The world’s largest mobile operator China Mobile officially announced its first self-branded 5G smartphone – the Pioneer X1 – as it pushes ahead with ambitious plans to launch the next-generation service in more than 50 cities by the end of the year.

The 5G device has a 6.47-inch display, is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and is priced at CNY4,988 ($697).

Customers can order the model online or at its retail outlets. The operator aims to introduce more than 100 5G smartphone models in the coming months, the China Daily wrote.

China Mobile, with a 59 per cent share of mobile subscribers in the mainland, is developing non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) networks concurrently, with SA its ultimate goal. It plans to deploy 50,000 5G base stations by year-end.

In early June, Chinese authorities issued four licences for the new network technology.

Both Huawei and ZTE introduced their first 5G models in China in August.