CHINA HAS THE largest population in the world, so it's only fair it should have a 5G service to match. And starting today, that's just what it's getting, with the country promising one of the world's biggest 5G networks.
Its kicked off in 50 Chinese cities, which certainly makes it bigger than current UK efforts, and there are plans to activate over 130,000 5G base stations by the end of the year.
If you're in China and want to try it, you'll be paying between 128 yuan to 599 yuan per month - which is around £14 to £65. That discrepancy relates to speed as well as quantity, but it still seems quite steep. But, hey: just think how much faster you'll be able to reach a "blocked by the government" message than before.
The plan was originally for China to get its 5G rollout next year, but the country has accelerated the plan, probably in part to keep up with the Joneses - or rather the Trumps. As well as insisting Chinese telecoms giant Huawei will have nothing to the US' own 5G plans, the president previously said "the race to 5G is on and we must win." But if they don't there's always 6G, eh Mr President?
The 5G switch on should see a boost in compatible handset sales. The state media report estimates that 497,000 China-made 5G smartphones were purchased by retailers in September. If all of those get into the hands of buyers, then that's 0.4 per cent of the country's population enjoying super-fast speeds.
Add that to the "more than 10 million 5G subscribers" the government claims that pricing promotions have already attracted and we're up to eight per cent already. The race is on. µ
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