Shanghai's 4G network goes live

Ticking the box marked "irony" with a heavy hand, as we stumble along with our 3G cellphones, marvelling at HSDPA and, even stranger, eagerly anticipating 2.5G handsets, China has decided that 3G is simply too passé and that 4G is definitely the way to go.  The fact that they haven't even got a 3G network to build on seems like the most minor of setbacks for one of the fastest technologically growing places on the planet.

So far costing $19.3m, Reuters is reporting that the network – which will be run as a commercial trial until 2010 – is capable of speeds of up to 100 megabytes per second.  It's being run by a group of ten institutions calling themselves the FuTURE Project, and is currently active in Shanghai; it'll be joined later this year by 3G operators who at long last will be able to get their hands on the lucrative band licences.

China launches 4G before 3G off the ground [Reuters]