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China beating US in race for 5G wireless, economic gains: report

Posters about 5G technology by China Mobile on the 2nd World

Posters about 5G technology by China Mobile are seen at the 2nd World Intelligence Congress. The country is beating the US in the race for 5G, a report says.


Zhang Peng

China is pulling ahead of the US in the race to build infrastructure for 5G wireless, a report says.

The country has outspent the US by $24 billion since 2015 and built ten times more sites to support 5G communications, according to the Deloitte Consulting report, as cited by Reuters.

China built 350,000 new cell phone tower sites, while the US built less than 30,000, and China added more sites in a three-month period of 2017 than the US had in the previous three years.

The report warns that the first country to adopt the next generation of wireless communications will experience “disproportionate gains,” as 5G brings an “era of untapped economic potential.”

It also notes that it is about 35 percent cheaper to install the equipment needed for 5G in China as compared to the US.

For the US to compete, Deloitte recommends that it tweak policy to reduce deployment time, encourage carriers to collaborate and implement a database of statistics and best practices.

Deloitte didn’t immediately respond to request for further comment.

The report backs up an April study that placed China and South Korea ahead of the US and Japan as the global leaders in 5G.

It’s likely that US 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.


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