China kicks off 6G R&D amid aggressive 5G push

Beijing, Nov 8 (PTI)

China has officially commenced the research and development of the 6G telecom service, days after launching 5G cellular services in the country in a bid to advance its ambitious goal to emerge as a global leader in the next generation 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.

The Ministry said one of the offices will house the government agencies responsible for the relevant policy making. The other is comprised of 37 experts from colleges, research academies and enterprises, who are expected to advise policymakers, it said.

China’s Vice-Minister for Science and Technology Wang Xi said that worldwide knowledge about the telecom technology is still in an exploratory stage, without consensus over its definitions and applications.

The ministry will work with relevant departments to roll out a plan for 6G development, and work towards breakthroughs regarding its basic theories, key technologies and standards, state-run China Daily quoted him as saying on Thursday. China has unveiled superfast 5G network all over the country on October 31.

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 US, hopes to woo India and the world with its 5G services replacing the current 4G networks.

5G is the next generation cellular technology with download speeds stated to be 10 to 100 times faster than current 4G networks. The 5G networking standard is seen as critical because it can support the next generation of mobile devices in addition to new applications like driverless cars and gadgets made out of artificial intelligence (AI).

South Korea, the US and the UK have all rolled out their next generation 5G networks this year. For its part, Beijing is urging India, which is the next biggest telecom market after China to permit its telecom giant Huawei to take part in the 5G trials, saying that New Delhi should make an independent and objective decision in this regard in the backdrop of US calling on its friends and allies not to permit the top Chinese telecom firm highlighting security issues.

India has 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 Trump administration has banned the use of Huawei technology in America’s telecom networks.

The US has also launched extradition proceedings against Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, who has been arrested in Canada to face prosecution for violations of US sanctions against Iran.

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