Nation sets rapid pace with 5G development

By MA SI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-01-09 07:48
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Consumers try the Huawei Mate 20X 5G, the first 5G smartphone produced by Huawei Technologies Co, at a China Mobile outlet in Beijing in August. WANG ZHUANGFEI/CHINA DAILY

Tech attracts wide variety of industries

In a mine in Qingdao, Shandong province, an automatic electric locomotive loaded with gold ore runs smoothly as workers on the surface, about 500 meters above the vehicle, monitor operations via real-time video cameras.

This is the first such application of fifth-generation wireless technology in underground mines in China, as part of the nation's broader push to employ technologies to ensure safety in a sprawling industry.

Thanks to 5G, mines, which have traditionally struggled with connectivity, are becoming safer and more efficient.

Liu Pengnan, a technician at Shandong Gold Mining (Laixi) Co, which runs the Qingdao mine, said: "The superfast 5G allows radio signals to pass through thick walls, ceilings and floors. We can access a peak downloading speed of 800 megabytes per second and an uploading speed of 100 Mb/s, making it possible for us to remotely control underground equipment, a big improvement in safety for frontline workers such as me."

The mine, where 5G network coverage was introduced in late November, offers a glimpse of the progress made by China in the past year to commercialize the superfast wireless technology. The nation is pioneering cutting-edge technologies, despite global trade uncertainties and efforts by the United States to contain the rise of tech pioneers such as Huawei Technologies Co.

For example, Chinese companies have enabled the world's first 5G-powered remote surgery on a human brain, transmitted ultrahigh-definition television content through 5G networks and piloted the operation of self-driving buses and automobiles in many cities.

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