Siemens Mobility, the transportation unit of German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG, said it plans to build a 5G network innovation center for studies in road traffic in China to provide digital transportation solutions using 5G technology.
"The future technologies of mobility, such as autonomous driving and traffic management, require 5G. China has taken a leading position in the development of 5G globally," said Juergen Model, CEO of Siemens Mobility for China.
The company said it believes the future of the transportation world will be seen in China, and its deployment of 5G will be realized soon. It said it is critical to establish an R&D center in the country and Siemens Mobility hopes to play a leading role in R&D in this area.
"China has a significant market growth potential of its 5G network and it has been leading the development of 5G. This year, 5G will cover 50 cities, and about 300 cities will get 5G connections next year. In the year after that, the connection is likely to be available nationwide," said Xiang Ligang, a telecom expert and chief executive of industry website Cctime.
"Besides, China has the largest high-speed train network globally, and the largest number of customers. The country will be able to provide a good market, technology support and testing sites to set up a potential R&D center on the future of transportation," he said.
The location of the innovation center is still under discussion, and this would depend on the recruitment of talent, market scale and potential, the company said.
Separately, Siemens has established its first mass transit signaling innovation R&D center in Fuzhou, Fujian province, which is also the first mass transit R&D center in Asia.
"Fuzhou is a new market that we entered and it is quite important. Currently, we have about 40 engineers working at the center, and we will ramp up R&D talents and efforts as we aim to provide more future technology solutions for China and global markets. We are looking to hire more professionals with backgrounds in digitalization," Model said.
For an important market like China, just doing engineering and manufacturing is not enough, and the company needs to do more R&D tailored to the country, Model added. In the past two years, the company has provided intense professional training for engineers and the innovation center has utilized several sophisticated technologies.
The company entered the Chinese market 120 years ago. It has participated in China's transportation infrastructure growth by providing key components to high-speed trains and urban rail transit systems nationwide.
By June 30, a total of 37 cities in the Chinese mainland had rail transit systems in operation with a total length of 6,127 kms, the China Association of Metros said. Among them, the metro systems of 25 cities used components of Siemens Mobility.
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