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Chinese telcos need to work with other sectors to realize full potential of 5G: GSMA

The GSMA estimates that China will have 430 million 5G connections by 2025

Chinese mobile network operators need to work with other sectors in order to innovate, launch 5G faster and realize the full potential of 5G technology, according to a recent study carried out by the GSMA and the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI).

“China’s leadership in 5G is backed by a proactive government intent on delivering rapid structural change and achieving global leadership – but without industry-wide collaboration, the right incentives or appropriate policies in place, the market will not fulfill its potential,” said Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA, in a statement. “Mobile operators should be encouraged to deliver what they do best in providing secure, reliable and intelligent connectivity to businesses and enterprises across the country.”

“Wide collaboration and a right policy environment are essential for 5G to unleash its potential in various verticals, and the three sectors addressed in the report are only a beginning,” said Craig Ehrlich, chairman of GTI. “The Chinese government and all three operators have been propelling 5G trials and cross-industrial innovation, and the valuable experience gained from the process should serve as a worthwhile reference for the other markets around the globe.”

According to GSMA Intelligence, China is expected to become the world’s largest 5G market by 2025, accounting for 430 million 5G connections or one-third of the global total.

Chinese telcos China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom are currently conducting live 5G trials as part of a multi-year plan that includes research and development, network deployment strategy and development of harmonized standards, with a view to large-scale commercial launches by 2020, the GSMA said.

Initial 5G deployments in China will focus on dense urban centers initially before rolling out to suburban and rural areas.

The study also urged the Chinese government to promote the development of legislation for areas such as car-hacking and data privacy in order to boost the connected car market. All three operators are currently trialling 5G autonomous driving and working on solutions such as cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) for remote driving, vehicle platooning and autonomous vehicles.

The report also calls for common standards for connectivity management in the drone market to help accelerate investment and the deployment of new infrastructure and service models. The drones market, estimated to be worth CNY 80 billion ($13 billion) by 2025, is developing rapidly in China in applications such as parcel delivery and tracking, site surveying, mapping and remote security patrols, among others

The GSMA also highlighted that China is transforming its manufacturing industry through embracing the use of artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), machine learning and analytics, backed by the Chinese government, which aims is to increase productivity and drive new revenue opportunities. GSMA Intelligence estimates that there will be 13.8 billion global Industrial IoT (IIoT) connections by 2025, with China accounting for 65% of this figure.


Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro covers Global Carriers and Global Enterprise IoT. Prior to RCR, Juan Pedro worked for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in the Latin American markets. He also worked for Telecompaper as their Regional Editor for Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Juan Pedro has also contributed to Latin Trade magazine as the publication's correspondent in Argentina and with political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. He has a degree in International Relations and a master in Journalism and is married with two kids.

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