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China to enter world of 5G with commercial licenses

By Ma Si | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-06-03 13:16
China will soon issue licenses for the commercialization of 5G. [Photo/IC]

China will soon issue licenses for the commercialization of 5G, as the country has already established a competitive advantage in the superfast wireless technology, the country's top industry regulator said on Monday.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said 5G is entering a critical period of commercial deployment globally and China's 5G industry has established a competitive advantage through a combination of innovation and open cooperation.

Many foreign companies, including Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Intel, have participated in China's technical 5G tests. These foreign companies have already particiapted in three phases of tests organized by China to get their 5G products and solutions ready for commercial use in the country.

"With joint efforts of all parties, China has built a foundation for commercialization of 5G," the ministry said, adding it will issue commercial 5G licenses in the near future, a clear sign China will soon officially enter the first year of 5G.

"As always, we welcome domestic and foreign enterprises to actively participate in China's 5G network construction and effort to promote application of the technology, and jointly share 5G development opportunities," the ministry added.

China's big three telecom carriers are forecast to spend 900 billion to 1.5 trillion yuan ($134 billion to $223 billion) in total on 5G network construction from 2020 to 2025, according to a report from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. In comparison, Chinese telecom operators spent 720 billion yuan on 4G network construction from 2014 to 2018.

Specifically in 2019, expenditure on 5G-related infrastructure by the country's big three telecom operators — China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom — is expected to reach 34.2 billion yuan. China Mobile plans to build 30,000 to 50,000 5G base stations this year, while China Telecom is looking to have 20,000.

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