Can China Overpower the US in 5G Mobile Technology?

5G Mobile Technology is the next step towards mobile revolution, but the biggest question is which country is leading the 5G race. According to statistics about approved 5G standards by countries, there are 21 standards in China, nine in the US, 14 in Europe, four in Japan and two in South Korea. 

China, India and Surprisingly Pakistan Driving Mobile Internet Traffic Globally

Efforts from various countries and companies around the world are essential for the launch of global 5G standards. And it should be recognized that Chinese companies have contributed considerably during this process.

The management system of the core network needs computing chips and memory chips; network equipment like base stations need management and control chips; mobile phones need computing chips, baseband chips and memory chips; and in the future, a large number of 5G terminals will also need sensor chips. In this respect, China currently lags behind many developed countries.

In general, the US still has a big advantage in terms of 5G chips, and they are expected to dominate the sector in the near future. China is making great efforts to seek breakthroughs in this aspect, and it is still unknown whether there will be any big change in the overall situation in the coming five to 10 years. Nevertheless, the strengthening of China’s chip sector will be an irreversible trend.

Also, to get out of the lab and become a service that can be used in the real world, the 5G technology needs a massive network, which is composed of a series of products including core network, management system, base station, and antenna.

If there were no political influence in the supply of 5G system equipment, Chinese companies would undoubtedly dominate the world market. In the 4G era, Huawei and ZTE have already obtained big market shares in various countries and regions thanks to their world-class technical strength.

In addition, their products are also very competitive in terms of price, which is an important reason why many companies are willing to cooperate with Chinese companies.

It also needs to be noted that 5G terminal products will not be limited to mobile phones, but in the near future, mobile phones will still be an important terminal, which will largely affect the 5G development.

At present, the world’s top three smartphone producers are Samsung, Apple and Huawei. Additionally, it should be noted that Chinese companies occupied seven of the world’s top 10 smartphone brands.

In addition to network and mobile phones, 5G also represents large amounts of services and applications, which are an important factor that determines whether 5G technology can be widely used or not.

Chinese companies have become very competitive in terms of the application of the mobile internet, with services such as mobile e-commerce, mobile payment, shared bikes, online taxi-hailing and take-out services.

China’s innovation strength in mobile internet, accumulation of capital and talent and the development of smart hardware are incomparable with any other country in the world. This is also the foundation for China’s development of 5G services and applications.

Also worth noting is the network deployment capability of telecoms operators. China’s three telecoms operators are the world’s strongest players in the area. With 920 million subscribers, China Mobile is the world’s largest operator in terms of the user group.

Today, there are more than 6.4 million 4G base stations in China, covering 99% of subscribers and offering quality network services.

It will be hard for the 5G technology to see fast development by relying on company investment alone. The extent of government support makes a big difference in its development. The Chinese government has always given active support to the entire industry so that it can accelerate the construction of 5G network.

The market is also an important force that can affect 5G development. For a new technology and product, a big market is essential to help lower cost and lure capital investment. With a population of 1.4 billion, Chinese consumers have particularly high enthusiasm for new technologies. The explosive power of such a huge market is beyond the imagination of many other countries and regions.

The Opinion was originally published in Global Times