China Accelerates 5G Development But Will this Work for their Network Operators?

According to a recent report by Strategy Analytics, China, on its way to accelerating 5G development and digital transformation, is feared to soon exhaust its resources as well as the necessary investment required by operators. China is accelerating 5G development at an unprecedented rate and hopes for it to become an engine for the country's new industrialization and digital transformation, replicating its industrial policy that produced success in 4G.

However, Strategy Analytics report "China Government Sees 5G as an Engine of Industry Development, but Will Operators Have Enough Fuel?" points out the certain loss the country may face in the process of the development. According to Guang Yang, Director of Wireless Networks and Services, China hopes 5G will not only boost network infrastructure and smart devices but also accelerate development of emerging sectors such as semiconductors, connected vehicles, artificial intelligence, etc. However, 5G will be the third 'New Generation Mobile Technology' that Chinese operators must roll out in under a decade. The high concentration in the Chinese market could strain the investment capability of smaller operators.

According to Sue Rudd, Director of Service Provider Analysis, mobile operators could take various approaches to lower their investment risks such as network sharing or domestic roaming agreements. Considering the huge size of the Chinese market, large scale 5G trials in 2018 will be important indicators for 5G regulatory policy and operators' strategies in China.

Read the full report here.