China officially launches ‘one of the world’s largest’ 5G networks, with plans available for as low as $18
Chinese mobile operators have offered 5G services to the country’s consumers as the world’s largest market officially made the network available on November 1.
The fifth-generation of mobile internet connectivity (5G) promises much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections.
The three state-backed operators China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom had initially scheduled the launch for next year, but accelerated the rollout.
The superfast service is now available to consumers in 50 Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. Prices for monthly plans start from 128 yuan ($18), providing users with 30GB data and 500 minutes of voice chat.
According to the government, more than 130,000 5G base stations will be activated by the end of the year to support the network. This would make it one of the world’s largest 5G deployments, Beijing said.
More than 10 million users have registered for 5G plans from the three local Chinese carriers ahead of the launch, local media reported in early October.
A recent report from an international association in the mobile industry GSMA projected that China will lead the global 5G revolution with more than 600 million 5G subscribers by 2025.
Chinese telecom giant Huawei made the first global 5G call and launched the first 5G terminal device in 2018. The company has been caught in the crossfire of the US-China trade war as the two countries have been fighting for leadership in the technology sector.
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