.78 million TD-LTE base stations, which support about 450 million 4G subscribers. “Our 4G penetration is over 70 per cent.”
Shang said the operator is building a premium infrastructure using technologies such as 3D MIMO and carrier aggregation to offer truly ubiquitous coverage across the country. “We are accelerating our 5G R&D and are supporting 5G field trials in a number of cities,” with pre-commercial networks planned in 2019 and a full commercial launch in 2020.
He noted that while 5G will help to build a smart society, it will also create new business opportunities for operators using new business models.