SHANGHAI: Third-generation (3G) telephony is not available on the Chinese
mainland yet but subscribers in one city district can now go beyond where no one
has ever gone.
The world's first fourth-generation (4G) mobile communication system was
officially launched yesterday in Shanghai's Changning District after a field
trial was conducted in October.
The home-grown 4G system provides speeds of up to 100 mbps in wireless
transmission of data and images many times faster than that of current mobile
The rollout of the trial, which has cost 150 million yuan ($19.2 million), is
a milestone in the development of China's 4G technologies.
"It testifies that the technology we've developed is feasible and brings us
one step closer to put it into commercial use," said You Xiaohu, a leading
expert involved in the program.
China initiated the B3G (Beyond 3G)/4G research project in 2001 under the
label Future Technology for Universal Radio Environment, or FuTURE Project,
which is included in the national high-tech development plan.
The country has set a goal of conducting field tests of the 4G system and
putting it into trial commercial use between 2006 and 2010, according to the
"The Shanghai system shows that we have entered the final phase of our
project," said You, also the principal of the FuTURE Project's expert panel.
The FuTURE Project involves about 10 leading domestic institutions.
It has obtained more than 200 patents and some of its core technologies have
been adopted by international standards organizations, positioning China as one
of the world's front-runners in 4G technologies.
4G mobile communication, which is expected to be used commercially by around
2010, will be able to transmit data as quickly as optical fiber, dramatically
improving the streaming of high-quality images and data services through
China has yet to award domestic telecom operators licences to build 3G (third
generation) mobile phone networks, but Wang Xudong, minister of information
industry, told reporters at the ITU Telecom World 2006 last month that it could
happen "very soon".
(China Daily 01/29/2007 page1)