Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station has teamed up with Huawei Technologies to launch a 5G network, bringing ultrafast Internet speed to the city. Passengers will experience a data speed that is 100 times faster than 4G. This development makes Shanghai a dual-gigaband city.
“Hongqiao Railway Station is leading the 5G commercial deployment in Shanghai… The 5G digital indoor system will deliver a new travel experience. The railway station will show how 5G applications can improve the user experience and offer real benefits to the public. It will help speed up digital transformation for all sectors across the digital economy,” Zhang Jianming, vice-chairman of Shanghai’s Commission of Economy and Information Technology, said in a statement (RCR Wireless).
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What is 5G?
5G is short for 5th Generation of Cellular Mobile Communications. It has a reduced latency, which refers to the communication delay between mobile phone and wireless network, as well as a high data rate, cost reduction, and massive device connectivity. In order to utilize this supersonic connectivity, devices must have a 5G chip installed. Any device with the chip can be controlled remotely and be used for things like self-automated cars, surveillance, and so on.
With countries green lighting 5G, the Internet of Things is rapidly becoming the talk of the town. Such devices will enable users to interact with them. For instance, a person can monitor food in the refrigerator or control the electricity used by light bulbs even if they’re thousands of miles away.
But behind these privileges, there’s a darker side to the Internet of Things. With a smart connection between your stuff and the Internet, the company providing your connectivity can steal information about you. Privacy is no longer guaranteed once you start using such interconnected devices.
Is there more to the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station?
So why is Huawei so keen on leading the 5G revolution? Is it really just to provide faster and efficient Internet connectivity, or is there a sinister agenda behind it? As previously stated, utilizing 5G means a device needs to have a 5G chip installed. In turn, aside from the user’s ability to remotely control devices, the company providing the connectivity has access to your information as well.
According to China’s intelligence law, “all organizations and citizens shall support, assist and cooperate with national intelligence efforts according to the law.” On top of that, railroads and 5G are heavily connected in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is an ambitious program aiming to use land and maritime networks to connect Asia with Europe and Africa, digitally and physically. Over US$1 trillion dollars has been allocated for the development of ports, roads, railways, airports, telecommunications networks, and power plants.
More than 60 countries have signed on to the initiative. This is president Xi’s vision for China to become a great socialist country. “The Chinese nation … has stood up, grown rich, and become strong — and it now embraces the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation… It will be an era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contributions to mankind,” he said in a statement (The Guardian).
Digitally, Huawei is, in fact, the captain on the voyage to building a digital silk road around Asia and extending it to the West. Could it be that the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station is the start of this (rather scary) world domination?