Mobile World Congress 2023 opens in Shanghai
China will be the first market in the world to have 1 billion 5G connections by 2025, experts forecast at the Mobile World Congress 2023, Asia's biggest exhibition that opened on Wednesday in Shanghai.
In their opening keynote speeches, top executives from carriers, equipment vendors and researchers expressed strong confidence in China's 5G development, which fuels productivity with integration with artificial intelligence and cloud, and boosts consumption and the digital economy.
The 5G connections in China will reach 1.6 billion by 2030, accounting for nearly a third of the global total, according to GSMA, a global telecommunications industry association and the MWC organizer.
Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile, said the world's biggest mobile carrier will increase development of CT, IT and DT, referring to communications, information and digital technologies. He also spoke of the vision of a 6G network with an upgraded infrastructure and AI-power intelligence.
In addition to Yang, top executives from China Telecom and China Unicom; Sabrina Meng, Huawei's rotating chairwoman and chief financial officer; and other tech firms executives attended the opening forum.
Top officials from the Ministry of Industry of Information and Technology and Shanghai government also attended.
For consumers, 5G, cloud, and AI have set off a "chain reaction," creating an environment where all buyers can also be sellers. In 2022, 5G boosted China's economy by 1.45 trillion yuan (US$200 billion), Meng told the forum.
For industries, 5G has become a "new driver of productivity" able to integrate with "hundreds of industries," Meng added.
The industry executives also said 5G's integration with AI and the cloud, and 5.5G evolution offer 10 times faster download speeds, speakers told the the MWC event.
In the past decade, the telecommunications industry has come close to doubling its number of customers globally, from 3.2 billion to 5.4 billion, and China has been a large part of this growth, said John Hoffman, chief executive of GSMA.
Taking place across three days, MWC Shanghai 2023 marks the event's 10th anniversary. It returns to Shanghai this year after the eruption last year due to the COVID pandemic.
It is being held in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC).