China has reportedly exceeded three million fifth-generation base stations, continuing its dominance as an internet and communications technology powerhouse, outpacing the US in annual 5G installations.
Data released by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) indicated that the Asian superpower has reached a total of 3.19 million stations – an average of 22.6 for every 10 000 residents, according to state media news outlet, CGTN.
5G is significantly better than the previous generation of mobile networks in several key areas. Internet users on 5G networks enjoy download speeds of up to 100 gigabytes per second. This is anywhere between two and 100 times faster than 4G, depending on how many users are using the same network line at the time.
5G lines can also accommodate more users simultaneously without line speed suffering or not working at all, as a result. Users on 4G networks may have experienced this when using the internet at densely populated locations, such as concerts and sporting events.
5G circumnavigates this by communicating individually with each device, greatly reducing the “noise” present in busy areas.
The new networks can handle roughly a million devices per square kilometre, according to Swedish telecommunications giant, Ericsson. Latency, the delay between sending and receiving information, on 5G networks is lower too.
Latency on 4G can be anywhere between 20 and 30 milliseconds but only between one and ten on new 5G lines, according to Mats Nors, a senior inside Ericsson’s research department.
While 5G internet makes streaming videos and gaming a more enjoyable experience for all, Chinese authorities are looking to fold super-fast internet into training and education.
The country had launched more than a 100 remote education programmes using the latest 5G communication infrastructure, said MIIT spokesperson, Zhao Zhiguo. 5G was also being integrated into the medical sector, allowing for more complex procedures and remote patient consultations, he added.
Chinese industry is also benefiting from faster internet speeds, with 5G playing a crucial role in improving the efficiency of the country’s energy, mining, public transport and production sectors. Up to 70 per cent of the economy is connected to 5G, according to the technology website, Interesting Engineering.
China’s aggressive rollout of 5G base stations is warranted too. As of 2022, more than a billion Chinese citizens use the internet via their mobile devices, while MIIT reported that 1.09 billion Chinese-made phones were produced in the last three quarters.
China’s focus on building 5G base stations has helped set the global standard for internet services, accounting for a reported 42 per cent of 5G-related patents issued worldwide, according to data released by Beijing.