Private 5G network license to hasten development of industrial internet

Visitors watch a demonstration of 5G tech's application in manufacturing at the 2022 China 5G plus Industrial Internet Conference in Wuhan, Hubei province. 

China has granted the first private 5G network license to Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, the maker of the country's first self-developed single-aisle passenger jet, the C919, for 5G connectivity in its plants.

The move is part of China's broader push to widen the application of 5G plus industrial internet, a frontier widely seen by countries around the world as key to boosting manufacturing prowess.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the country's top industry regulator, said it has granted China's first corporate 5G private network license to COMAC to use industrial wireless dedicated frequency bands 5925-6125 megahertz and 24.750-25.15 gigahertz, which feature high speed and low latency.

As manufacturers address modernization, automation and digitalization, private 5G networks enable companies to control resources and deploy their own networks. They can also safely store important sensitive data on their own networks and not have to send the information to telecom operators, said a report from Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson.

The MIIT announced the move at the 2022 China 5G plus Industrial Internet Conference, which was held from Saturday to Monday in Wuhan, Hubei province.

Zhang Yunming, MIIT vice-minister, said the industrial internet is a key infrastructure and new industrial ecosystem for the deep integration of new-generation information communication technology and the industrial economy.

The innovative development of 5G plus industrial internet drives enterprises to improve quality, reduce costs, increase efficiency, and promote green and safe development. It also paves a new path for upgrading traditional industrial technologies, and speeds up the implementation and popularization of new production methods, Zhang said.

"More efforts will be made to establish standards for 5G fully connected factories by industry."

Value-added output of the industrial internet is expected to reach 4.45 trillion yuan ($617 billion) this year, accounting for 3.64 percent of the GDP and up from 4.10 trillion yuan in 2021, said the latest report from the China Academy of Industrial Internet.

The industrial internet will help promote the upgrade of China's employment structure and stabilize employment, helping create more than 1 million new jobs this year, the report stated.

Currently, all major economies are prioritizing the development of manufacturing, and have rolled out a series of strategic measures to upgrade manufacturing to make it more digital era-oriented, internet-connected and intelligent, experts said.

Lu Chuncong, head of the China Academy of Industrial Internet, said teamwork across different sectors is critical to quicken the development of the industrial internet. Industrial enterprises, telecom enterprises, software enterprises and industrial control enterprises need to cooperate deeply to strengthen the research of core technologies.