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World's first '5G railway station' is coming to Shanghai

The world's first "5G railway station" will debut in Shanghai this year, delivering easy access to super-fast 5G network services for all passengers.
World's first '5G railway station' is coming to Shanghai
Zhu Shenshen / SHINE

Staff and visitors test the 5G network and services in the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station on Monday. The railway station, one of the world's busiest, will become the world's first "5G station."

The world’s first “5G railway station” will debut in Shanghai this year, delivering easy access to super-fast 5G network services for all passengers.

With the new 5G technology and upgraded telecommunications network, Shanghai's Hongqiao Railway Station — which handles about 60 million passengers a year — will offer travelers faster Internet access and enhanced signal coverage.

For example, passengers will be able to download a movie within 20 seconds by 5G, when the system is fully implemented around September.

With tech support from Huawei Technologies and China Mobile’s Shanghai branch, the DIS or digital indoor system, is specially optimized for indoor data telecommunications on 5G.

“Hongqiao Railway Station is leading the 5G commercial deployment in Shanghai," said Zhang Jianming, vice director of the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology.

"It will deliver a new travel experience. Passengers will feel that they are getting more out of their journey, and will enjoy it more in the new age. The station will show how 5G applications can improve the user experience and offer real benefits to the public. It will help to speed up digital transformation for all sectors across the digital economy," said Zhang.

The station is one of Asia's biggest traffic hubs, with over 330,000 people passing through each day during peak seasons like the Spring Festival period. 

About 70 to 80 percent data consumption is on indoor networks, especially in public spaces with high density population like airports, railway stations and shopping malls.

5G meets the needs of high-density areas with thousands of people simultaneously using the network to make phone calls, access the Internet, and make mobile payments, according to Huawei and Shanghai Mobile.

The 5G network is not yet available in China outside some trial areas so Shanghai Mobile will gradually set up trial 5G base stations in the railway station, and is expected to cover all railway regions by September when more 5G phones are expected to be ready.

At present, 5G signals are transformed into Wi-Fi signals in several spots in the railway station. 

It’s free now and available to all smartphones.

The station’s trial 5G network, through Wi-Fi connection, offers Internet access 15 to 20 times faster than the current 4G network, according to Shanghai Daily’s on-site test.

“The commercial use of 5G will come much faster than most people expected. We have been prepared for the new era,” said Peter Zhou, chief marking officer of Huawei Wireless Network Product Line.

The new system will also support services including 4K HD video calling and multi-way ultra-HD video uploading and improved cloud and service robots, which will create a better travel experience for passengers.

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