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China's regulator pushes 5G network construction amid virus outbreak

Updated: Feb 24,2020 01:49 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has urged major telecom operators to assess the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak in a timely manner and quicken construction on the 5G network.

Telecom companies should optimize construction plans of the 5G network and fully utilize its role in stabilizing investments and spurring the development of the related industrial chain, according to a statement released after a work conference of the MIIT on Feb 22.

Boosted by the news, 5G-related shares rose across the board on Feb 24.

China has extended the use of 5G technology in the ongoing battle against the epidemic, with wide applications in work resumption, long-distance disease diagnosis and temperature checking in transport networks.

The ministry said businesses should capitalize on business opportunities in sectors such as online education and health services to promote information consumption.

China greenlighted the commercial use of the superfast wireless technology in June last year, triggering a surge in consumer enthusiasm and an acceleration in industrial investment.

Leading telecom operator China Unicom said on Feb 23 it will work with China Telecom to finish the construction of 250,000 5G base stations across the country by the end of the third quarter.