4G wireless technologies in test period in mainland China

China's mainland has completely bypassed the release of 3G communication devices and has moved right ahead to 4G.  China’s first 4th generation mobile phone was launched Sunday in Shanghai's Changning district.  Thanh Nien Daily reports that the release has come after a field test in October of 2006 and the rollout of the technology totals roughly 150 million yuan ($19.2 million USD). 

The new 4G system provides wireless transmission speeds of up to 100Mbps, which is much faster than current generation technologies, running at speeds that match optical fiber.  "It testifies that the technology we've developed is feasible and brings us one step closer to put it into commercial use," said You Xiaohu, a leading expert involved in the program.

The 4G research program was first initiated in 2001, dubbed the FuTURE Project (Future Technology for Universal Radio Environment), as part of China's high-tech development plan.  It is composed of 10 leading domestic institutions.  

According to Tech News World, the project has obtained more than 200 patents, positioning China as the frontrunner in 4G technologies research.  It has the goal to be put into trial commercial use between 2006 and 2010.  In that time, the project will also conduct field tests before its trial commercial launch. 

With this technology said to be the standard by 2010, the first licenses have not been issued yet, and China still has yet to sign agreements with any providers until the field tests are complete.

Samsung has already released 4G technologies in South Korea with the same capabilities and it seems that China is taking a big step to become a major player in communication technologies.

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