BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – In recent days, major cellphone app operators have been displaying 5G SIM packages more prominently for potential buyers to find them, while hiding or making 4G applications inconspicuous.
Insiders say the relatively low-cost 4G packages are being quietly removed in order to promote the 5G packages.
Users who still want to buy 4G packages have to approach offline service centers or call up customer services. Even some regional telecom operators have directly pulled 4G packages off their shelves.
A year after 5G services were launched for commercial use, the number of 5G users has reached 170 million.
However, the telecom operators feel the growth rate is too slow, and are anxiously hoping that all 3G and 4G users will switch to 5G services in a short time.
The reason telecom operators are in such a hurry to see a drastic rise in the number of 5G users and are sparing no efforts to promote 5G packages is that they want to recover the investment from the 5G network as soon as possible.
The 5G network’s advantage is in its network speed, providing users high-speed, convenient network services. However, many users wanting to avail of 5G services are failing to connect to the 5G network because they have yet to buy a 5G compatible phone.
In some rural areas, there are very few 5G base stations and 5G signals remain weak and erratic. As a result, even users having 5G packages and cellphones get 4G or 3G networks.
What’s more, the 5G packages are expensive, making them a financial drain on ordinary working families.
Media reports say some operators have been hiding the tools to access the less-expensive 4G package on their apps.
Some operators are allying with well-known cellphone sellers to offer preferential subsidies on 5G packages, and denying the discount to those not opting for 5G packages.
All these ways and means of promoting 5G, directly or indirectly, are actually unilateral forced selling of the 5G packages to users.
Telecom consumers are entitled to choose to either continue with their 4G network or enjoy advanced 5G services, without any interference from operators.
If users can afford the price of a 5G package, they will certainly be happy to use the advanced and convenient 5G network services.
It is hoped that the network technology will become more mature, 5G charges will dip and operators’ services improve. Till then, every consumer has the right to choose 4G or 5G network and services without any coercion.
China Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 24 news media organisations.
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