China Issues 5G Licenses as Race to Build Networks Heats Up

China Issues 5G Licenses as Race to Build Networks Heats Up

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China approved four operating licenses for 5G networks, setting the stage for the new generation of telecommunications system, according to Bloomberg.

The country’s three state-owned wireless carriers and China Broadcasting Network were granted licences for full commercial deployment, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said last week. The operators, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom Hong Kong, have been testing the technology in several cities including Beijing and Shenzhen.

Full deployment of 5G networks in a country with almost 1.6 billion wireless phone subscriptions is expected to boost local companies making gear for applications in autonomous driving, robotics, remote surveillance and virtual reality. The faster-than-expected approvals also come as Huawei, the world’s largest manufacturer of networking equipment, has vowed to maintain its lead in the face of a U.S. campaign pressuring allies not to use the company’s products.

The Chinese government’s accelerating 5G licensing is probably aimed at ensuring carriers do not weaken plans to build as many as 110,000 5G base stations, assuming Huawei can deliver the necessary equipment using component inventories. “Huawei will fully support Chinese carriers’ 5G products in China,” the company said in a statement following the license announcement.

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