China accelerates 5G; could strain operator resources

China is accelerating 5G development and hopes 5G will become an engine for the country’s new industrialisation and digital transformation, replicating its industrial policy that produced success in 4G, concludes Strategy Analytics in the report “China Government Sees 5G as an Engine of Industry Development, but Will Operators Have Enough Fuel?”

The report also points out that the required investment will challenge Chinese service providers financially.

Guang Yang, Director of Wireless Networks and Services, commented “China hopes 5G will not only boost network infrastructure and smart devices but also accelerate development of emerging sectors such as semiconductors, connected vehicles, artificial intelligence, etc. However, 5G will be the third ‘New Generation Mobile Technology’ that Chinese operators must roll out in under a decade. The high concentration in the Chinese market could strain the investment capability of smaller operators.”

Sue Rudd, Director of Service Provider Analysis, added “Mobile operators could take various approaches to lower their investment risks such as network sharing or domestic roaming agreements. Considering the huge size of the Chinese market, large scale 5G trials in 2018 will be important indicators for 5G regulatory policy and operators’ strategies in China.”

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