(Oct 31): China’s three state-owned wireless carriers debuted 5G mobile phone services Thursday, a milestone in the country’s push to become a technology power even as it remains locked in a trade war with the US.
China Mobile, the country’s largest carrier, unveiled its network in 50 cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, with packages priced as low as 128 yuan ($25) a month. Rivals China Telecom Corp and China Unicom Hong Kong also introduced their services at comparable rates.
The operators had planned to start the networks next year, but accelerated the rollout just as the US dug in on a boycott of China-based 5G equipment supplier and technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. Operators in the US have introduced 5G to parts of some cities, without using Huawei gear, and South Korea debuted its version in April, though China will quickly become the largest provider by virtue of its huge population and investment by the companies.