5G, the fifth generation of cellular network service has been launched on the 1st of November in fifty cities of China. According to three Chinese major telecommunication companies including China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, thanks to the campaign of advanced subscription discount, the total number of their users who subscribed 5G mobile data service by the end of October reached more than 10 million.
On the other hand, in Japan, 5G business service will be launched in March 2020 by KDDI and Softbank, and from the spring of 2020 by NTT Docomo. Experimental projects involving 5G technology can already be seen in several sites. For example, during the Ruby World Cup 2019, NTT Docomo provided 5G experience service using mobile devices in some stadiums to make it possible to watch the game from eight different angles freely , which could be a new way of sports spectating.
Compared to 4G, 5G technology has been remarkably improved with the characteristics of higher speed, lower power consumption, more stability, lower latency and more capability of connection. Hence, it is often said nowadays, “4G changes life, and 5G changes the society”. For instance, previously, whether it was Amazon Go or Alibaba’s unmanned supermarket, they have encountered a lot of problems in practice that the machine could not withstand high-load operation when hundreds of people did shopping at the same time. However, in the upcoming 5G era, this technology would help to solve these kinds of problems. Besides, during the past Mobile World Congress Shanghai held in June 2019, 5G technology also showed the possibility of its practical use in unexpected scenes . One eye-catching scene was that the police drone could rush to the scene of the crime immediately after receiving an emergency call and transmit the scene of the crime in real-time to the police headquarter under the 5G network to help the police take action at once to prevent the crime from escalating.
5G technology will also play a big role in improving our travel experience. In Beijing Daxing International Airport, the newly opened international airport in September, China Eastern Airline and Huawei are carrying out experiments cooperatively to improve the passengers’ experience in the airport by the use of 5G technology . According to China Eastern Airline, by using face recognition instead of showing ID documents and boarding pass, the whole process from check-in to boarding could be reduced to about 20 minutes.
Since the launch of 5G in China, one month has passed and voices are now being heard from those adopters of the new service. One fact is that since the 5G network is still under construction, it cannot offer a very stable network so sometimes the user will lose the signal in some downtown areas. Complaints about the high price of the data service are also being heard. Compared to the current 4G data service, of which the basic package is 48RMB, the basic package of 5G data service costs 128RMB (based on China Mobile’s tariff) . It seems that these issues are inevitable at the beginning, but surely with the expansion of the 5G network, they will be solved soon. Since the positive impact that 5G brings will be far more than the negative impact, when Japan launches 5G in the next year, we shall focus more on the positive changes it will bring.