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Shanghai station in 5G first

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The promise of 5G is that billions of machines, appliances and sensors can be connected at much lower cost through a network that is up to 100 times faster than 4G – conditions that will promote the broad application of the Internet of Things in areas such as autonomous driving.

While the commercial rollout of fifth-generation mobile technology is not expected until after 2020 for most major cities in the world, Shanghai will see one of its busiest railway stations, Hongqiao, deploying 5G by the end of this year. Practically-speaking that means travellers at the world’s first 5G-supported railway station will be able to download a 2-gigabyte movie in just 20 seconds, rely on artificial intelligence for directions and enjoy high-definition video conferencing plus virtual-reality gaming. The station management says it will also improve passenger flows at peak times thanks to a more sophisticated use of facial recognition technology.

Needless to say, Huawei Technologies is the chief engineer behind the infrastructure. Its 5G digital indoor system (DIS) is being piloted at Hongqiao. The company remains almost daily in the headlines, due to Washington’s efforts to stop its allies using the Chinese giant’s 5G solutions on alleged security concerns. This week Huawei announced it is preparing to sue the US government on constitutional grounds for blocking federal agencies from using its equipment. Meanwhile, Canada has seen its canola oil exports to China blocked after it agreed last Friday to extradite Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou to the US.


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