BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- China has stepped up its pace of 5G development, adding 654,000 base stations in 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Thursday.
So far, nearly 1.43 million 5G base stations have been launched, Tian Yulong, chief engineer of the MIIT, told a press conference.
The 5G network now covers all prefecture-level cities, more than 98 percent of county-level urban areas and 80 percent of township-level urban areas across the country, said Zhao Zhiguo, a spokesperson for the MIIT.
Shipments of 5G phones in 2021 skyrocketed by 63.5 percent year on year to reach 266 million units, demonstrating a steady growth momentum, Zhao added.
China's "5G + industrial internet" strategy has formed 20 application scenarios involving remote equipment control and quality inspection system using machine vision in 10 key fields including mining, steel and power industries, Zhao said, adding that it has provided an impetus for the transformation and upgrading of other sectors.
This year, the ministry is committed to continuing the consolidation of 5G industrial foundations while advancing 5G network construction and promoting the development of 5G applications. ■