|A China Mobile Ltd employee at a branch in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. (Si Wei/For China Daily)|
BEIJING - China had 770 million 4G users as of the end of 2016, double the number from a year earlier, data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) showed Friday.
5G is much faster and more reliable and can be used to support virtual reality technology, ultra-high definition video transmission, autopilot and smart manufacturing
More than 58 percent of China's mobile phone users were 4G subscribers at the end of 2016, according to Zhang Feng, spokesperson and chief engineer of MIIT, at a press conference.
The number of 4G users was 386 million at the end of 2015.
China has the world's largest 4G network and is aiming to add 2 million 4G base stations, mainly for townships and villages, by 2018.
The country is also researching and testing 5G technology with a goal to commercialize it by 2020.
The research and development work has entered the second phase, according to Zhang, who noted that China will strengthen international cooperation in the process.
"Compared with 4G, 5G is much faster and more reliable and can be used to support virtual reality technology, ultra-high definition video transmission, autopilot and smart manufacturing," Zhang said.