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China ahead of United States in 5G race

10 August, 2018, 03:58 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • 5G network

China is greatly outspending the U.S. when it comes to building the infrastructure needed to support 5G networks according to a new report from Deloitte titled 5G - The Chance to Lead for a Decade.

Leading telecom operators in China are China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

In addition, China has allocated $400 billion towards 5G-related investments in its five-year economic plan.

"This report comes after the US Federal Communications Commission announced new rules for bidding on high-band spectrum which is expected to be used in the future for 5G", Reuters reported.

It's likely that U.S. carriers Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint will launch their 5G networks early in 2019, while AT&T said it'll bring its mobile 5G network to three cities this year.

Despite the economic gains that are widely expected to come from 5G, investing in network infrastructure isn't always an obvious choice for carriers, the report points out.

In the meantime, Deloitte says, China and other countries are "creating a 5G tsunami".


China also had much lower costs for adding a carrier, with the Deloitte report estimating that the equipment necessary for adding a carrier was about 65% that in the US.

Deloitte recommended that the US deliver "lighter-touch policy frameworks" to help reduce deployment times of equipment required for 5G. It recommended the creation of a national communications infrastructure database in order to help share data between various parties.

ABI Research forecasts the worldwide radio access network base station equipment market will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 5% to more than $26 billion in 2023.

This is seen as a big boost for China-based Huawei and ZTE.

China's economic commitment to 5G makes it a formidable competitor, the report said. Australia, China, Japan and South Korea are making investments in 5G networks. The report did not talk about India which is home for BSNL, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio.

"Mobile operators in Asia will invest nearly $200 billion over the next few years in upgrading and expanding their 4G networks and launching new 5G networks in order to accelerate the growth of Asia's digital economies and societies", Mats Granryd, GSMA Director General, said. It is important to note that total 5G adoption won't be immediate and will require new technologies, but business leaders can expect their digital models to change as 5G becomes common place.

The report indicates that China has managed to deploy ten times more sites to support 5G communications than the United States.

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