China has officially entered the 5G era, with the pilot cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen firmly in the vanguard. China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom have unveiled 5G plans based on transmission speeds in both cities, where coverage is ramping up quickly. These range between RMB128 and RMB 599 a month.
Applications and handsets are expected to grow fast in both cities. Guangdong has built 21,473 5G base stations, first in the country, including 10,626 in Guangzhou and 9,504 in Shenzhen. Dongguan and Foshan also have some, and the rest of the GBA cities will be ramping up in the coming months. By the end of this year, Guangdong’s total is expected to hit 34,800.
For 5G commercial services, applications will be very different than what has come before, thanks to high speeds, low latency and wider range of connections. Much focus is being placed on ultra-high definition video, VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality) and AIOT (Artificial Intelligence Internet of Things).
China Mobile’s provincial unit held launch events yesterday and today in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan and Foshan. The key message was that mobile customers will not need to change their cards or numbers; they just need a new handset.
China Unicom’s provincial unit noted that certain districts in Guangzhou had already been largely covered, especially key areas such as Zhujiang New Town, Baiyun New Town, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center and Bio Island. The most densely populated areas of the city should all be done by the end of the year.
In Shenzhen, the Qianhai special economic zone was the first to get full coverage. Other key areas with coverage include the Nanshan Science and Technology Park, Huaqiang North, Xin’an and Fuyong, and full coverage of the main districts is expected by the end of the year.