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China launches world’s first trial commercial 5G inter-network roaming

China announced to launch of the world’s first trial commercial 5G inter-network roaming service at the conference of World Telecommunication & Information Society Day (WTISD) 2023 held in Hefei, Anhui Province.

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The first commercial 5G inter-network roaming will be put into trial use in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

5G inter-network roaming allows users to access to 5G services of other operators when outside the range of their operators’ 5G network, China Daily reported.

In areas where 5G roaming services are provided, users can use terminals that support 5G roaming without changing their SIM card or phone number, and directly use the 5G roaming service without paying additional fees.

In related news, Zhang Yunming, vice minister of industry and information technology, said that China will promote the large-scale application of 5G and the industrial internet, while also announcing that the country will also focus on future technologies such as 6G, quantum information and “brain-like” intelligence.

We will deepen the integration of 5G and the industrial internet to support the development of high-end, intelligent and green manufacturing industry,” Zhang said.

China ended the first quarter of the year with a total of 2.64 million base stations nationwide, local press reported, citing Zhao Zhiguo, a spokesperson at the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The Chinese government recently predicted the number of 5G base stations in China will hit 2.9 million at the end of 2024.

According to a recent GSMA report, dubbed “The Mobile Economy China 2023”, 5G technology will add $290 billion to the Chinese economy in 2030, with benefits spread across industries.

5G will overtake 4G in 2024 to become the dominant mobile technology in China, according to the report. “4G and 5G dominance in China means legacy networks are now being phased out. While most users have migrated to 4G and 5G, legacy networks continue to support various IoT services. However, some estimates suggest that legacy networks could be almost entirely shut down in China by 2025,” the study reads.


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