China to shore up ‘dual-gigabit’ networks construction before 2023

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China will strive to complete construction of “dual-gigabit” featuring both wired and wireless gigabit broadband within three years completing in 2023, the network infrastructure of which will basically cover Chinese urban areas and townships, forging the nation’s core competitiveness in network technologies.

In an action plan issued on Thursday, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) set the goal to build at least 20 cities with the gigabit capability by the end of this year, and gigabit fiber optic network covering 200 million households. Newly built 5G network stations will exceed 600,000.

By the end of 2023, the gigabit capabilities should extend to 100 cities in China, and 5G networks will cover key areas in rural towns and villages, according to the plan.

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The gigabit connection is typically delivered over fiber optic lines and provides speeds of 1,000 Mbps, which is also referred to as “1 Gbps” or “Gigabit” internet.

The rapid development of “dual-gigabit” networks has promoted ultra-high-definition video streaming and applications such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology to integrate with production and daily life.

In addition, leading enterprises and scientific research institutions are encouraged to increase investment in research and development of ultra-high-speed fiber optical transmission, next-generation optical network technology and wireless communication technology, join international standardization work, strengthen the development of group standards, and form core competitiveness of China’s “dual-gigabit” network technology, the MIIT said.

Shanghai has taken the lead in building a “dual-gigabit” broadband city from the perspective of network infrastructure capabilities, network coverage, and user perception. The city has achieved continuous 5G coverage in its key districts, with an average upload speed of over 300 Mbps and a download speed of over 800 Mbps, media reports say.

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China aims to complete the construction of the 5G network during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, when countless progress will be made in network speed and coverage, while continuing to develop vertical applications.

China has rolled out 718,000 5G base stations throughout the country, mostly scattered in large and medium sized cities, including 330,000 shared among the country’s four major telecom operators, data from the MIIT showed. More than 600,000 5G base stations were built and put into operation in China in 2020.

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