SHANGHAI, CHINA– U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm believes the rapid rollout of 5G networks in China will put the country at the frontline of the global mobile technology evolution, Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China said during a keynote presentation at Mobile World Congress 2019 Shanghai, taking place this week.
Meng said that local carriers are expecting to launch commercial 5G networks later this year while handsets makers are getting ready to launch 5G devices in the domestic market.
The executive highlighted that China was behind other key markets in the deployment of 3G and 4G networks. However, the move by the Chinese government to award the 5G licenses to the country’s three mobile operators and the state-owned broadcaster earlier this month will allow the country to be among the leading countries in the global 5G race, Meng said.
He also said that the expected rapid deployment of 5G by China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom will also have a positive impact on the local 5G ecosystem, including handset makers and telecom equipment vendors.
“China provides a very positive future,” Meng said.
Commenting on the benefits of 5G deployments, he said that together with artificial intelligence, 5G will support new business formats and will also reshape a number of business sectors. Meng said that AI will enable companies to use the massive volumes of data generated by machines and devices in real-time.
Mengo also said that Qualcomm China has been working with Chinese phone manufacturers including Lenovo, OnePlus, Vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE to guarantee good availability of 5G-compatible phones in the domestic market.
During another keynote presentation, Ke Ruiwen, China Telecom’s chairman and CEO, said that the telco is getting ready to launch commercial 5G services in China, after the company recently received the 5G license from the government.
China Telecom has already started to deploy a hybrid non-standalone (NSA) and standalone network in 40 cities across China, the executive said.
He added that China Telecom is working to speed up testing of 5G equipment from vendors including Huawei and Ericsson.
During another keynote presentation at Mobile World Congress 2019 Shanghai, Jing Ulrich, JPMorgan Chase vice chairman of global banking and Asia Pacific, said that a combination of strong government support and a high availability of capital have been the main drivers behind China’s tech boom.
The executive said that China is in a position to mobilize capital quickly as the country has a high savings rate and a strong venture capital and private equity sector. She also said that a high number of global firms are aiming at investing in Chinese start-ups.
“The Chinese [leaders] long ago realized technology would be the future driver of economic growth, so in terms of financial support and legal support, we have a lot from the government. We also have various policies for AI, for Made in China 2025 and the biotech industry,” Ulrich said.
The executive said that the country’s large population makes the country an interesting platform for testing and commercializing new products and services.
Ulrich also highlighted that Chinese authorities have been prioritizing the deployment of 5G networks, as this technology will have a positive impact in a number of industries including automotive and entertainment, among others.