HANGZHOU, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Three cities in east China's Zhejiang Province started selling the country's first fourth-generation (4G) mobile phones on Saturday.
Four smartphone models produced by Samsung, Sony, ZTE and Coolpad are now available for purchase in Hangzhou, Ningbo and Wenzhou, according to the local 4G network operator China Mobile.
The three cities launched the 4G network either for trial commercial use or consumer experience earlier this year in a project to promote a new age of high-speed mobile Internet in China.
Users of the four smartphones can access China Mobile's 4G service, though the telecom operator has yet to obtain formal license from the authority, said a spokesman with the Zhejiang branch of China Mobile.
The four 4G smartphones are all equipped with modules that support the home-grown TD-LTE technology, and users can switch between 3G and 4G networks freely, he told Xinhua.
China's largest mobile operator, China Mobile employs TD-LTE technology, or Time Division Long Term Evolution, one of two international standards, for its 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.
China Mobile has been working on a trial 4G networks in several Chinese provinces, including Zhejiang, since 2011. Zhejiang currently has nearly 30,000 4G early users and over 5,000 4G base stations.
Miao Wei, minister of industry of information technology, said previously that the formal license on 4G network operation was expected to be issued before the end of 2013.