China Mobile released new 5G mobile phones and packages on Tuesday, the first carrier to do so after the country issued 5G licenses in June.
China Mobile, with more than 800 million mobile subscribers, released 10,000 5G models on Tuesday offering invited 5G testers. It also kicked off a self-branded 5G smartphone which will be available on the market in August, said Wang Hengjiang, vice general manager of China Mobile’s mobile end business.
The package offering China Mobile’s invited 5G testers includes 200 gigabyte data traffic, 1,000 minutes of calls and 100 short messages. The mobile ends of the testers include 5G phones and mobile data cards, which turns 5G signals to Wi-Fi.
“Many 5G smartphones will debut in China at the end of this year, with a price about 5,000 yuan (US$735) on average,” Wang told Shanghai Daily. “The price will be cut to 1,000 to 2,000 yuan by the end of 2020.”
Soon, 4G and 5G data will both be included in new traffic packages, said China Mobile.
On June 6, China granted 5G licenses to China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and the China Broadcasting Network — the nation’s top three telecommunications carriers and its national broadcaster.
5G is up to 50 times faster than 4G.
China is not the first country to release 5G, but its massive user base catapults it into world leadership. In addition to creating jobs and business opportunities, it will mean faster Internet access for consumers, industry association GSMA said.
ZTE and Huawei, Chinese telecommunications equipment makers, have also announced major 5G investments. They are expected to offer 5G base stations to Chinese carriers including China Mobile, the companies said on Tuesday.
GTI, a global industry association including China Mobile and other major carriers, expects 5G will soon be offered by 135 carriers globally, including 40 in the Belt and Road regions.