China’s three state telecoms announced to roll-out 5G mobile phone services, on Thursday, a milestone in the country’s push to become a technology power even as it remains locked in a trade war with the U.S.
China Mobile’s, China Unicom and China Telecom’s said on their websites and online stores that 5G plans, which start from as low as 128 yuan a month, will be available from Friday, allowing Chinese consumers nationwide to use the ultra-fast mobile internet service.
The operators had planned to start the networks next year but accelerated the rollout just as the U.S. dug in on a boycott of China-based 5G equipment supplier and technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. Operators in the U.S. 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 under its huge population and investment by the companies.
“While some other countries launched 5G services earlier this year, China will have the largest commercial operating 5G network in the world on Friday,” Chris Lane and other analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein. wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “The scale of its network and the price of its 5G services will have a pivotal impact throughout the supply chain.”