The world’s first 5G network trials go live in Shanghai

The world’s first 5G network trials go live in Shanghai
Hongkou, Shanghai, ChinaWikimedia

  • Shanghai’s Hongkou district is reportedly the first district in the world to have functional 5G network capabilities.
  • The Chinese government plans to install 10,000 5G base stations in the area by the end of 2019.
  • The presence of a 5G network bolsters the application of internet of things in the district.
The Hongkou district in Shanghai in China is claiming to be the first area in the world with 5G network connectivity, as well as broadband gigabit network on Saturday according to media reports.

In race between Japan, China, South Korea and the US — China seems to have come out on top. According to the GSM association, China will represent 40% of global 5G connections by 2025.

And, China’s has a lot to gain as well. The research arm of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China estimates that 5G connectivity could account for 3.2% of China’s entire GDP in 2025 as well as create nearly 8 million jobs.
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It should be noted that since these are just 5G trials, the network isn’t fully operational. But it does cover the entire area using 228 5G base stations.

But once it officially up and running for everyone, subscribers will be able to take advantage of the same without having to upgrade their SIM cards. Although, they will have to ensure they have phones will 5G capability which, as of now, aren’t very cheap.

The Chinese government has plans to have 10,000 5G base stations ready to go by the end of 2019 in Shanghai and by 2021, they expect to cross 30,000 stations. According to the deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Economic and Information Commission, the effective deployment of the 5G network in the district will help industrial manufacturing, cars connected to the internet, health care and smart city management since its speed is 10 times that of 4G networks.

China Mobile has invested the most in Shanghai to date to help the city expand its 5G trial network and related applications, because it is the most developed city in China with rather solid infrastructure in many aspects.

Zhang Jianming, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Economic and Informational Commission

Aside from speed, the low latency of 5G networks is especially helpful for applications of the internet of things.

At the launch ceremony of the 5G trial network, the vice mayor of Shanghai, Wu Qing, made the network’s first 5G video call on an Huawei Mate X, which was the first phone to launch with 5G capabilities.

The US, on the other hand, has been pressuring countries to cut ties with Huawei and their 5G technology. According to an article in the Washington Post, “Huawei is constructing a global network of undersea Internet cables and next-generation mobile networks that could give China effective control of the digital commanding heights.”

While Huawei is reportedly denying any links to Chinese government, it’s a bold move on China’s part to posture itself as a world leader in technology, ahead of its competitors.

China has plans to continue these 5G network trials in other parts of the country, including Tibet, as the year goes on.

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