By Zhou Nan
The concept of “new infrastructure” has been for the first time included in China’s government work report this year, which vowed to develop next-generation information networks and expand 5G applications, build more charging facilities and promote wider use of new-energy automobiles, and stimulate new consumer demand and promote industrial upgrading.
New infrastructure, together with new urbanization initiatives and major projects, will be given priority in the Chinese government’s efforts to expand effective investment this year.
How will the “two sessions,” annual meetings of the top legislature and political advisory body of China, chart the course for China’s development at this special time in history is a topic attracting worldwide attention.
Singaporean newspaper Lianhe Zaobao pointed out that economic “remedies” are definitely a major focus this year, as how China will set the tone for its economy and resume work and production is catching the eye of the world.
Now, solutions are revealed. Great expectations are placed on new infrastructure, new urbanization initiatives and major projects. They are taken as a priority because they are able to both address the current demand to offset the impacts of COVID-19 and help lay a foundation for digital economy and innovative development in the long run.
How will new infrastructure change our lives and the society? The government work report has given a clear answer – to develop next-generation information networks and expand 5G applications.
For consumers, 5G might mean faster internet speed, higher-definition videos, and faster downloads. However, 5G is more than those, and it will usher in an era of “new connection.” The broadband, less latency and high stability of the technology will further break the restrictions on people-to-people, people-to-things, and things-to-things connection, thus realizean internet of everything. 5G, like today’s power facilities, will become a key infrastructure in the future digital world, serving as a bedrock for digitalization of each industry.
Take health sector as an example. During the COVID-19 epidemic, 5G technology was used by Wuhan’s Leishenshan Hospital and the west campus of Wuhan Union Hospital to transmit CT images and other relevant treatment information to a command center in Beijing which dispatched corresponding medical experts from a “cloud” server to conduct comprehensive analysis on intractable cases. This method offered real-time assistance for medical workers saving lives on the frontline.
The technology of 5G features broad bandwidth, less latency and wide connection, which can perfectly fix the problems of remote diagnosis and treatment, such as delay, low video definition and stutters. Therefore, to realize wide connection of medical devices through 5G technology, promote online consultation of experts and optimize the allocation of medical resources is considered a qualitative leap in the medical world.
Not only the health sector, 5G will also be applied to the internet of vehicles, autopilot, industrial internet, smart homes, and smart cities. The “new connection” powered by 5G is inspiring indefinite imagination for the future.
Some compare data to mine, computing to electricity, and 5G, AI and cloud computing to light, TV and other appliances that present computing in a colorful manner, in the smart world of new infrastructure. To realize the imagination for the future digital world, “new connection” is only one of the many steps.
When 5G connects hundreds of industries, the world has to face gigantic waves of data. After all, an autopilot vehicle generates 64TB of data in a single day, which is able to fill 32 hard discs. Without supercomputing capability, these data cannot create their due value, let alone helping us make the production and decision systems more efficient and smarter.
In the future, huge data will be generated on terminals, edge and cloud, so computing must be completed where data are generated. Besides, computing capability must be diversified for terminals, edge and cloud. Only by doing this can the value of data be maximized and industrial digitalization be accelerated. So it’s obvious that new connection and new computing are core to new infrastructure.
Empowered by new connection and new computing, industries are now accelerating digital transformation, working in high speed to upgrade themselves.
In Xiamen, Southeast China’s Fujian Province, an all-scenario smart port is put into operation, which is expected to save over 10 million yuan ($1.4 million) of labor cost each year. In Shenzhen, 5G, cloud and AI technologies are applied to the construction of smart airports, reducing 20 percent of the waiting time for passengers, and freeing 4 million passengers from ferry buses each year. In Suzhou, East China’s Jiangsu Province, a smart water affair system powered by these technologies is making the city’s water clearer.
In the future, the development of new infrastructure will surely digitalize and upgrade the society at a higher speed, bringing us whole new experiences beyond imagination.
Heads of Chinese ministries and departments receive a video interview after the second plenary meeting of the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress, May 25. The less latency and high speed of the 5G network enabled the smooth operation of the press conference. Photo by Weng Qiyu/People’s Daily Online
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