Chinese telecom firms launch 5G services

Huawei 5G TV

But despite its ambitious plans for 5G, China had not been expected to launch commercial networks until next year, long after the US, South Korea and the UK.

China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom are now offering data plans that begin from CNY128 (about $18/€16) for 30 GB of data and go as high as CNY599 ($85/€76) for 300 gigs. It promises much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections.

The world's largest mobile operator by subscribers are going to offer 5G services in 50 cities, including all the major cities across the country, according to its press release. In addition to talking about new experience offered by 5G in cloud-based gaming and HD video, the operator also stressed 5G+Cloud+AI offers to industry customers, including industrial internet, smart cities, smart medical care, smart education, transport and logistics, and smart energy. As many as 18 5G smartphone varieties were rolled out this year, and some 7,87,000 5G handsets were shipped, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

China's three major state-run telecom operators have unveiled their 5G network, as the country aims at becoming the global leader in next generation telecom technology surpassing the U.S. and other western nations.

This would make it one of the world's largest 5G deployments, it said.

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The three major mobile operators have already registered over 10 million 5G users before the official commercialisation launch, it said.

This generation of mobile technology is the first time that China will assume a major leadership role.

China and the United States have been fighting for leadership in the technology sector in recent months, with Chinese tech giant Huawei at the centre of their power struggle.

Sales of 5G phones in China remain a very small portion of the overall market however, as only 219,000 5G smartphones were sold in China in August.

Despite the success of 5G networks at home, Chinese telecom equipment giants have faced regulatory push back overseas. Huawei, blacklisted by the United States, reportedly played a major role in China's 5G rollout.

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