With the recent news about releases and policy changes of China mobile telecom companies, talks about the 5G race between China and the US have ignited again. While China moves quickly regarding 5G gadgets and technology, USA companies are taking lead in 5G applications and services. In this article, we will go through the major advances in 5G technology from both countries.
There exists a growing belief that when it comes to 5G, China is leading the way. That is because of a number of reasons. The Chinese telecommunications company Huawei held a 28% share of the world telecommunications market as of the first half of 2019. Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese company, offer their services around the world to build 5G networks for individual countries.
In October, China’s three state-owned wireless carriers named China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom started offering 5G services commercially and announced 5G subscription packages. The recent news further show that China is determined to prosper no matter the bans imposed on it by America.
The latest Huawei’s flagships – Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro – which were the company’s first 5G devices were banned from using licensed Google Apps and Products. However, the latest statements by analysts speaking to the Wall Street Journal reveal that these smartphones have not used a single US component, either physical or otherwise. A spokesperson from Huawei also said that all of its 5G hardware and services are now “America-free.” With these advancements and innovations, the Chinese government is sending a message to the US that technological advancements are their number one priority.
Other than Huawei, we recently saw Realme empowering China’s 5G game. Realme’s CEO and founder, Sky Li, announced a major policy change through a Weibo post that the company will release 5G mobile phones in the domestic market only from next year. The X50 series is expected to be released soon. While 4G phones will still be released globally.
While all these technology news make us believe China is the winner here, we certainly can’t forget that the four major American companies namely Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are progressing well in the 5G roadmap. Eric Ross, chief investment strategist at Cascend Securities remarks that the two countries’ “technology is the same, it’s the strategy [that matters.]”
CFR Innovation and National Security Task Force points that the US government needs to concentrate more on developing advanced software, especially the code that links devices to towers. The federal government should also finance multiple 5G R&D centers at universities in places where the US could lead, including communications security and integration, storage and 5G computing. It seems that the Trump administration is coming to a similar strategy. The plan laid out for the advancement of 5G services proposes greater investments in the research and development of radio access networks and base stations.
While the approach of restricting allies from using Huawei’s 5G services shows a little success, America understands that it needs to make some real progress to compete and is thus noticeably moving forward with the right tactics. There is no doubt that it can dominate 5G services and products just as it did with 4G.
While the word “race” which is used rather frequently makes it seem like a competition, in the end, technological advancements make our world a better place. Analysts say that the 5G transition is just in the initial stages and both the countries seem to be working well enough in this niche. However, seeing the current situation, it is expected that China will acquire more customers commercially which is the real success. Let’s see how the US government and companies are going to improve the development in the coming years.