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China is leading the race to 5G

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(Credit: laremenko/ iStock)
(Credit: laremenko/ iStock)

A new report says that China has a narrow lead in readiness for 5G, the next generation of wireless communications technology.

The report, produced by Analysys Mason on behalf of US trade association CTIA, ranked 10 countries on their 5G readiness and found that China, South Korea, the US and Japan were the leading competitors, in that order.

It attributes China’s success to proactive government policies and industry momentum. All of the major Chinese mobile providers have committed to specific launch dates for their 5G offerings, and the government has committed to at least 100 MHz of mid-band spectrum and 2,000 MHz of high-band spectrum for each wireless provider.

The technology will provide higher speeds than 4G, and enable a new range of connected devices to download and share data. This year, the UK, Spain and Italy will begin auctioning off parts of the 5G spectrum.

“Our research shows China with a slight lead in 5G readiness, with South Korea and the US close behind,” said David Abecassis, a partner at Analysys Mason. “The US led the world in 4G, and the US wireless industry is leading global 5G research and development with aggressive commercial 5G deployment plans that will benefit US consumers.”

The report also estimates that winning the race to 4G boosted US GDP by nearly $100bn, at the expense of Europe and Japan.

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