World’s largest 5G commercial services up and running

Beijing: China launched 5G mobile phone services on Friday, with analysts saying it is expected to become the world's largest 5G commercial market.

Ten million subscribers had pre-registered ahead of the launch. The technology offers data speeds 100 times faster than 4G.

Carriers China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom began offering 5G in 50 cities, with plan prices tied to speed for the first time, as well as data. China Unicom customers are being offered a top speed of 1Gbps for $US45 ($65) a month.

A man uses his smartphone near a display for 5G services from Chinese technology firm ZTE. China officially launched its 5G network on Thursday.Credit:AP

The cheapest package, based on data volume, offers 30 Gigabytes of data for $US18 a month.

China has 86,000 5G base stations in operation and expects to have 130,000 activated by the end of the year.

China plans to integrate 5G technology with the manufacturing industry, transport, energy and agriculture, said vice minister for information technology, Chen Zhaoxiang, at the launch. State media said 400 companies from 10 countries attended.

Chinese company Huawei, which provides much of China's 5G equipment, is facing US restrictions and uncertainty over whether critical components such as US microchips will continue to be supplied amid a technology race and trade war between the US and China.

State media said China's 5G market was open to foreign companies and American 5G chipmakers Qualcomm and Intel would benefit from Chinese sales.

South Korea was the first country to launch 5G commercial services. Australia has barred Huawei from participating in its 5G rollout.

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