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China Mobile spearheads IoT, 5G deployments

Having secured a leading position in 4G networks, China Mobile is currently deploying its IoT and 5G networks in full swing with plans to kick off trial operations of its 5G networks in 12 cities in China, as well as to have 300 million devices connected with its IoT networks, by year-end 2018, according to company chief scientist Chih-Lin I.

China Mobile has installed as many as 1.87 million 4G base stations and currently has a total of 650 million subscribers to its 4G services, I said.

China Mobile has already installed a total of 71 million 5G base stations in five cities in China (Hangzhou, Suzhou, Guangzhou Shanghai and Wuhan) for trial operations and plans to expand the trials and related services to cover 12 cities by year-end 2018, I said on the sidelines of the Global Sources Electronics Show in Hong Kong.

The inauguration of 5G networks will help promote a number of new services and applications such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and drones, I noted, adding that China Mobile is teaming up with Huawei and other companies to set up a low-altitude service platform to utilize drones for fast delivery, first aid and disaster prevention and control.

China Mobile's deployments in IoT networks have been ahead of its schedule, reaching a milestone of having 200 million devices connected with its IoT networks by year-end 2017, I said, adding that China Mobile's IoT connected devices are expected to increase to 300 million units in 2018 and to 800 million units in 2020.

However, the global IoT device market is too fragmented currently due to a lack of common standards, making it difficult for any single SoC to reach economies of scale in production, I commented, adding that China Mobile intends to unify the specifications of related IoT chips so as to bring a real take-off of the IoT market.