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East China cities launch commercial 4G network


07:15, February 05, 2013

HANGZHOU, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Two cities in east China's Zhejiang Province have launched a fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone network for commercial use, marking a new age of high-speed mobile Internet in China.

With a 500-yuan (80 U.S. dollars) deposit, subscribers to China Mobile in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, and Wenzhou, can access the service, said a spokesman for the company after the 4G network was established on Saturday.

China Mobile, China's largest mobile operator, employs TD-LTE technology, or Time Division Long Term Evolution, one of two international standards, for the 4G network. Its maximum Internet speed is up to 10 times faster than 3G.

4G user should be able to download a 10-megabyte piece of software in two seconds, and a two-gigabyte HD movie in just several minutes.

The commercial use of the network will target both individual and business users, the spokesman said. He added that the company's subscribers in Zhejiang's Ningbo City could also apply for a 4G trial.

"4G users can enjoy network roaming in the three cities while paying the same amount in fees. Users in Hangzhou can switch between 3G and 4G networks freely to guarantee connection," he said.

With the advancement of 4G technology, 4G wireless cards and 4G mobile phones are expected to be ready for commercial use this year.

China Mobile began building a trial 4G network in several Chinese cities, including Hangzhou, in 2011. The city is currently home to over 2,400 4G base stations, covering an area of around 500 square km.

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China's weekly story (2013.01.21-01.27)