Chinese telecom firm ZTE starts selling 5G smartphones

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Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp. on Monday began the selling of 5G smartphones, the first 5G phone model to hit the market in China, the company said on its official WeChat account.

Supporting 5G frequencies of three major operators, namely China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, the ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G will provide users with stable Internet connection and fast data transmission with low latency, said the company.

The handset is also equipped with a 6.47-inch AMOLED display and features a triple camera setup which includes a 48-megapixel main sensor, an ultra-wide 20-megapixel lens and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens.

In late July, the company launched the presale of the ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G via major e-commerce platforms at the price of 4,999 yuan (about 722 U.S. dollars).

Chinese telecom and smartphone makers are racing to strengthen their deployment of 5G infrastructure and products after China greenlighted the commercial use of the super-fast next-generation technology in early June.

Switch to 5G handsets now?

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According to CCTV reporter, nine 5G digital mobile phone models from ZTE, Huawei, and Samsung have been granted China Compulsory Certification, a product conformity assessment system to protect both individual and national security as well as strengthen product quality management.

China Unicom launched 5G experience scheme on Sunday, via which users who buy 5G mobile phones in August and September will be able to access a 5G network without changing their card or number after online and offline procedures.

“Users can apply for a 5G experience package via the China Unicom business hall, and it will provide 100-Gigabyte data traffic per month as of September 28,” said the China Unicom customer service. “All the 100GB data is the speed of 5G, and for free.”

Though 5G has been officially commercialized, it will take some time for the comprehensive popularization of 5G mobile phones, considering the phone prices and 5G signal coverage, said experts.

At present, the three major operators are constructing a 5G network mainly in 40 to 50 first-tier and second-tier cities. By next year, 5G base stations will be installed in all cities above the prefecture-level. Therefore, consumers in such cities can be the early adopters to enter the 5G era by purchasing the first batch of 5G mobile phones, but not an ideal time for other residents.

“If you want to use 5G, you have to change your phone, and you don’t actually need to change the number, but to apply for a 5G service package,” said Xiang Ligang, observer of China’s telecommunications industry. “Also you need to check which operators are in the city and whether they have committed to building a 5G network in the city in the following years.”

(With input from Xinhua News Agency)

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