China has started research on 5G technology, which promises faster speed and higher bandwidth, since the beginning of the year so that hopefully it will be used commercially by 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said yesterday.
Between 2016 and 2018, the country intends to develop 5G telecommunications frequency and standard for testing and trial network operation before officially debuting the technology around 2020, said Zhang Feng, the ministry's telecommunications division head.
It's the first time the Chinese industry regulator has released a detailed 5G development timetable in the country, the world's biggest mobile phone market with over 1.3 billion users.
With improved speed and bandwidth of over 1 gigabyte per second and 10-20 times faster than the current 4G technology, 5G is set to spur new applications and developments in high-definition video communication and monitoring, virtual reality, self-driving cars and smart home, and also boost development of the Internet of Things.
Top firms including Huawei and Ericsson displayed their products that will adopt 5G at the Mobile World Congress, the world's biggest telecom industry conference, in Barcelona this week.
Ericsson expects China, South Korea, Japan and the United States to have 150 million 5G mobile subscriptions by 2021.
A 4.5G mobile network, a migration technology to 5G according to Huawei, is slated for commercial use in China and Japan next year.