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China to move to forefront of 5G deployment

Updated: Mar 15,2017 3:01 PM

Continuous government support and industrial capital investments have shaped China as one of the 5G deployment pioneers.

Since the fifth generation mobile networks were highlighted as one of the new emerging industries to be accelerated in the latest Government Work Report, more relevant moves are expected for Chinese authorities to support the industry’s R & D.

On March 3, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced the country had established the world’s largest 5G test field in the race to standardize the mobile communication technology.

According to Xinhua News Agency, domestic telecom conglomerates Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp are participating in test programs at the outdoor test site in Beijing.

The latter invests more than 1 billion yuan ($144.5 million) annually on 5G research and development.

From AR/VR and autonomous cars, to the industrial internet and smart cities, 5G is expected to support significantly faster mobile broadband speeds and increasingly extensive mobile data usage — as well as to enable the full potential of the internet of Things.

“Most of the world’s top operators are tending to roll out new base stations and new networks equipped with small and efficient implements,” said Jean-Claude Loirat, director of EMEA Operations Radio Frequency, NXP, one of the chip makers that has worked closely with domestic carriers to deploy 5G-ready applications in China’s market.

“Through our integrated products dedicated to the massive MIMO technology, customers like China Mobile are able to start building its 5G networks,” Loirat said. “The latency of the network needs to be lower than what we have achieved today in a 4G environment”.

According to Loirat, China is highly likely to be at the forefront of 5G deployment, and he believes 5G commercialization will be set around 2019.

Although the commercialization of 5G services is becoming imminent, protecting carrier investment in 4G and enabling a smooth transition to 5G is also important to the carriers who have invested heavily in R & D in 4G.