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China to roll out 5G broadband mobile equipment trials across 100 cities

Kareyst Lin | Oct. 13, 2016
5G networks can transmit data 20 times faster than 4G, with less than one tenth of the latency.

China has started conducting trials of 5G telecommunications equipment that will span more than 100 cities, across more than 20 provinces. The country aims to get a headstart in the race to lead the next generation of cellular phone systems.

High-speed 5G networks can transmit data 20 times faster than current 4G speed, with less than one tenth of the latency, said South China Morning Post in a report on 5 October 2016.

The 5G technologies being tested include massive multiple-antenna systems capable of handling more users and increased capacity to support greater mobile data usage, according to Bernstein Research.

The International Telecommunications Union, which is part of the United Nations, expects network deployments to begin in 2020 soon after the standards are set for 5G. This is technically known as IMT-2020.

Having a single standard - a unified set of industry benchmarks - would be beneficial. This would get rid of the additional expense and complexity that went into supporting multiple standards for network equipment and smart devices in the 3G and 4G era.

Fierce competition expected among service providers to be early adopters of 5G

Lane predicted fierce competition among individual service providers to become early adopters of the technology. "Given the advantage of being an early mover, all telecommunications network operators will have an incentive to invest in 5G ahead of others," he said.

China Mobile, for example, benefited from being head in 4G deployment on the mainland. 

 

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