China has officially launched research and development work for its 6G mobile networks. The country only just turned on its 5G networks earlier this month, ahead of an initial 2020 schedule. The initiative is an ambitious goal to emerge as a global leader in the next generation of telecom technology, surpassing the US and the western countries.
The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology on Wednesday announced the establishment of two offices to develop 6G, setting off the competition for the next-generation cellular data service that comes after the super-fast 5G.
To be clear, 5G is still in its infancy with most people around the world are still on 4G networks. Vice Minister Wang Xi of the Ministry of Science and Technology said 6G is in the “initial stage” but the country must attach “great importance” to the technology.
The Ministry said one of the offices will house the government agencies responsible for the relevant policymaking. The other is comprised of 37 experts from colleges, research academies and enterprises, who are expected to advise policymakers, it said.
China has unveiled the superfast 5G network all over the country on October 31. 5G is the next-generation cellular technology with download speeds stated to be 10 to 100 times faster than current 4G networks.
State-owned carriers China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom have unveiled their 5G data services all over the country as China, which is embroiled in trade and technology war with the US, hopes to woo India and the world with its 5G services replacing the current 4G networks.
South Korea, the US, and the UK have all rolled out their next-generation 5G networks this year.
For its part, Beijing has been urging India, which is the next biggest telecom market after China to permit its telecom giant Huawei to take part in the 5G trials. Consequently, India allowed Huawei which is trying to take a big lead in the 5G technology to take part in the 5G case demos at the India Mobile Congress held last month.
The entry of 5G in China means consumers can now pay to access superfast speeds as more than 86,000 5G base stations have already entered service in China, covering 50 cities nationwide
Meanwhile, other countries around the world have been racing to roll out 5G next-generation wireless networks, which can provide data speeds at least 20 times faster than 4G and promises to support new technologies such as self-driving cars and augmented reality.