By Catherine Sbeglia
The Shanghai Airport Authority is working with the Shanghai branches of China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom and tower infrastructure service provider China Tower to cover the city’s Pudong and Hongqiao airports with a 5G network by November.
The 5G network will be deployed in main passenger areas of the airports and will power smart applications to further improve operations and customer services, including safety management and operational support, the partners said.
At the recently launched “5G + smart civil aviation application demonstration base” at the airports, various smart operation, service and shopping scenarios are being developed to improve the travel experience. Travelers will be able to receive more timely information at for departure or arrival, for example, and additional self-service and no-contact services will be developed.
According to the airports, once the 5G networks are live, the airports’ operational efficiency will improve, while operation and maintenance costs will be reduced with AI applications.
The city of Shanghai, as of July, had built more than 25,000 5G outdoor base stations and more than 31,000 5G indoor stations. Further, there are plans to invest nearly 10 billion yuan (US$ 1.43 billion) this year to build a total of 80,000 outdoor and indoor base stations. By the end of 2020, the average download speed in the city is expected to reach 200 megabits per second, with locations like stadiums and commercial hubs boasting download speeds of 500 mbps.