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China Mobile marches ahead with 5G trials

By Ma Si | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-12-08 18:45

China Mobile, the country's largest telecom carrier by mobile subscribers, said on Saturday that it is starting large-scale 5G trials and application tests in 17 cities, including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, as part of its broad push to quicken the rollout of the technology.

Also, the Beijing-based company said it plans to set up a 30 billion yuan ($4.36 billion) fund to promote the maturity of the 5G telecom industry chain. China Mobile and other companies will jointly contribute to the fund, whose first phase will be 10 billion yuan.

The move came shortly after China allocated specific low and medium-frequency bands to the nation's major three telecom carriers, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, to accelerate the steps toward the commercialization of 5G.

Shang Bing, chairman of China Mobile, said "We will spare no efforts to start the construction of large-scale 5G trial network, so as to enable pre-commercial use of the superfast technology in 2019 and its official commercialization in 2020."

The company, which has obtained frequency bands in the range from 2,515 to 2,675 megahertz and 4,800 to 4,900 MHz to build network, said it will work hard to quicken the maturity of end-to-end products and services.

After building the world's largest 4G network with 2.04 million 4G base stations, China Mobile now boasts more than 920 million mobile subscribers and 150 million wireline broadband connections. It is scrambling to establish a beachhead in the upcoming 5G era.

Wang Xiaoyun, general manager of China Mobile's technology department, said the large-scale 5G trials in Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou and Wuhan are aimed at tackling technical difficulties that are impeding commercial use.

"We will take relevant technologies products out of laboratories and test them in real-time. Such efforts will demand strong cooperation and interactive tests from China Mobile and our multiple partners," Wang said.

Also, such network trials will target different application scenarios, to prepare for the optimization, planning, construction and operation of 5G network in the near future.

The company also said it will scramble efforts to experiment with typical 5G applications in 12 cities.

To prepare for the 5G era when almost everything can be connected to the internet, China Mobile also said it will launch its own-brand 5G devices in the first half of next year, including smartphones.

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