China Unicom earmarks May 5G launch - Mobile World Live

China Unicom earmarks May 5G launch

23 APR 2019

China Unicom targeted a launch of commercial 5G services next month, as it looks to accelerate the country’s rollout and keep pace with early movers across the world.

The company made the announcement at its Partner Conference in Shanghai, which it held alongside chip partner Qualcomm and a number of device makers.

Qualcomm added in a statement that it is supporting the operator’s 5G rollout in collaboration with device makers OnePlus, Oppo, nubia, Vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE, which will deploy products powered by its Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform and X50 5G Modem.

At the conference, being held this week, the companies will showcase the readiness of 5G devices and networks in the country via a number of demonstrations.

Qiang Fu, general manager, network expansion department at China Unicom, said it was now “preparing for the arrival of the 5G era”, while Qualcomm China’s chairman Frank Meng said it was excited for “Chinese consumers to experience 5G’s truly transformative wireless experience in 2019″.

VentureBeat noted China Unicom’s announcement was particularly significant, with the timeline for China’s 5G rollout somewhat ambiguous at this stage. When the government allocated mid-band spectrum to the country’s operators in late 2018, China Daily mooted 2020 as the commercial launch target.

However, commercial launches by operators in South Korea and the US appear to have put pressure on Chinese operators to step-up their plans.

Indeed, China Unicom said in its most recent results statement last month that it was actively promoting its 5G network and holding industry application trials in key cities.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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