Miao Wei, head of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said on Thursday the government body would this year grant a batch of temporary 5G licenses to mobile operators in numerous Chinese cities, highlighting the country’s intensified efforts to commercialize 5G technology.

In an interview with national broadcaster CCTV (in Chinese), Miao noted that China plans to push the large-scale construction of 5G networks while accelerating the launch of 5G services in terminal devices, such as smartphones.

The temporary licenses allow for larger-scale deployment than those that have been granted for pilot testing. Operations can be carried out across cities, as opposed to being confined to pilot sites. However, they do not allow for operations at the national level.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen