China Broadnet, China’s fourth telecommunication operator, has formally launched 5G services.
The launch event held at the Museum of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was attended by Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee.
The official website of China Broadnet, www.10099.com.cn, opened to the public on the same day. People can order new China Broadnet SIM cards on the site. The phone number will start with 192.
The website said the current commercial 5G service is still in the test phase, which means problems may occur to users, and the company won’t take responsibility for the consequences. The end date of the test phase has not been announced yet.
The company’s mobile service starts at 38 yuan (about $6) monthly, with 10 gigabytes of data and 50 minutes of voice calling, and goes as high as 588 yuan (about $88) with 398 GB data and 1,600 minutes of voice calling.
At this price, China Broadnet appears more cost-effective than China Mobile. But the established three carriers all offer many discounts to attract users.
The number in the website’s domain name, 10099, is also the company’s service phone number, which now provides 5G-related services.
No information about home broadband service can be found of the website as of Monday afternoon.
The service launch marks a breakthrough in the integration of national cable TV networks, and 5G integrated development and early successes in developing a new “cable plus 5G” integrated development paradigm for China’s radio and TV networks.
A key advantage of China Broadnet’s 5G is the 700 megahertz signal, which is better than the other three carriers’ services in signal strength.
Yet, the company has to build many base stations to cover the whole country. China Broadnet is cooperating with China Mobile to share base stations.
Also, the lower signal frequency will limit the max speed of China Broadnet’s 5G, which may not have a big impact on users’ choices since even 4G speed can satisfy most users for now.
With the 5G services’ launch, China Broadnet vows to speed up the development of a new-type radio and TV communication network, a national cultural network, and a national, new-type infrastructure network.
The company has rebranded as its current name and launched phone number reservations in early June.
China Broadnet was granted a 5G license for commercial use in 2019.
China Space Station: Homegrown solar array powers nation’s space ambition
As China’s first lab module Wentian, belonging to its space station – also the largest and heaviest spacecraft – has been sent to the space, the solar wings installed on it has also grabbed attention since it’s the largest flexible solar array the country ever used for a spacecraft.
The wingspan of the pair of solar panels on the Wentian lab module can reach over 55 meters long. Each solar wing spreads to 110 square meters when fully unfolded – almost as large as a decent sized apartment with a living room and three bedrooms. The total area of the solar array will reach as large as 400 square meters when three main modules including the core module and the two lab modules are assembled.
Wentian’s solar wing is two times larger than that of the core module Tianhe. Only four of such solar wings can generate 80 percent of the power for the combination of the core module and two lab modules.
There are a slew of dark-color glass-like pieces aligned on the solar wings, forming a solar array which can achieve a high power conversion efficiency of 30 percent. Traditional solar panels only convert 15-22 percent of the sun’s energy into electricity.
The power supply capacity of the batteries supported by the solar wings can generate an average of over 430 kilowatt electricity daily – enough for the consumption of an ordinary household for one and a half months.
The solar wings are installed at the tail of the Wentian module to avoid being blocked by each other at certain angles from the sun and to maximize the power generation efficiency .
Flexible solar wing technology
It is not the first time that China has adopted flexible solar wings as an energy source for a spacecraft. In fact, the flexible solar wings were first used on the core module Tianhe with each wing measuring 67 square meters.
The application of solar wings for China’s space projects has witnessed the country’s ceaseless advance in solar array technology.
It developed its first generation rigid solar array technology for the Shenzhou manned spaceship project. Then the second generation of semi-rigid solar array technology was adopted for the Tianzhou cargo spacecraft.
The flexible solar array technology is the third generation technology which has been used on all the modules of the space station.
The estimated electricity consumption for three taikonauts living and working in the space station for one day is roughly 320 kilowatt. The traditional rigid or semi-rigid solar wings failed to meet the demand due to the limitation of its size, weight and power. That’s where the flexible solar wings came in.
Compared with the traditional rigid and semi-rigid solar cell wings, the flexible wings are small in size, large in deployment area, and high in power-to-weight ratio.
The flexible wing is only one book thick after being folded, which is only 1/15 of the rigid solar wing. During the launch, the flexible solar wings were first folded tightly like a closed accordion. Each panel is less than one millimeter thick, thus reducing the volume of the folded arrays to just 20 percent the volume of traditional solar panels.
It is made of ultra-thin lightweight composite materials, and the coating thickness of the glue layer used to protect the space environment is also strictly controlled.
China to improve sci-tech services for rural population
China will launch a national campaign to better mobilize the science and technology sector to contribute to the country’s rural revitalization drive, according to a new set of guidelines.
Jointly issued by the China Association for Science and Technology and the National Rural Revitalization Administration, the guidelines specify a series of key tasks, including providing sci-tech training, lectures and industry-specific guidance to rural areas.
Sci-tech associations at all levels are called on to lead grassroots sci-tech workers to join in the work of rural revitalization.
The guidelines also require the relevant authorities to incorporate the construction of science popularization facilities into the overall layout of rural infrastructure, expand the service coverage of mobile science popularization facilities and build more sci-tech museums in rural secondary schools.
China’s Tianzhou-3 cargo spacecraft re-enters Earth’s atmosphere
Tianzhou-3, a cargo spacecraft that carried supplies to China’s space station, made a controlled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere at 11:31 a.m. on Wednesday (Beijing Time), according to the China Manned Space Agency.
The Long March-7 Y4 rocket carrying the Tianzhou-3 blasted off at 3:10 p.m. (BJT) on September 20, 2021, from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China’s Hainan Province. It carried about six tonnes of goods, including food items and spacesuits, to the country’s under-construction space station. Six and a half hours later, the cargo spacecraft docked with core module Tianhe at 10:08 p.m. (BJT) on the same day.
The Tianzhou-3 separated from the space station core module Tianhe on July 17, 2022, after completing all assigned assembly tasks.
It is the third mission of China’s Tianzhou-class unmanned cargo spacecraft and the second resupply mission to the space station after Tianzhou-2.
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