United States falling behind China in race to 5G wireless: Deloitte report

United States falling behind China in race to 5G wireless: Deloitte report

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

The report indicates that China has managed to deploy ten times more sites to support 5G communications than the United States.

According to a report published by usa consultancy firm Deloitte on Tuesday, China has now 10 times more sites to support 5G wireless communication than the United States, and its mobile phone companies added more sites in just three months last year than the U.S. has done in the previous three years in total.

The study found that since 2015, China has outspent the USA on investments critical to 5G by around $24 billion. In that same time frame, China built 350,000 cell tower sites, well above the United States which built fewer than 30,000.

"Consequently, China and other countries may be creating a 5G tsunami, making it near impossible to catch up", the report said.

"We predict that 5G will expand the network effect dramatically by extending the reach of the internet to nearly any kind of connection, by nearly any kind of device, anywhere a wireless signal can reach".

The report says, in just three months of 2017, Chinese cell phone tower companies and carriers added more sites than the United States had done in the previous three years.

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"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.

The report noted that "first-adopter countries embracing 5G could sustain more than a decade of competitive advantage".

Two other important factors in the 5G race are research and development spending and how quickly the government allocates additional radio frequencies to wireless companies.

The high cost of 5G base stations, roughly 150 to 200 percent that of 4G base stations, will be putting pressure on telecom carriers, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

The report titled 5G - The chance to lead for a decade illustrates how China and other countries are outpacing the United States in terms of wireless communication infrastructure spend, tower density and efficiency of execution. South Korea is also going gung ho in 5G adoption. Together, these practices are distinguishing China's lead in the early stages of 5G deployment.

T-Mobile US last week awarded a $3.5 billion contract to Nokia for supplying 5G networking equipment, to be delivered over multiple years.

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