(Yicai Global) Jan. 11 -- China will issue provisional licenses for fifth-generation wireless networks in some parts of the country this year and expects 5G mobile phones and tablet computers to become commercially available in the second half.
The government will grant interim licenses in several cities, enabling them to take the lead and accelerate infrastructure building, Information Technology Minister Miao Yu said yesterday in an interview with national broadcaster China Central Television.
China is forging ahead in the global development of 5G networks, which are expected to be at least 10 times faster than the current 4G technology and will be essential to the Internet of Things. The country's three mobile carriers -- China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom -- have installed 5G test networks in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
The new technology presents a lucrative opportunity for them and Chinese telecoms equipment and smartphone makers like ZTE, Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi, which are collectively pouring billions of US dollars into 5G development projects.