China deploys world’s largest 5G network

China deploys one of the world’s largest 5G networks

07 November 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom have launched 5G services for its consumers.

The three stated-backed operators had originally planned to launch the services in 2020 but accelerated the rollout making it the world’s largest 5G market following the granted licenses awarded to the three carriers for commercial 5G service in June.

Although it should be noted that South Korea, the US and the UK were first to roll out their 5G networks earlier this year.

The new 5G services are now available across 50 Chinese cities, including Beijing and shanghai, with prices as low as $18 (128 yuan). To date more than 10 million users have registered for 5G plans ahead of the launch.

According to Chen Zhaoxiong, vice-minister of industry and information technology, more than 86,000 5G base stations have already entered service in China with a further 130,000 5G base stations set to go live by the end of the year to support this new network.

In addition, Wang Zhiqin, deputy director of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, said: "China will embark on large-scale 5G network construction next year. This will further the use of the cutting-edge technology in more traditional sectors and lay a sound digital infrastructure for manufacturing upgrades."

The project has also caught the attention of some of the countries biggest vendors. Ding Yun, president of Huawei Technologies Co's carrier business group, said the company “is ready to help China build the best 5G network possible by fully tapping into its technological prowess.”

Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China, added "Currently, we have worked with partners to launch multiple 5G smartphones and bring the 5G experience within reach. Moving forward, we will continue to join forces to bring diverse 5G-powered, innovative applications to more consumers and industries."

According to a forecast by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association, China is set to become the world's largest 5G market by 2025, with 460 million 5G users.