Fri, Jun 07, 2019 - Page 10 News List

China grants 5G licenses to four domestic companies


China yesterday granted 5G commercial licenses to four domestic companies, taking a big step in its bid to be a global leader in next generation wireless networks amid fierce rivalry from the US.

5G is the next-generation cellular network that offers faster data transfer speed, and could enhance technologies such as autonomous driving, remote medical diagnosis and mobile payments.

The Industry and Information Technology Ministry said state-owned telecom providers China Telecom Corp (中國電信), China Mobile Ltd (中國移動), China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd (中國聯通) and China Broadcasting Network Corp (中國廣電) received business licenses to operate 5G digital cellular mobile communication services.

“After the issuance of 5G licenses, we will continue to welcome foreign companies to actively participate in China’s 5G market, seek common development of China’s 5G and share the achievements of China’s 5G development,” Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei (苗圩) said, according to the ministry’s Sina Weibo account.

Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is a global leader in 5G development, but its ambitions have faced challenges from the US, which has urged other countries to shun the company over concerns that its equipment could be used by Beijing’s intelligence services.

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, Jefferies Group LLC analysts Edison Lee and Timothy Chau wrote in a note on Wednesday.

“Huawei will fully support Chinese carriers’ 5G products in China,” the company said in a statement following the license announcement yesterday.

“[We] believe that in the near future, China’s 5G will lead the world,” Huawei said on Sina Weibo.

Another Chinese cellphone maker, Vivo Communication Technology Co (維沃), said their 5G mobile phones are ready for network testing and will be on sale once trials are complete.

Huawei on Wednesday signed a deal with Russian telecom company MTS to develop a 5G network in the country over the next year, on the sidelines of a meeting in Moscow between Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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