CMCC 5G Corner

2022-07-08 |

Enriching different industries with IoT

Versatile applications now reaching to all aspects of productions and daily life, with the industry’s estimated values are exceeding $200 million this year

Located in Dongying district in China’s Shandong province, the Contemporary Agriculture Technology Park has invested in constructing an IoT smart environment control system, aiming to achieve the integration of IoT and digital technology, as well as a real-time remote surveillance and management. The image depicts the intelligent plant nurturing warehouse and staff managing irrigation in the Contemporary Agriculture Technology Park.

With the smart urban management platform, staff from  Lianhua County Urban Management Bureau can review and identify illegitimate information.

Image illustrating a self-driving vehicle loaded with goods in Shanghai. The autonomous car is equipped with a L4 automated driving system and a connected car AI platform, which can make multiple stops at a time with a pre-set route.

Highlighting application scenarios such as smart car manufacturing, smart IoT sports parks and smart mines, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released the “List of IoT Applied Scenarios Projects in 2021” with 179 projects that garnered extensive public awareness. Since then, the applications of IoT are getting more diverse and reaching more people, from smart cities to digital villages and from smart transportation to smart cultural tourism, further accelerating “the connections of everything”.

A “smart umbrella” to support agricultural products

A big screen in Shanxi Baoji Shengli Modern Agriculture Development Limited shows the growing conditions of edible mushrooms. Farmers can get real-time data of the planting base including temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide concentration level with the solar-powered sensor installed in the greenhouse, allowing remote operation through computers and mobile phones. The production of distribution system can predict the yield of different mushrooms nationwide for the next six months. The screen can also show the sales price of different mushrooms in different regions via the price distribution system channel.

“The IoT system has opened a ’smart umbrella’ for edible mushroom planting. Not only has it achieved smart agricultural operation in fields, but it also helped farmers adjust production according to the market trends,” said the person-in-charge of Baoji Shengli Modern Agriculture Development Limited.

IoT is prevalent in our daily lives. It is no longer necessary to have staff stationed in convenience stores, now users can scan codes to enter the store and purchase items themselves. The system can also conduct day-end closing after business hours by re-identifying selected products. Smart network chips can be installed in household appliances to achieve authentic human-computer interactions and better user experience. IoT can also be used in hospitals to allow remote surgical operations and remote treatment to greatly enhance efficiency. Moreover, in highway intersections, cameras are installed to automatically identify the information registered with licenses and charge the drivers based on the routes they drive, which increases the efficiency of operation and shortens waiting times.

IoT uses perception and network communication technology to achieve the wide connectivity of people, machines, and things, providing infrastructures for information perception, message transmission and information processing. As the society is transitioning and accelerating with digitalization and smart upgrades, IoT can now empower different functions in production and daily lives.

According to the “China Internet Development Report 2021” published by the Internet Society of China, the IoT market scale in China has exceeded $170 million and it is projected that it will surpass $200 million in 2022. The number of IoT smart connections of China Mobile is expected to reach 8.01 billion by 2025.

Experts believe that IoT has reached maturity and now can be applied to various scenarios. Currently, IoT has been widely used in traditional industries such as construction machinery and aerospace manufacturing. Other devices equipped with IoT sensors include wearables, smart households, smart medical care, Internet of Vehicles and early warning systems, which have all been applied to our daily routines.

Buses undertaking city patrol tasks

A number of cameras are installed in moving buses on streets in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province. These cameras monitor the real-time conditions of buses and collect data through the software and hardware system for example on-board sensors and microcomputer stations. The information collected can display on the “5G+ cloud-network integrated urban perception system” produced by China Mobile, turning the bus into a city inspector, which combines pioneering technology like IoT, 5G telecommunications, AI identification and big data.

The urban information is transmitted to the cloud through the 5G private network to undergo big data aggregation and computing, to achieve a real-time understanding of incidents in the city across spaces in multiple dimensions, and ultimately form a country-wide, full-process urban smart governance model.

The integration and penetration of a new-generational communication technology has accelerated as digital economy proliferates. In the midst of pandemic, IoT played a prominent role in contemporary communication technology, which reduced the cost of monitoring and risks since it was deployed to conduct contactless temperature measurement, facial recognition and health codes. 

In the “List of IoT Applied Scenarios Projects in 2021” released by the MIIT, 42 projects have achieved significant technological breakthrough in IoT, or have acquired innovations in technological integration between IoT and 5G, big data, AI and blockchain. Among these projects, the spotlight goes to the integrated application of 5G, for example the research and verification of vehicle-road coordination technology based on 5G and AI; research, development, and application of 5G adaptive intelligent gateway for multiple industrial settings; as well as research and application of precise positioning based on 5G+ Beidou.

The Chinese Academy of Engineering said that 5G era creates more rooms for IoT development since it promotes IoT evolution with broadband connections and built-in security mechanisms that enhance IoT application values.

Industrial development ushering in a golden age

In September 2021, eight departments under the MIIT jointly released the “3-Year Action Plan for the Construction of New IoT Infrastructures (2021-2023)”, outlining their aims to complete preliminary construction of IoT infrastructures in major cities by the end of 2023. They intend to drive the growth of 10 IoT companies and transform them into industry-leading enterprises with over $10 billion in production values and more than 2 billion IoT connections. Experts said that Chinese IoT industry is entering a golden stage driven by favorable policies, increasing market demands and investments.

According to the Internet Society of China, the development of IoT in China is also facing problems like fragmentation, security risks and high cost. Aside from that, the integration of IoT with 5G, AI and cloud computing faces other challenges. The head of  MIIT said that there were still some ongoing problems that need to be consistently resolved; to promote the development of China’s IoT, for example shortcomings of core technologies, scope of industrial ecology, insufficient scalable applications, and challenges in sustaining industrial development.

Mr. Wu Qi, Executive Director of Wuxi Digital Economy Research Institute, said in an interview that to empower productions and daily lives better with IoT technology the focus should under three aspects. First, build comprehensive IoT standards and proactively participate in the formulation of international IoT benchmark. Second, build an IoT security system to improve the policies and regulations on IoT security, while accelerating the development of IoT security and  defensive technologies. The third aspect to focus on is creating more typical IoT application scenarios for nurturing new business models based on IoT technology and eventually promoting the integrated implementation of IoT technology, products and models.

“In the new terrain of IoT and smart cities, the application scenarios led by driving and distributed systems have put forward higher requirements for information node traffic and computing power. 5G is the only way to upgrade the basic telecommunication network and strengthen the construction of the new-generation mobile infrastructure,” Mr. Chen Jia, a researcher of the International Monetary Institute at Renmin University of China said. He also pointed out that it is essential to formulate talent retention strategies as talent acquisition closely intertwines with the research and development of IoT application scenarios. Concurrently, technical supervision departments should also take preventive measures against any spillover risks and construct a long-term mechanism for risk management.