(Yicai Global) Sept. 10 -- Responding to reports that China's three major telecoms operators plan to offer price cuts to tempt consumers to use their fifth-generation mobile networks, insiders at the carriers said they had not heard of any such plans, the Securities Daily reported.
China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile vied for 3G and 4G customers by lowering charges. But they will spend less on 5G promotions because they have invested too much in base stations and must trim costs, according to Jiang Han, an adviser at Shangyou Finance.
Experts believe that 5G-based mobile phones are not expensive, some cost the same as 4G units, so subsidies would result in vicious competition, making it unlikely that the three major telecoms carriers would resort to price cutting.
"Whether consumers buy 5G phones or not will depend on the progress of the 5G network coverage and the starting price of such phones," said Wang Zhengnan, an experienced observer in the telecoms field. "I believe many potential consumers would like to be early adopters" if 5G phones sell for around CNY2,000 (USD281) and the network coverage is wide.
Public use of 5G networks will take another two years, Wang noted, adding that telecoms operators have large funding gaps building the network, so they will trial it mostly in developed areas and are likely to gradually lower the price in the second half of next year.