In race for 5G, China leads pack, says study

Bangkok Post - - BUSINESS -

WASH­ING­TON: China is slightly ahead of South Korea and the United States in the race to de­velop fifth-gen­er­a­tion wire­less net­works, or 5G, ac­cord­ing to a US study re­leased on Mon­day.

The study re­leased by the CTIA, a trade as­so­ci­a­tion rep­re­sent­ing the wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try in the United States, sug­gests that the United States is lag­ging in the ef­fort to de­ploy the su­per­fast wire­less sys­tems that will be needed for self-driv­ing cars, telemedicine and other tech­nolo­gies.

The re­port pre­pared by the re­search firm Analysys Ma­son found that all ma­jor Chi­nese providers have com­mit­ted to spe­cific launch dates and the gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted to al­lo­cate spec­trum for the car­ri­ers.

The 10-na­tion study said the US was in the “first tier” of coun­tries in prepar­ing de­ploy­ment of 5G, along with China, South Korea and Japan. In the sec­ond tier are key Euro­pean mar­kets in­clud­ing France, Ger­many and Britain, with Sin­ga­pore, Rus­sia and Canada in the third tier.

In­dus­try of­fi­cials say 5G de­ploy­ment will reap im­por­tant eco­nomic ben­e­fits for the lead­ers, and that lag­ging could have neg­a­tive ef­fects.

“The United States will not get a sec­ond chance to win the global 5G race,” said Mered­ith At­twell Baker, CTIA pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive.

“I’m con­fi­dent that Amer­ica can win and reap the sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic ben­e­fits of 5G wire­less due to our world-lead­ing com­mer­cial in­vest­ments.”

“The US still needs to en­act mea­sures to re­form lo­cal zon­ing rules and un­lock ac­cess to spec­trum as part of a broader plan for 5G,’’ she said.

“I’m op­ti­mistic we will leapfrog China be­cause key lead­ers in the ad­min­is­tra­tion, on Capi­tol Hill, and at the FCC (Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion) are fo­cused on the re­forms needed to win the race.”

Ac­cord­ing to the study, Eu­rope led that way in 2G, the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion, while Japan was ahead in 3G and the United States in 4G.

The first com­mer­cial 5G roll-outs be­gin this year and next in the United States, Korea and Japan, and the wire­less in­dus­try is count­ing on the new tech­nol­ogy to trig­ger a wave of growth in equip­ment sales and mo­bile ser­vices.

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