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In Depth: China Races Early Into the 5G Era

By Ye Zhanqi, Hou Qijiang, Liu Shuangshuang, Qin Min and Teng Jing Xuan / Jun 17, 2019 10:57 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: Caixin

Photo: Caixin

Zeng Jianqiu  has an early review of 5G internet. The Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications professor has been using the next-generation mobile technology on his phone for more than a week, one of the first in China to do so.

“It feels great,” Zeng said. “The internet is really fast, and there’s no buffering at all with HD videos. When there’s no 5G signal, the switch to 4G is also very smooth.”

Although the China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) originally planned to begin commercial licensing of 5G technology in 2020, the government advanced the rollout earlier this month. At a ceremony June 6, MIIT chief Miao Wei handed license documents to the heads of China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and China Broadcasting Network Co. Ltd.

The moment was seen as a milestone marking China’s accelerated entry into the 5G era. China is in an international race to build 5G networks amid worsening trade tensions with the U.S., including a Trump administration move to cut off leading Chinese 5G equipment maker Huawei from American suppliers.

At the same time, much remains uncertain about China’s 5G future, including how to make the transition, what applications the technology will have, and what roles different operators will play.

Get the full story at Caixin Global

Contact reporter Teng Jing Xuan (

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