Smart SZ Keeps Getting Smarter 5G
Source: Shenzhen Daily
FRESH in our memories, Shenzhen residents used to have to wait in line for hours at police offices to submit applications for travel documents to Hong Kong or passports, and patients had to line up repeatedly to register at hospitals, pay medical bills and receive medicine.
Now, thanks to years of efforts in promoting smart city applications, these time-consuming practices have become history.
China started promoting the construction of smart cities around 2012, and Guangdong is the cradle of the country’s smart city campaign. In 2012, the ministry of housing and urban construction worked with Lecong Township in Foshan City, Guangdong, to launch the country’s first smart city research and implementation project.
As the country’s pioneer in smart city construction, the Guangdong Provincial Government published a plan in 2016 that envisaged the emergence of a group of world-class smart cities in the Pearl River Delta area by 2020. As the leading cities in the region, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have driven the effort to make cities smarter.
The smart city campaign requires large investments and technological innovation. There are several factors behind this tremendous endeavor to make cities safe and provide more efficient and adequate public services: the huge population in China, the “big-city diseases” and the challenges facing the government in managing rapidly expanding cities.
Shenzhen has a massive population. Previously, people had to wait in long lines at bank offices, hospitals and government service halls to get things done. Crime used to run rampant, with the cases of robberies and burglaries surging before CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras were installed on the streets and in housing estates.
The city government and enterprises have been quick to adopt new technologies to solve problems. The fast development of the Internet, mobile communications, big data, cloud computing, facial recognition technology and other artificial intelligence technologies provides solutions for government departments and enterprises eager to make the city smarter.
The city is already well-known in China as a smart city. Shenzhen was ranked No. 1 in the Eighth China Smart City Development Appraisals at the 2018 Smart China Annual Conference in Beijing.
Smart city applications have greatly improved quality of life in terms of transportation, medical care, education and government services. Such improvements are also expanding to other fields, such as environmental protection.
In August, China’s first real-time ecological monitoring system covering the sea, land and air was put into service in Shenzhen’s Dapeng New Area. At the monitoring center, staff members operate the system as if they are sitting in a driver’s cabin, with several screens displaying data delivered in real time from various sensors installed around the district.
But the city’s ambition doesn’t end here. The General Plan for Shenzhen New Smart City Construction, published in 2018, sets a high bar: By 2020, residents will be able to use their ID card to access many services after their ID card, driver’s license, social security card, library card and bank cards are consolidated into a single account. They will also be able to use a single app to access different services.
Enterprises will be able to use their social credit number and digital certificate to apply for various services online, without having to visit different government agencies or submit paper documents.
The upcoming commercial use of 5G (5th-generation mobile networks) technology will provide Shenzhen with new opportunities to make the city even smarter. At a conference on Nov. 12, 2018, Vice Mayor Wang Lixin said the city will increase investment in the construction of 5G networks and strive to build a leading full-fledged 5G international innovation center by 2020. 5G technology will give a major boost to autonomous driving, urban 3-D modeling, high-definition real-time transmission, monitoring of railway carriages and other new cutting-edge applications.
In June, the city’s development and reform commission published the first action plan for the development of the 5G telecom industry for 2018-2020. It specifies that the city will give priority to the development of intelligent and connected vehicles, networked drones, cloud AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) and industrial Internet.
Shenzhen is poised to witness a boom in smart city applications due to technological advancements by the city’s leading technology companies. Someday we will have our parcels delivered by networked drones, commute across the city in intelligent, automated buses, and get more and more things done with just a click on our mobile phones, wearable devices or computers.