China will release 5G business licences to its three major telecom carriers shortly, a move experts say will catapult the country into a serious 5G industrial revolution, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Monday.
As 5G is very much faster than 4G, the official licences will make the three carriers at the forefront of global 5G contest, as the technology is expected to accelerate traditional industries transformation, give birth to a myriad of new applications and business models, says experts.
The new technology will create tens of thousands of new jobs, and an expert told the Global Times that 900-1,300 billion yuan of new values will be borne in the coming two years in China by 5G.
The global industry is now at a crucial stage of 5G commercialisation, and China, as a major contributor to 5G standards and crucial patents, has shown its competitive edge in the competition to roll out the next generation of wireless technologies, according to the Xinhua News Agency, citing MIIT.
The impending licences will also make China take a prominent position in the world to use 5G technology to revolutionise traditional industrial lines, and the experiences and know-how will be spread to other partner economies that have contracted to use 5G, analysts told the Global Times Monday.
"This is basically a green light for telecom companies to make final preparations to roll out commercial 5G," said Fu Liang, a Beijing-based telecom industry analyst, noting that it might still take some time before 5G enters full use.
The MIIT is likely to issue the licence to all three major telecom operators in the country - China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom - at the same time, analysts forecast.
"That has been pretty clear since all three have been conducting tests in some cities," Fu said. "Issuing the licence means everything is almost ready."
MIIT also sent out a signal that China is not scared of the US-led crackdown on Huawei, which is also a major driving force in global 5G development, and the country will continue competing to lead the 5G race at a firm pace, analysts said.
"As the US treats China as a competitor, it is only normal that [China] also speeds up a bit accordingly," Jiang Junmu, chief reporter at telecom industry news website c114.com.cn, told the Global Times on Monday.
Chinese companies' advanced technologies and massive user base make the potential of China's commercial 5G enormous, he said.
Though Huawei is likely to dominate the 5G equipment market in China, "China will also include other companies in the rollout of 5G, unlike the US," Fu said, noting that Huawei, ZTE, Ericson and Nokia will all have the same treatment and opportunity in China.
Foreign companies, including Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Intel, have been involved in 5G roll-out in China, and the country continues to welcome domestic and foreign firms to participate in the network build-out, MIIT said.
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