Recently "Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2017" was held in Beijing. The CTO of China Mobile Institute, Liu Guangyi said, mobile data traffic is soaring high in China. In response to this surge demand, it's a must to launch the next-generation mobile communications technology. China Mobile is confident that 10,000 of 5G base stations will be commercially deployed by 2020.
Liu said, as the largest 4G network operator in this country, China Mobile is going to build a large-scale 5G trial network in 2018. Will offer 5G service widely in 2020, And have confidence in building up 10,000 base stations by 2020.
In the meantime, an industry expert who asked not to be named told the Communications Daily that 10,000 5G base stations are far from enough for the whole country coverage. China Mobile's 10,000 base stations are only a conservatively estimating number. As the 5G network has a high frequency band. The coverage of the base station is something smaller than 4G. Meanwhile, the demand of 5G applications is increasing. In this case, the number of base stations needs to be at least 2 times the same of 4G. Other wise, it's will difficulty to support the 5G high-speed and wide coverage.
It is worthy mentioning that China Mobile had developed a clear 5G program even from the early days of 5G coming into the view of mobile business. This giant expressed that in the first half of 2017 to the first half of 2018, 5G technical experiments will be completed. The basic wireless performance testing, standard scheme verification will be done too. From the second half of 2018 to the first half of 2019, the 5G scale test was completed. New technologies adding, end-to-end interoperability test and terminal prototype test will be finished then. From the second half of 2019 to the second half of 2019, In the last eight years of 2020, 5G network commercialization will be completed. This will establish an operation oriented technology system. A friendly business experience testing and planning, networking and constructing system for the market.
It is reported that as of the first half of 2017, China Mobile has built 1.65 million 4G base stations. Which accounts for more than a third of the total number of LTE base stations in the world. With 594 million 4G users, it takes more than 30% of the global subscriber. There’re around 2,600 commercial terminals under CM's logo which offer service thorough the whole China in 313 cities.
However, Liu Guangyi said that China Mobile is also facing an unprecedented pressure in the increasing request of network data . On the one hand from the regulatory authorities require operators to "speed up against fee reduction". On the other hand is the cost pressure. It's not easy for the operators to achieve a good balance between expansion investment and reasonable margin. In this regard, China Mobile needs to figure out new business models to promote revenue growth. At present, China Mobile and Alibaba are jointly carrying out mobile edge computing experiments. Also are actively exploring opportunities in the development of 5G in auxiliary driving and industrial control systems.