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China has built the world’s largest 5G high-speed mobile network with 260 million 5G mobile connections now, a government official said on Monday.China’s 5G network coverage and user scale have increased significantly, Liu Liehong, vice minister of industry and information technology (MIIT), told a press conference on Monday.

Telecom companies have worked hard to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic and accelerated the construction of 5G networks since 5G has been commercialized more than a year ago, and the country has established the world’s largest 5G mobile network, Liu said.

As of the end of February, 792,000 5G base stations had been built, 5G standalone networks covered all prefecture-level cities, and the number of 5G terminal connections had reached 260 million, laying a solid foundation for the promotion of 5G applications.

China’s 4G network base stations accounted for half of the world’s total, data from the MIIT showed.

The next-generation network will profoundly change daily life and work style in personal consumption and social interaction, including entertainment, healthcare and urban governance.

Compared with the consumer segment, the 5G model for business is yet to be commercialized, since it requires feasible technology, as well as practical ways for enterprises to save costs and enhance efficiency, industry analysts told the Global Times.

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

In an action plan released in March, the MIIT said that China will strive to complete construction of “dual-gigabit” networks that feature both wired and wireless gigabit broadband by 2023. This infrastructure will basically cover Chinese urban areas and townships, propelling the nation’s core competitiveness in innovations.

China has taken the lead in the world’s 5G network rollout. As a 5G technology bellwether, Chinese tech giant Huawei has made further progress, saying it will launch its 6G networks in 2030, which is 50 times faster than 5G. The company has also taken the lead in 6G research and development.

In the first three quarters of 2020, Huawei’s market share topped the global 5G communications equipment market and reached 32.8 percent of world’s total, according to Dell’Oro, a market research firm.

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