The nation's three major telecoms operators may start 5G network commercial trials on Friday, which is World Telecommunications Day, and they've already offered service upgrades for certain users to get feedback, said industry insiders.
"The preliminary phase of the commercial trials will be launched in representative areas ... cities such as Beijing and Shenzhen have been supplied with ample base stations to support further trials," Xiang Ligang, a Beijing-based senior industry expert, told the Global Times on Monday.
Other smaller regions including Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi Province, and the Xiongan New Area in North China's Hebei Province could be on the trial list as well to help telecoms operators complete their databases, Xiang noted.
It would be in line with the 5G technology promotion schedule of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which plans to issue commercial 5G licenses in late 2019 or early 2020.
Multiple 5G smartphone models from Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo and others will be launched this year, ready for commercial trials, according to data from Counterpoint, a Hong Kong-based global industry analysis firm, on Friday.
The telecoms operators have sought to promote their 5G infrastructure programs nationwide. Many base stations have been deployed with related applications been tested, such as voice calls, remote driving tests, remote surgery and others.
China Unicom announced a "7+33+n" network deployment project to build 5G networks in seven major Chinese cities and 33 hot regions. It will also launch application experiments in many cities, said a statement posted on the company's website in April.
China Mobile has submitted an application for the regulator to issue 5G licenses, the National Business Daily reported in March.
Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei said in March that the ministry will issue 5G licenses at the appropriate time according to industry and application conditions, according to the ministry's website.