4G to debut in Shanghai next month

Beijing, May 19 (IANS) 4G services, which provide mobile users with internet access up to 50 times faster than the current 3G network, will be launched in Shanghai next month when the China Mobile company begins large-scale trials.

The fourth generation of mobile phone mobile communication technology standards orm 4G provides users with high-speed internet access on devices such as phones, data cards and MiFi routes, a device transferring signals to Wi-Fi for devices including iPhones, iPads and laptops, the Shanghai Daily reported.

From June 1, China Mobile’s Shanghai branch will invite 5,000 users to test the latest 4G products, including mobile phones and data cards, based on TD-LTE (time division-long term evolution) technology.

Shanghai Mobile has built 1,000 base stations, and will cover the whole city by the end of the year.

The 4G data cards and handsets provide download speeds from 10 to 60 megabits per second, compared to about one megabit on current 3G network.

Wei Zhong, an editor of an information technology website, became the first invited 4G user in Shanghai.

Handsets using TD-LTE are limited because the system is almost solely used in China. Handsets and data cards are made by Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell and Datang Mobile.

The most popular smartphones, like Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy 4, do not support TD-LTE. But Samsung’s models will support China’s 4G technology later, Shanghai Mobile said.

Apple is in talks with China Mobile and it is expected that its latest iPhone will support China Mobile’s 4G network later this year or in 2014, the report said.

China Mobile’s total user base of 726 million is ahead of China Unicom (251 million) and China Telecom (168 million).

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