China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has issued its ‘Dual Gigabit Network Coordinated Development Action Plan (2021-2023)’, setting out targets and planned works for the extension of the ‘dual gigabit network’ – the combination of gigabit fibre-optic and 5G infrastructures – over the next three years. Broadly, the strategy aims to promote development and take up of innovative applications and solutions for key industries and end users through construction of new facilities and upgrades to existing systems. A key element of the strategy is to promote the ‘complementary advantages’ of the two network types, highlighting the strength of fibre-optic systems within ‘indoor and complex environments with large transmission bandwidth, strong anti-interference and microsecond-level connection’ alongside 5G’s flexibility, mobility and capacity to support a large number of connections.
The action plan sets out a number of targets for the end of 2021 and end-2023, with the former including the extension of fibre networks to over 200 million households nationwide, the deployment of a total of 600,000 5G base stations to expand coverage into key towns and villages, and to build 20 ‘gigabit cities’. By the second deadline, the MIIT expects the fibre footprint to have expanded to 400 million households and 5G networks to cover areas above the township level and key administrative villages. The regulator has also set end-2023 as the deadline for its so-called ‘Double Hundred’ goal, which envisions the construction of 100 gigabit cities and 100 gigabit industry VPN benchmark projects.
To achieve these targets, the MIIT’s has set out a series of 18 key tasks across six different areas, namely: giga city construction; carrying capacity enhancement; industry convergence empowerment; strengthening the industrial chain; user experience improvement; and security enhancement.