Aerial photo taken on April 15, 2020 shows workers working at the construction site of a 5G base station at Chongqing Hi-tech Zone in Chongqing, Southwest China. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — 5G is expected to generate 810.9 billion yuan (about $124.15 billion) of direct economic output in 2020, according to a white paper.

China has established more than 700,000 5G base stations since the country greenlighted the commercial use of 5G in 2019, said the white paper from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

Promising faster connection speeds, wider broadband and lower latency, the 5G network is regarded as the “infrastructure” for a variety of next-generation digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and driverless vehicles.

Noting China’s 5G network has not yet achieved nationwide coverage and its supporting industries are still in infancy, the white paper said the 5G industry will enter a critical development period over the next two to three years.

“5G applications will be commercially available step by step during the period,” said Liu Duo, head of the academy.