Reports in Chinese local media indicate that there are now more than 770 million 4G users in the country by end of 2016 – double the user base as compared to end of 2015.
This increase in 4G users means that by the end of last year more than 58 per cent of China’s mobile phone users had subscribed to 4G. The information came from Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)’s spokesperson and chief engineer Zhang Feng.
The number of 4G users was 386 million at the end of 2015. China has the world’s largest 4G network and is aiming to add two million 4G base stations, mainly for townships and villages, by 2018.
China is investing heavily in research and testing of 5G technology and has a goal of commercialising the technology by end of this decade. The research and development work has entered the second phase, according to Zhang, who noted that China would strengthen international cooperation in the process.
“Compared with 4G, 5G is much faster and more reliable and can be used to support virtual reality technology, ultra-high definition video transmission, autopilot and smart manufacturing,” Zhang was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.