The GSMA has published a series of reports on the development of mobile technology in China, which collectively suggest that the country is likely to remain at the forefront of the 5G movement for the foreseeable future. The reports were published as part of the ‘GSMA China Week’ program, which is taking place online due to concerns about the coronavirus.
In the reports, the GSMA predicts that roughly half of the country’s mobile connections will be 5G connections by 2025. Those numbers will be achieved thanks to substantial investments in 5G infrastructure, which are expected to amount to $180 billion in the next five years. Of that, the vast majority (90 percent) are earmarked for 5G networks.
The high 5G adoption rates will allow China to keep pace with other 5G trendsetters like the U.S., Japan, and South Korea.
“China has already built more than 160,000 5G base stations covering more than 50 cities as operators aim to expand standalone 5G network coverage and capacity,” said GSMA’s Head of Greater China, Sihan Bo Chen. “Flexible policies for spectrum and infrastructure are strategically important to support China’s ongoing transformation into a fully-fledged digital economy.”
The GSMA went on to highlight the importance of the 5G mmWave spectrum, which could add $104 billion to China’s GDP by 2034. However, it noted that regulators will need to assign mmWave spectrum carefully to support more data-intensive operations. The GSMA also published several case studies that explore different applications of 5G technology.
A previous GSMA report predicted that China would outpace the U.S. as an early adopter of 5G. The latest reports indicate that that prediction still holds, despite the recent disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The country initiated a massive 5G rollout in November, well before the onset of the coronavirus.