China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) was tipped to be on the brink of issuing commercial 5G licences, clearing operators to begin deploying services, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The agency quoted MIIT as stating China is ready for a commercial 5G launch, with overseas enterprises including Nokia, Ericsson and Qualcomm deeply involved in the development of the technology.
China’s government granted licences to the country’s three major operators to conduct 5G trials in 2018, however a commercial launch is yet to be approved.
An exact launch date was not announced, but it is expected soon.
MIIT reportedly said China owns “more than 30 per cent of standard essential patents for the technology”, built through a combination of independent innovation and open cooperation on 5G standards.
Launches are expected to provide a major boost to the country’s economy and its technology sector. They would be timely as the country’s major vendors Huawei and ZTE face scrutiny from the US over security.
Ernst & Young predicted China’s three major operators will spend almost $5 billion on 5G-related infrastructure in 2019 alone, with their total spend estimated to hit $217 billion between 2020 and 2025.
While China’s operators were widely expected to deploy commercial 5G services in 2020, launches in the US, South Korea and parts of Europe, including the UK, appear to have spurred regulators to accelerate the schedule.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back