The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology officially rolled out commercial 5G licences on Thursday, making a crucial step toward commercial use for the next-generation wireless technology.
The ministry granted licences to the nation’s major three telecom carriers – China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom – as well as the state-owned China Broadcasting Network Corp.
Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei said China welcomes foreign companies to actively participate in the construction of China’s 5G market and share benefits generated by technological progress.
“The 5G licensing will be a significant boost for the domestic economy, as it will drive the transformation and upgrading of the real economy, promote 5G application in various fields including manufacturing and agriculture and boost digital economic growth,” said Wang Zhiqin, head of the IMT2020 (5G) Promotion Group, a team established by the ministry to accelerate the development of 5G in China.
“Issuing a licence for China Broadcasting Network Corp, a new 5G carrier, will help build a next-generation communication network,” Wang added. “Granting four 5G licences is conductive to fostering rational competition and investment in the market.”
According to Wang, the ministry will take key measures to promote 5G application, strengthen industrial management, better allocate resources, encourage companies to participate in network construction and further integrate 5G with vertical industries.
The move marks an accelerated push by China to apply 5G. Its previous plan was to commercialise the technology next year.
The high-speed 5G technology is expected to revolutionise the tech world in the near future, as it will be able to transmit data at least 10 times faster than the 4G system.
In the 5G era, higher reliability and lower latency can be realised, making the internet of things more effective and enabling tasks that are impossible in the 4G era, such as overseeing self-driving vehicles.
Telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co said in a statement on Thursday it is ready to help China accelerate the commercial use of 5G.
Huawei’s global pioneering capabilities to offer 5G solutions can support Chinese telecom carriers in building a sound network. China will lead the world in commercialising superfast wireless technology, the company said.
Huawei has invested about $2 billion into the research and development of 5G since 2009.
ZTE Corp, another Chinese telecom gear vendor, said in a statement its products are ready for commercial use and it will actively participate in the commercial deployment and construction of 5G networks in China, working closely with industry partners to actively promote its application.
China is set to become the world’s largest 5G market by 2025, with 460 million users according to a forecast by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association, an industry group.
The country’s telecom carriers are forecasted to spend $134 billion to $223 billion in total on 5G network construction from next year to 2025, according to a report from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK