5G is coming, but are next-gen handsets worth it?

The 5G network is expanding, is it time to invest in a new phone...

Photo: Flickr
Several big electronic brands are planning to launch their first 5G phones ahead of Suning’s August 18 sale. Huawei, vivo and ZTE are launching new products prior to the sale due to increasing interest from Tmall.com customers looking to pick up handsets that match the next generation mobile network.

So, if you’re wondering whether or not it’s worth investing in a new handset, because 4G is just fine, we’ve got news for you. Since the start of 2019, Beijing has been investing heavily in the development of the 5G network. In May of this year, the government put together a 5-billion-yuan fund dedicated to the 5G mobile tech industry.

Investing in and developing the network
Following this announcement in May, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom stated they had already established 4,700 5G base stations in Beijing, meaning that the network construction will already cover the area within the fifth ring road. Since then almost 2,000 additional base stations have been constructed, meaning using Alipay just got a whole lot easier.

Beijing plans to invest a further 30 billion yuan by 2022 and establish 5G service in key areas by 2021, with the CBD and the second ring being prime candidates.

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Photo: Pixabay

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3...
Unfortunately, the network is currently pre-commercial and primarily accessible in administrative areas, including the new Beijing Daxing International Airport and the International Horticultural Exhibition. But progress is coming with tests running in venues for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Tiananmen Square and Chang’an Jie. And if you’re really desperate to experience super-fast download speeds, head to Line 16 where each station is equipped with lightning fast internet access.

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Photo: N509FZ/ Wikimedia Commons

If you’re still skeptical after enduring years of clunky Chinese internet, let us reassure you. During testing on the Line 16 network, China Mobile measured download speeds of 933 Mbps and upload speeds of 87 Mbps, which compared with 4G speeds is about the speed of light. And if you don’t feel like making the pilgrimage to Line 16, don’t despair, Beijing MTR and China Mobile have plans to expand the 5G network to the Daxing Line, Line 4 and Line 14.

Looking to the future
Further afield, the Changchun and Chengdu each boast one 5G subway station. And the plans to connect the country don’t stop there, with airports and railway stations being added into the 5G revolution. Wherever you go in this country, you won’t have to be without iQiYi or WeChat for long.

Is it worth having a 5G phone yet?
We’re not one hundred percent sure, but with the rapid development of China’s 5G network, we don’t see what harm it could do investing in a new device come August 18.

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