China is Winning the Race to 5G, According to CTIA Study

We’re not #1! The race has China and South Korea ahead by a slight margin, according to a report conducted by research firm Analysys Mason and released Monday by CTIA, the wireless industry association.

To highlight the implications of the report, CTIA is hosting the Race to 5G Summit on Thursday, April 19 in Washington, D.C. The summit will bring together leading policymakers and technology and wireless industry executives involved in shaping America’s 5G future.

The report states China holds a narrow lead in overall 5G readiness ahead of South Korea and the United States. Is that important?  Research by Recon Analytics found that U.S. 4G leadership drove significant economic benefits.

CTIA said Analysys Mason ranked ten countries on their 5G readiness. The findings show China, South Korea, the United States and Japan as the lead competitors, in that order. China’s narrow lead is due to a combination of both proactive government policies and industry momentum. The study attributes the United States’ high ranking to the fact that America’s wireless industry is a global leader in preparing to deploy 5G commercially, with significant investments in these next-generation networks.

“The United States will not get a second chance to win the global 5G race,” said CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker. “I’m confident that America can win and reap the significant economic benefits of 5G wireless due to our world-leading commercial investments. Today’s research highlights the importance of policymaker action in 2018, to reform local zoning rules and unlock access to mid-band spectrum as part of a broader spectrum pipeline plan. I’m optimistic we will leapfrog China because key leaders in the Administration, on Capitol Hill, and at the FCC are focused on the reforms needed to win the race.”

In evaluating the current status of the global race to 5G, Analysys Mason studied 5G spectrum and infrastructure policies as well the commercial industry plans of ten countries.

Key findings by Analysys Mason include:

  • All major Chinese providers have committed to specific launch dates and the government has committed to at least 100 MHz of mid-band spectrum and 2,000 MHz of high-band spectrum for each wireless provider.
  • Countries around the world are moving quickly to make spectrum available for 5G. This year alone, the U.K., Spain, and Italy are all holding 5G spectrum auctions.
  • At the end of 2018, the U.S. will rank sixth out of the 10 countries in mid-band (3–24GHz) spectrum availability, a critical band for 5G. The U.S. joins Russia and Canada as the only countries currently without announced plans to allocate mid-band spectrum on an exclusive basis to mobile by the end of 2020.
  • Countries like the U.K. and regions like the European Union are taking significant steps to modernize infrastructure rules to facilitate the deployment of 5G networks.

April 17, 2018

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