China looks to be on course to offer a commercial 5G network at roughly the same time as developed nations. China Telecom has connected its base towers in Lanzhou, making the city the sixth in just over a month to be host to a 5G pilot area.

At the end of November, the National Development and Reform Commission said the country’s 5G network would start to take shape with pilots in at least five cities, as part of a broader plan for 2018. Then on Dec 1 Chengdu became the fifth host to announce a pilot.

Each test area has 6 to 8 base stations. Shenzhen was the first to get a pilot 5G network, on October 27. Xinhua has now reported that the pilot covers an area that is home to a large number of high-tech companies in the Shenzhen Software Industry Base, the Shuangchuangyuan innovation park, the Shenzhen University Campus and Hong Kong Polytechnic University Incubation Base in Shenzhen.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...