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China to launch the world's largest 5G mobile phone network

2019-10-31 18:00 by
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At a technology conference in Beijing on Thursday, China's three state-owned wireless carriers announced they will roll out commercial 5G services on Friday, 1 November, two months ahead of plan. Beijing had originally said it would launch the ultra-fast mobile internet service early next year. But it accelerated its plans as tensions with the United States, especially over its boycott of telecoms giant Huawei Technologies, heated up.

Authorities have said that they plan to install over 50,000 5G base stations across 50 Chinese cities in the country by the end of this year, and that big cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou, are already covered by the 5G network.

China Mobile's, China Unicom and China Telecom's said on their websites and online stores that 5G plans, which start from as low as 128 yuan a month, will be available from Friday, allowing Chinese consumers nationwide to use the ultra-fast mobile internet service.

Chinese companies from Xiaomi to Huawei have also unveiled new products in anticipation of the 5G roll out, with Huawei saying that it anticipates to start seeing a revenue uplift from the sector next year.

China is by no means the first country to release 5G technology to consumers. Over 40 countries around the world—and dozens of cities in the U.S.—already have some version of the mobile technology in use. Yet the introduction of 5G to China's domestic market stands apart because, unlike U.S. rollouts, its spectrum allows for the deployment of the technology on a massive scale.

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