"Nearly Impossible" For The US To Catch China In 5G: Deloitte

Joanna Estrada
August 10, 2018

Deloitte's report noted that China plans hundreds of billions of dollars in 5G-related spend.

China has in recent years outspent the U.S.by $24 billion in the area of next-generation mobile internet technology known as 5G, potentially creating a "tsunami" that will be hard to catch up with, according to a Deloitte study published Tuesday.

"As another era of untapped economic potential emerges with the adoption of 5G technology. investment in upgrading the underlying communications infrastructure becomes even more critical", Deloitte's report said.

Since 2015, China has outspent the United States by $24bn and has built 350,000 new cell phone tower sites while the United States built less than 30,000 during the same time period.

"Maintaining US leadership in mobile communications requires that carriers, technology vendors, OTT innovators, municipalities and policy makers collaborate to build a strong business case for 5G", said Dan Littmann, a Deloitte Consulting principal in tech, in a statement. In 2035, 5G is expected to enable $12.3 trillion of global economic output, IHS Markit estimated in a recent report.

The firm notes that China has outspent the us on wireless communications infrastructure by $57 billion since 2015, constructing 350,000 new sites, compared with less than 20,000 in the States.

U.S. may find challenges to match China on investment, the report said.

Deloitte backed up its claim with evidence showing that China has outspent the United States in 5G development by $24 billion (€20 billion) since 2015 and has built 350,000 new cell phone towers, while the U.S. built less than 30,000.

Deloitte considers a range of actions that could address this challenge including light-touch regulatory frameworks, collaboration between carriers and other organizations, and the establishment of a national communications infrastructure database. Compounding the impact of that investment, Deloitte estimates that the equipment necessary to add a carrier in China is about 35 percent less than the US.

"China Tower has a total of approximately 1.9 million wireless sites, compared to approximately 200,000 in the US".

China is beating the United States at building the architecture of 5G.

There are now 14.1 cell sites per 10,000 people in China, and 5.3 sites per 10 square miles. "Instead, improved speed and capacity stem from the ability to utilize large blocks of contiguous spectrum and higher frequencies".

Deloitte concluded, "The United States led the world in 4G and in the process created thousands of jobs".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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