Tem­po­rary li­censes for 5G get govt nod

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By MA SI [email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

The na­tion will grant tem­po­rary 5G li­censes this year to pro­mote the ap­pli­ca­tion and con­struc­tion of fifth-gen­er­a­tion mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy, the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, the na­tion’s top in­dus­try reg­u­la­tor, said on Thursday.

Min­is­ter of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Miao Wei said tem­po­rary 5G li­censes will be is­sued in a num­ber of cities to en­able the large-scale con­struc­tion of 5G net­works in key cities and re­gions.

The min­istry will also ac­cel­er­ate ef­forts to push for­ward the devel­op­ment of 5G hard­ware, in­clud­ing smart­phones, Miao said in an interview with China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion on Thursday.

As part of its broader push to lead the global race to­ward com­mer­cial­iz­ing 5G, China will also ex­pe­dite the use of the su­per­fast tech­nol­ogy in ed­u­ca­tion, med­i­cal care, el­der­ly­care and other sec­tors, Miao added.

The com­ments came as China’s big three tele­com car­ri­ers are all start­ing large-scale 5G tri­als and ap­pli­ca­tion tests. The state-of-theart tech­nol­ogy is ex­pected to be 10 times faster than 4G and will sup­port su­per­fast movie down­loads, self-driv­ing cars and the stream­ing of vir­tual re­al­ity games.

China Mo­bile, the coun­try’s largest tele­com car­rier by mo­bile sub­scribers, said in De­cem­ber that it is start­ing large-scale 5G tri­als and ap­pli­ca­tion tests in 17 cities, in­clud­ing Shang­hai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou. China Uni­com and China Tele­com are also work­ing on sim­i­lar tri­als af­ter the govern­ment al­lo­cated spe­cific low and medi­um­fre­quency bands to them.

China is eye­ing pre-com­mer­cial use of 5G this year and of­fi­cial com­mer­cial­iza­tion in 2020.

Fu Liang, an in­de­pen­dent tele­com an­a­lyst, said tem­po­rary li­censes are ex­actly what China’s tele­com in­dus­try needs.

“It is ex­cit­ing news for tele­com car­ri­ers, smart­phone mak­ers, mo­bile chip de­sign­ers and net­work builders, as it will ac­cel­er­ate the ma­tu­rity of the whole 5G in­dus­try chain,” Fu said.

China Mo­bile said in De­cem­ber that the first batch of 5G smart­phones will be priced above 8,000 yuan ($1,166). More than 30 pre­com­mer­cial 5G de­vices are likely to hit the mar­ket in 2019.

Ac­cord­ing to the Bei­jing-based com­pany, it will test the first batch of pro­to­type 5G smart­phones made by Huawei, Xiaomi, ZTE, Vivo, and Oppo in the first quar­ter of this year.

China Mo­bile also plans to set up a 30 bil­lion yuan fund to pro­mote in­dus­try­wide co­op­er­a­tion on 5G. China Mo­bile and other com­pa­nies will jointly con­trib­ute to the fund, the first phase of which will be 10 bil­lion yuan.

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