Shenzhen plans to introduce 5G “pre-commercial applications” before the end of this year, said Jia Xingdong, head of the city’s Industry and Information Technology bureau.

The formal initiation of 5G commercial applications will depend on when the authority will release the first license, Jia said, adding that Shenzhen is basically ready in terms of 5G infrastructure.

Consumers may be able to use 5G mobile phone devices in the second half, he said. While the technology will provide a much smoother mobile network experience, pricing may be higher as the big three Chinese telecom carriers have invested hundreds of billions in 5G, Jia addded.

He noted that Shenzhen is leading the development of the 5G industry in China and worldwide. It’s one of the few cities included in the Industry and Information Technology Ministry pilot plan for 5G.

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom have all established 5G labs in Shenzhen. The city is also influential in industry standards. Shenzhen-based Huawei has won more than 30 important international awards for its 5G chips, Jia added.