China makes history, launches world's largest 5G network to rival United States

The 5G services are now available to consumers in 50 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.

5g in asia
The 5G services are now available to consumers in 50 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. Eric Gaillard/Reuters

In what can be described as a watershed moment in the field of technology, China has launched the world's largest 5G technology. The country's three mobile operators -- China Mobile (CHL), China Telecom (CHA) and China Unicom (CHU) – have rolled out ultra-fast 5G plans for the users at a starting price of 128 yuan ($13 dollars) for 30 GB of data/month.

The 5G services are now available to consumers in 50 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. The government also said that more than 130,000 5G base stations will be activated by the end of the year to support the 5G network. According to Xinhua, China has more mobile internet users than any other country, with more than 850 million people accessing their smart phones to log into internet services.

The milestone moment comes amid China's long-standing feud with the United States. Two of the world's largest super-powers have been in loggerheads for a long time over US allegations that China steals technology, forces businesses to hand over trade secrets to replace American supremacy. Both the countries have imposed tariffs worth hundreds of billions of dollars worth of each other's goods.

However, US President Donald Trump on Thursday said that the US and China are working to sign a tentative trade war truce. Chinese operators had initially planned to launch the 5G services next year, but advanced the launch to Friday.

China v/s US: Battle for 5G

The 5G technology is one of the main topics of feud between the US and China. It also assumed political dimensions when President Trump announced that the 'race to 5G is on and America has to win'. The US government has also put tremendous pressure on Chinese tech giant Huawei. The US government alleged that Huawei's products pose grave national security threat as it can be used by the Chinese government for espionage. The US government has also been trying hard to convince other countries to ban the company from their 5G networks.

With the latest launch of 5G network, China will surely give tough competition to US in terms of technological advancements.

The Importance of 5G network and its future

John Kerry in China, says need solution in South China Sea
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi approach to shake hands after attending a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, China January 27, 2016. Reuters

Technology experts and analysts have predicted that 5G technology is the next big thing. 5G, the fifth generation of mobile internet connectivity, promises much faster internet speeds, data download and upload speeds and wider network.

5G Services have already begun in the US, South Korea and some European countries, including Switzerland, Finland and the UK. Many companies in Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Spain, Sweden, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have announced plans to accelerate 5G network building through 2020.

It has the potential for changing the world, further powering the trends in tech today such as IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), AR (Augmented Reality), autonomous vehicles and many more.