United States falling behind China in race to 5G wireless: Deloitte report

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

China has picked up tremendous speed in 2018 as far as the 5G race is concerned, with a new research report from Delloite indicating that the United States is being outspent by China in the race to build 5G network.

Leading telecom operators in China are China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

The report found that since 2015, China has outspent the U.S. by $24 billion total.

The report comes after the US Federal Communications Commission announced new rules for bidding on equipment needed for 5G.

USA wireless providers like Verizon and AT&T, CNN's parent company, have said they'll launch 5G technology in select markets by the end of 2018.

Despite the economic gains that are widely expected to come from 5G, investing in network infrastructure isn't always an obvious choice for carriers, the report points out. Compounding the impact of that investment, Deloitte estimates that the equipment necessary to add a carrier in China is about 35 percent less than the US.

"Consequently, China and other countries may be creating a 5G tsunami, making it near impossible to catch up", the report said.

For the USA 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. It recommended the creation of a national communications infrastructure database in order to help share data between various parties.

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"While the overall market is healthy, the underlying technology transitions are complex and only those vendors that can leverage them stand to benefit - these vendors include Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, and ZTE", Marshall added.

Since Huawei is facing crisis in some of the telecom equipment markets such as U.S. and Australia, the main beneficiary of the latest development will be Huawei.

China's economic commitment to 5G makes it a formidable competitor, the report said.

And it could be tougher for the U.S.to match China on investment. The report did not talk about India which is home for BSNL, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio.

5G, which is up to 10 times faster than 4G, will be an important platform for technologies such as self-driving vehicles.

Posters about 5G technology by China Mobile are seen at the 2nd World Intelligence Congress.

"The ongoing pattern of steep declines in what customers pay per MB of mobile data makes the new investment needed for 5G hard for many carriers to support", the report says.

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