Chinese consumers are scrambling to be the first batch of users of 5G mobile services, with more than 10 million having pre-ordered mobile package services for the fifth-generation wireless technology, China Daily reported.
According to early data from the country’s three major telecom carriers, more than 10 million consumers had applied for 5G mobile package services by Wednesday morning.
Specifically, 5.92 million users pre-ordered the data packages from China Mobile, the nation’s largest telecom operator by mobile subscribers, 2 million ordered them from China Unicom and 2.08 million from China Telecom.
The 10 million level marks an 88% jump from the data as of Sept 30. By then, more than 5.3 million users had pre-ordered the services, the report said.
So far, the three major carriers have not officially launched their 5G data packages yet and they have all offered discounts of up to 30% to attract early customers.
The enthusiasm for 5G mobile services came after about 219,000 units of smartphones were shipped in China in August, data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology showed.
In July, the shipments of 5G smartphones were 72,000 units. That was about a month after China granted the licenses for commercial use of 5G services on June 6, the report said.
Xiang Ligang, director-general of telecom industry association Information Consumption Alliance, said the prices for official 5G data packages are likely to be unveiled soon.
“Some of the consumers who have pre-ordered the 5G mobile services may not buy 5G smartphones yet, but their eagerness to try new things can be seen from their enthusiasm,” Xiang explained.
China Mobile has attracted more 5G pre-orders than its two smaller rivals so far, partly because it currently has the largest number of 4G users in the country, he said.
The big three mobile carriers said that current telecom users do not need to change their SIM card and mobile numbers. After purchasing a 5G smartphone, they are able to upgrade their previous 4G package to a 5G package.
Employees at the Beijing branch of China Telecom said earlier that the price of a monthly 5G data package could range from 199 yuan (US$28) to 599 yuan.