Shanghai is one of the foremost cities in China for many reasons. Situated on the Yangtze river delta, it is the most populous cities in China, centre for finance and banking, has the largest container handling port. This city has become famous for one more reason: the first city to implement 5G technology in China.
Vice mayor calls on 5G
A trial run was done on 30th March, Saturday in the Hongkou district of Shanghai by the China’s telecom carrier China Mobile. It was inaugurated by the vice-mayor of the Hongkou district who made a telephone call from his 5G handset Huawei Mate X backed by artificial intelligence. Few 5G towers are already in place in Shanghai and it is expected to cross 10000 by the end of the year. There are plans to put 5G towers all over China including hundreds in Tibet to bring the whole country under the ambit of the 5G. The 4G users need not upgrade their SIM but will be automatically integrated into the 5G network when they opt for it.
5G technology is extremely fast. It is faster by 100 times as compared to 4G LTE. There are other innovations that have been envisaged on the basis of the 5G technology. There are many technologies where latency would be considered an obstruction. In such cases 5G reduces the latency to less than 1 millisecond. In the case of robots where the hands would be remote controlled, any increase in latency to compel the machine to go off track and exhibit erratic behavior. This will be same for auto driven cars, any lag time for response would cause major accidents.
A faster and low latency network
The 5G spectrum is a high frequency spectrum of radio waves. As it is of high frequency, it has a less wavelength, and hence of higher energy. It travels faster and penetrates any man made or natural obstruction like a wall or natural boundary. These waves are of higher capacity but of limited distances. So lot of towers are required to reinforce the emitted wave and maintain the wave from any interference and distortion. A huge investment is required to build multiple towers over a large patch of human habitation like any large cities like Shanghai or Singapore. In Shanghai it has been estimated to erect 30000 base towers to enforce the 5G waves. Moreover, the existing 4G users cannot use the same smart phones to use the 5G as they require different set of antennas but the old SIM will work as fine.
Piggyback on 5G
At least 100 technology companies have plans to exploit this much sought after technology to promote and implement other innovations. Those could range from industrial manufacturing, auto driven cars, drones, health care and smart city management. The ultrahigh speed, increased capacity for data transmission and reduced latency would enable robotics and artificial intelligence. The value expected from such innovations would run in billions of dollars annually.
United States, the laggard
China is way ahead of United States in implementing the technology. The telecom service providers like AOL, Verizon are still trying to lay the towers and do the costing in the planning rooms. They are still debating if they could bring in the 5G by end of 2019. They are still debating on the rate of speed compared to the exiting 4G, how many towers to erect and where to erect, the money factor. Even when these companies have done with the job, only a part of United states rather scattered areas are under planned 5G. They are not sure by what time they will be able to put the whole system of 5G towers in place all over US. Moreover, the smart phone companies have not ordered for the manufacture of 5G mobile for US customers, as they donot have the figures of estimated number of corporate and non corporate customers who will opt for the 5G.
Shanghai to transform into smart city
It is not strange that Shanghai has been chosen to usher in 5G technology in China. Given the strategic importance of the city in China, and the improvement and benefits that will accrue from the 5G, Shanghai has been given the latest internet backbone to strengthen itself. A strong vibrant Shanghai is good for Chinese economy and it will also demonstrate the China’s technical prowess.