China Telecom banks on “revolutionary” SA 5G, cloud for new growth


Deputy GM China Telecom

INTERVIEW: A China Telecom network executive outlined the need for the cloud and network to be both independent and complementary, as the operator prepares to launch standalone (SA) 5G service on a shared RAN with China Unicom.

Cao Lei, deputy GM of China Telecom's Cloud and Network Department, explained SA 5G introduces a cloud-based architecture integrated with the mobile network, which for the first time allows flexible network expansion and operators to adapt dynamically to their customers by introducing differentiated and tailored services quickly.

He said the operator launched a broad range of innovative applications and services for the mass market and vertical industries, and sees SA 5G as a revolution in terms of strengthening economies and societies, rather than a technological evolution.

By end-September, the two operators had deployed more than 300,000 SA 5G base stations, with the core network covering all major cities. Using a combined spectrum holding of 200MHz in the 3.5GHz band, they achieved the peak downlink rate of 2.7Gb/s, claiming a world first using that amount of bandwidth.

With the B2B sector seen as a crucial area and a potential growth driver, the operator is progressively building private 5G networks which can provide a variety of enterprise services for vertical industries.

He said the company has the largest cloud business among global operators.

Click here to watch the full video interview