China issues 5G commercial licenses to four carriers

The government plans for full 5G commercialization by 2020.

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China issues 5G commercial licenses to four carriers

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of China has issued 5G commercial licenses to China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, and the country’s youngest carrier, China Broadcasting Network Corporation (CBN), China’s state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Last December, the MIIT gave permission to China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom to conduct 5G trials. The Chinese government had previously laid out a plan to commercialize 5G by 2020.

Retail investors in the stock market are hoping to reap quick profits as 5G networks go online in the country. A company bearing a similar name to CBN saw its share price surge this week, prompting it to issue a public statement that it, in fact, is not affiliated with CBN in any way.

CBN was established in 2014 to integrate China’s telecommunication network, broadcasting network, and the internet. It acquired a license to provide telecommunication services in 2016. Like the other three companies that currently hold 5G commercial licenses, it is state-owned.

The latest development will enable all four carriers to speed up the expansion of their 5G networks, laying the groundwork for faster communication speeds in various sectors, like telecommunications, autonomous driving, and more.

China has already built a denser network of 5G sites than the United States, according to a report Deloitte released in 2018. As of last year, China had 14.7 5G network sites per 10,000 people, and 5.3 sites per 10 square miles. Meanwhile, the US had 4.1 sites per 10,000 people, and 0.4 sites per 10 square miles. Taking the lead in this infrastructural development, Japan had 17.4 sites per 10,000 people, and 15.2 sites per 10 square miles.

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