Mobile phone users in China are about to access the internet much faster soon.
According to South China Morning Post, ZTE and China Mobile are working to test “pre-5G” connections, expected to run over ten times faster than the existing 4G standard. If all goes well, it should be available in the first half of 2017.
Headquartered in Shenzhen, ZTE is a telecommunications equipment brand which recently launched its Axon 7 smartphone. China Mobile, on the other hand, is the world’s largest mobile phone operator by number of subscribers.
ZTE’s Maggie Cui said at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai, “There is still some way to go before we can have a global recognised 5G standard but I think we can apply some mature advanced technology to existing 4G network before we officially enter the 5G era.”
The world probably knows little about ZTE’s pre-5G network, but its first test-run has already been completed in China. Outside the country, the company is working with firms based in Australia and Germany.
If China positions itself competently in the pre-5G game, there are good chances it succeeds in the full-blown 5G tech, expected to be the standard by 2020.
New 5G networks are said to be capable of providing internet speeds ten to even 100 times faster than 4G, Reuters reported. This may be unimaginable for the rest of the world, but some countries are already at their feet.
According to Reuters, South Korea and Japan are set to deploy 5G by the time they host the Olympics. This will be in 2018 and 2020, respectively. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission recently approved the plan to prepare the country for wireless 5G networks.
Meanwhile, ZTE is ready to shell out around $220 million on 5G and other technologies from 2015 to 2018.
That being said, it seems the race for the new technology has officially begun.