LIVE FROM HUAWEI GLOBAL MBB FORUM 2019, ZURICH: China Mobile EVP Zhao Dachun (pictured) added detail to its ambitious 5G plans, aiming to cover 340 cities by the end of 2020, and planning to tap the 2.6GHz and 4.9GHz bands to bring down the cost of service.

He noted it was important to lay down a high-quality 4G network to build a strong foundation for 5G, which it has done and had 724 million 4G users at end-June.

The operator previously announced plans to deploy 5G service in 50 cities by end-2019, with 50,000 base stations, along with the broader goal of delivering the technology to more than 300 cities at the prefecture level by end-2020.

To deliver high-quality 5G services across China, he said it will share network resources with other players.

The company sees 5G as a great magnifier technology, with the potential to allow operators to find new ways to generate revenue from data and create value.

China Mobile believes the technology will also “be an accelerator and cornerstone for vertical industries. It will be an important catalyst for new business models for various industries”.

He said as 5G adoption grows, it will revolutionise the consumer experience, drive economic growth and change society: “We will work together to help build ubiquitous connectivity.”

China Mobile is taking a new approach to cooperation by making it easier for partners to join its ecosystem, he said. “We want to contribute to make industries more efficient. No one can work alone, so it’s important to work with partners.”