China rolls out 'one of the world's largest' 5G networks

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China officially launches 5G networks on November 1

Three of the biggest mobile companies in China have launched 5G services in 50 of its cities, according to China's state-run news service Xinhua.

South Korea is the largest 5G subscriber market so far, but thanks to the sheer size of the Chinese market, even with lower penetration China is expected to overtake South Korea and the United States to become the world's largest 5G market.

5G, the next generation of mobile technology, promises lightning-fast speeds and has set the tech community abuzz for months.

Chinese carriers officially launched 5G services in the world's largest market on November 1, but the coverage remains limited only to major Chinese cities and key areas in lower-tier cities for the initial rollout.

The 5G commercial services are now available in 50 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Subscribers of China Mobile that pay 598 yuan ($85) per month will be able to use 300GB of data with download speeds of up to 1Gbps, whereas the entry-level plans will only have 300Mbps download speeds.

With more than one billion active subscriptions, the country is the world's largest mobile market, while 5G development has received strong support from industry heavyweights like Huawei and the government.

The three telecom operators have already pushed 5G preregistration with plentiful discounts and free 5G data allowance and managed to attract interest from more than 10 million subscribers after the National Day holiday.

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

Beijing, which is embroiled in a trade and technology war with Washington, is hoping to woo India and other countries with its telecom technology. 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). Huawei, which has been at the center of the trade war between the two countries, played a major role in the network's deployment as the nation's major carriers awarded almost half of their 5G networking contracts to the company.

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