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China Telecom's new role: an integrated service provider

ONE Belt, One Road refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a significant development initiative by the Chinese government to promote economic cooperation among countries along the proposed Belt and Road routes.

Among various efforts to support the Belt and Road initiative, the "Internet Plus" action plan unveiled in the recent Chinese Government Work Report in 2015 is one of the essential components that serves to connect China with the Belt and Road, by the integration of information and modern manufacturing.

China Telecom, the largest information infrastructure provider in China, has taken the initiative to play a more influential role than simply providing telecom services in this process of connecting China and the world.

Renowned domestically as one of the largest telecom operators, China Telecom is also the first Chinese carrier engaged in the international market, establishing overseas branch offices in 31 countries and regions worldwide.

As one of the world's top three investors in terrestrial and submarine cables and other resources, China Telecom endeavours to transform itself from a traditional telecom provider to an integrated service provider that offers a wide spectrum of smart and innovative solutions ranging from agriculture, finance, healthcare to logistics and more.

Smart City is one of the latest on the industry's comprehensive list of integrated solutions. Rapid urbanisation has seen the world's urban population totalling 3.9 billion by 2014 and projected to surpass 6 billion by 2050. More facilities and information that serves the expanded community and its population would be required.

However, without effective integration and data aggregation, more facilities and data in the city lead to lower efficiency. A "Brain" is needed to make good use of the data - Big Data Engine is the brain of Smart City that streamlines and processes all the data for this purpose.

Known as a tier one carrier in the world as well as a leading Smart City solution provider, China Telecom has established strategic partnerships with 22 provincial governments and 207 prefecture-level cities in China to provide full support to Smart City construction.

In Nanjing, China, the "Brain" established by China Telecom with 128 data analysis models processing daily information of up to 150 million entries from traffic, environment and other aspects have been assisting the local government achieve greater efficiency in its daily administration.

Similar projects of various scales are on-going in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Belarus, France, Australia, and elsewhere. All these efforts by China Telecom are to ensure that information is more accessible to government agencies, enterprises as well as residents, so that they know the city and understand the city.

In the next few years, Smart City will be promoted and popularised in more regions of China to make urban management more efficient and systematised. The concept of integrating various industries with the Internet can certainly bring us a lifestyle reform and lead the world to a connected future.

  • The writer is president, China Telecom (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Singapore