China to launch 5G commercial services next year

China is expected to launch commercial operations of 5G communication in 2018, according to the 19th China High-Tech Fair that concluded Tuesday.

With the development of the latest communication technology, China’s three major telecom companies are striving to realize large-scale application of the service in 2020.

The previous four generations of telecom technologies focused on people-to-people communication, while the latest generation will connect humans to things.

“4G changed your life, 5G will change society,” noted Ding Haiyu, director of China Mobile Research Institute’s wireless division.

In addition, 5G technology is almost 100% reliable and consumes little power at low cost. This means almost anything can be equipped with wireless communication technology in the future, enabling wireless communication to develop into a general technology just like electricity.

China started technical tests of 5G communication in January last year and has completed the planning of a 30-site 5G test field in Huairou District, Beijing. The next phase of testing will begin later this year or early 2018.

The initial 5G network should be achieved in June 2018 and the complete version in September 2019. Large-scale commercial operation is expected to be realized in 2020.

Responding to some concern about the new communication technology, an insider explained that the cost will decrease as techniques and services improve. Overall, a household’s communication expense is expected to go down.

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