The use of 5G networks will not lead to an increase in data consumption, and users won’t be required to replace their existing 4G SIM cards, network operator China Mobile has said.

Regulators are expected to begin issuing 5G licenses to mobile operators in the second half of 2019. As such, China Mobile said individuals wanting to make use of the new networks will need to replace their mobile phones. The current generation of smartphones is 4G-enabled, but 5G networks require different mobile phone hardware.

Radio networks are broken up bands, with 4G operating on frequencies below 6 GHz. However, 5G networks will be able to operate between 30 GHz and 300 GHz, resulting in less clutter for data transfers. The technology is promoted as being up to 100 times faster than current 4G networks.

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.