In the past, China has lagged behind in mobile technology innovation, despite it having the largest population on earth, and the largest mobile market by both subscriber and network size. Now, however, it plans on changing perceptions.
Though the country has only recently reached mass adoption of 4G services, China Mobile has plans to begin building 5G trial networks in key Chinese cities from next year.
International authorities tasked with creating a universal standard for 5G technology expect to release the initial phase in 2018, a final phase in 2019, with a full roll-out of 5G in 2020, according to the South China Morning Post.
Greater Chinese involvement in the intellectual property behind a universal standard would improve the country’s negotiating position across the supply chain, said equity analyst Edison Lee.
“With its bad experience in 3G, China is determined to be a major player in 5G, with a meaningful share of IPRs (intellectual property rights),” he continued.
US legal services and technology consulting company, LexInnova Technologies, estimates that China owns around 10% of the “5G-essential” IPRs. Lee added that the eventual share “will very likely be” even higher.
Two tech behemoths are currently leading the charge from China’s equivalent to Silicon Valley, Shenzhen. Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp both told the Post recently that they are working with China’s three network operators, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, to help them test and plan for deployment.
Speaking to WARC for a Trend Snapshot of 5G, Monika Byléhn, 5G marketing director at Ericsson explained the implications.
“Every new mobile generation has added new services. 2G was voice. With 3G we could start browsing the internet, and 4G has been all about video consumption. A common trait is that these are all consumer-oriented services. 5G will serve consumers and multiple industries, and open up for many new business opportunities," she said.
Sourced from South China Morning Post; additional content by WARC staff