China appears to be moving forward in the worldwide “race to 5G,” telecommunications operator China Mobile recently revealed the creation of the first 5G smart highway.
The highway entails a city-scale road system that can support cellular network-operated transportation services.
The infrastructure is already under development in Wuhan, which is the capital of Hubei Province in Central China.
Being the biggest telecommunications company in China, China Mobile intends to launch a selection of 5G services on the smart highway, starting with “smart toll stations” that could eliminate the existing human operators and toll transponders.
The state-owned carrier not only intends to collect real-time traffic information but also make AI-powered predictions by utilizing the data.
Additionally, China Mobile is expected to support autonomous vehicles.
Even though China Mobile is not the first carrier in the world to either roll out its 5G highway plans or start limited deployments, the entity may eventually be the first to provide actual coordinated and commercial transportation services on such highways.
However, all this depends on the progress of its rivals in other nations across the globe.
South Korean-based carriers such as LG U+, KT, and SK Telecom have all undertaken limited 5G tests of autonomous cars, whereas Samsung has established a “fake city” for testing vehicles away from people.
By now, China Mobile has installed 31 5G base stations in Wuhan, which are all intended to support the carrier’s initiative.
What’s more, the company plans to include an extra 2,000 stations in 2019.
China Mobile intends to spend $147 million or 1 billion yuan in 2019 as far as building the additional stations in the province is concerned.
Currently, specific highway section location planning is ongoing, primarily for toll station testing.
China Mobile has already applied for self-driving test permits, which are expected to allow autonomous driving cars to share the smart highway with human-driven vehicles.
The 5G network, which is also referred to as the fifth generation wireless network, promises to deliver increased speeds, “latency”, or less lag, especially when linking to the network.
What’s more, the wireless network is expected to provide the ability to link numerous devices to the Internet without slowing it down.
The network operator also revealed that with the fifth generation (5G)-based smart highway, gathering real-time traffic data as well as making forecasts based on the particular big data would be easier.
China Mobile provides mobile multimedia and voice services through its countrywide mobile telecommunications network all over mainland China.
Aside from that, the carrier prides itself on being the biggest mobile telecommunications corporation in terms of market capitalization as well as the biggest mobile phone operator in the world by its number of subscribers, more than 902 million as of June last year.
Back in 2007, China Mobile branched out its operations with the acquisition of Pakistan-based company Paktel, which led to the rolling out of the Zong brand in the country one year later.
In China, the company has acquired companies like China Tietong, a fixed-line telecom and third-biggest broadband ISP across China.