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On June 6, coinciding with the 5th anniversary of 5G licensing, the 2024 High-Quality Development Forum for Mobile Communications was held at the Zhongguancun International Innovation Center in Beijing.

Themed "Infinite Future Possibilities with Intelligent Connection," the forum brought together 35 cities and regions to launch the initiative, "Joining Together to Open a New Era of 5G-A." This collective effort aims to advance the evolution of 5G technology, foster innovation in its applications, and set the stage for high-quality development in 5G-enabled smart cities.

A City-Centric Approach

The cities involved in this joint declaration include Beijing, Tianjin, Changchun, Harbin, Chengdu, Xi'an, Dalian, Shenzhen, Hohhot, Nanchang, Zhengzhou, Changsha, Nanning, Haikou, Guiyang, Kunming, Lanzhou, Yinchuan, Zhangjiakou, Baoding, Xingtai, Xiong'an New District, Yangquan, Qiqihar, Mudanjiang, Suzhou, Wenzhou, Ganzhou, Yichun, Xiangyang, Jingmen, Foshan, Liuzhou, Guilin, and the Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture.

Cities, recognized as units of national economic development, social governance, and public services, are essential platforms for promoting the construction of digital infrastructure and the digital transformation of China. Accelerating the development and application of high-quality mobile communication networks is crucial for the digital transformation and intelligent development of cities. Additionally, cities serve as a key measure for building new competitive advantages in the future.

Since 2024, some cities and regions in China have been actively engaged in constructing and exploring applications for 5G-A networks, based on the needs of various application scenarios and hotspot network coverage. These efforts aim to leverage 5G-A for high-quality urban development by providing higher speeds, greater connectivity, and lower latency.

In January 2024, the Beijing Action Plan for Promoting 5G-A Technology Evolution and Application Innovation (2024-2026) was introduced, aiming to build or upgrade more than 4,000 5G-A base stations by the end of 2024. By 2026, the plan aims to house over 20,000 5G-A base stations, establishing Beijing as a "dual 10Gbps" benchmark city with leading network construction, terminal development, and industry enablement. Currently, Beijing has already built more than 1,900 5G-A base stations.

5G-A’s Transformative Abilities

China's 5G journey has spanned five years, and the next five years will be critical for accelerating the deep integration of 5G with various economic and social sectors, marking the transition from 5G to 5G-A and eventually to 6G. Compared to 5G, 5G-A offers higher data rates, greater connectivity, and lower latency.

By incorporating technologies such as general computing and artificial intelligence (AI), 5G-A extends the capabilities of 5G. It not only meets the urgent need for high-quality mobile networks in specific scenarios but also enhances the internet access experience for users. Additionally, 5G-A can expand the application scenarios of 5G, accelerate its penetration across various industries, and further drive economic development through its transformative impact.

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