EYESHENZHEN  /   Opinion

5G era calls for cooperation, fairness, and transparency

Writer: China Plus  | Editor: Jane Chen  | From: China Plus | Updated: 2019-03-01

Note: The following is an edited translation of a commentary from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs."

As 5G networks begin to be rolled out around the world, visitors to the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain have been able to take a look at some of the products and services that will be on offer in the 5G era.

Tech companies including Huawei and Samsung have their foldable 5G smartphones on display. Qualcomm is showcasing their 5G chips designed for cars, PCs, and home broadband. And Qatar's telecom operator Ooredoo has a model of the world's first 5G-enabled self-driving flying taxi.

The Mobile World Congress is being held this week in Barcelona, Spain. [Photo: VCG]

The 5G future looks bright, but getting there won't be easy. It will take intensive international cooperation to turn this future into a reality. The world's 2G, 3G, and 4G networks are a patchwork of systems, and complex cost and technology-related challenges will arise when the time comes to upgrade them into 5G-enabled networks. If consumers around the world are to get the greatest benefit from this new technology, extensive cooperation on a global scale will be needed to tackle these challenges effectively. This is why China's telecommunications giant Huawei has already signed commercial contracts to work with more than 30 international operators. Another Chinese company ZTE has also started working on the rollout of 5G technology with 30 operators around the world.

The Huawei 5G Mate X foldable smartphone introduced at this year's Mobile World Congress. [Photo: VCG]

For the 5G technology to benefit everyone, an open and transparent approach to the task is required. Despite a delegation from the United States coming to Barcelona to dissuade European firms from investing in Huawei's 5G technology, the wireless industry's global trade group GSM Association had said a ban on Huawei equipment in Europe would disrupt the market and increase costs for consumers.

As Zhang Feng, the chief engineer of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told the Mobile World Conference this week, 5G technology will be closely tied to the world's globalized industrial ecosystem. The communication industry in all countries should work together to ensure that 5G technology can be utilized in a way that is fair and transparent, and that promotes healthy market competition in line with international practices. By doing so, the coming technological revolution can benefit people in all countries, and not just an exclusive few.