China has moved slightly ahead of both South Korea and the U.S. in the race to deploy 5G, according to a new report by Analysys Mason. The countries were ranked based on nations’ respective 5G spectrum and infrastructure policies as well as commercial plans by their respective wireless sectors.
China leads the world in 5G readiness, followed by South Korea, the U.S. and Japan in that order, according to the report, which was commissioned by CTIA-the U.S. based trade organization for the wireless industry.
Analysis Mason found that all three major Chinese wireless network operators (China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom) have committed to specific 5G launch dates. The government has also committed to providing at least 100 MHz of mid-band spectrum and 2,000 MHz of high-band spectrum for each operator.
In South Korea, the government is soon expected to free up a combined 1300 MHz of both mid-band 3.5-GHz and high-band 28-GHz spectrum, with an additional 2 GHz of high-band spectrum capable of being utilized for 5G.
While all major US wireless providers are trialing 5G technologies and a number have committed to small-scale fixed wireless 5G launches by the end of the year, the country has yet to announce plan to allocate mid-band spectrum exclusively for mobile by the end of 2020.
“The United States will not get a second chance to win the global 5G race,” CTIA president and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said.
“Today’s research highlights the importance of policymaker action in 2018 to reform local zoning rules and unlock access to mid-band spectrum as part of a broader spectrum pipeline plan. I’m optimistic we will leapfrog China because key leaders in the Administration, on Capitol Hill, and at the FCC are focused on the reforms needed to win the race.”
In Japan, wireless providers are investing in 5G testing and regulators have committed to releasing mid- and high-band spectrum by early 2019.
In evaluating the current status of the global race to 5G, Analysys Mason studied 5G spectrum and infrastructure policies as well the commercial industry plans of ten countries.
Key findings by Analysys Mason include:
- All major Chinese providers have committed to specific launch dates and the government has committed to at least 100 MHz of mid-band spectrum and 2,000 MHz of high-band spectrum for each wireless provider.
- Countries around the world are moving quickly to make spectrum available for 5G. This year alone, the U.K., Spain, and Italy are all holding 5G spectrum auctions.
- At the end of 2018, the U.S. will rank sixth out of the 10 countries in mid-band (3– 24GHz) spectrum availability, a critical band for 5G. The U.S. joins Russia and Canada as the only countries currently without announced plans to allocate mid-band spectrum on an exclusive basis to mobile by the end of 2020.
- Countries like the U.K. and regions like the European Union are taking significant steps to modernize infrastructure rules to facilitate the deployment of 5G networks.
To understand the potential impact the race to 5G may have on America’s economy, Recon Analytics conducted an historical analysis of how winning and losing wireless leadership effected the economies of the U.S. and other nations.
“When countries lose global leadership in a generation of wireless, jobs are shed and technology innovation gets exported overseas,” said Roger Entner, Founder, Recon Analytics. “Conversely, leading the world in wireless brings significant economic benefits, as the U.S. has seen with its 4G leadership. These are the serious stakes that face American policymakers in the escalating global race to 5G.”
Findings from Recon Analytics include:
- Winning the race to 4G boosted America’s GDP by nearly $100B and our 4G launch spurred an 84% increase in wireless-related jobs – benefits that could have gone to other countries had the U.S. not led the world in 4G.
- U.S. 4G leadership helped secure leading positions in key parts of the global wireless ecosystem, including the app economy.
- Losing wireless leadership had long-term negative effects on Japan and Europe, contributing to job losses and the contraction of their domestic wireless industries.
To highlight the implications of these reports, CTIA is hosting the Race to 5G Summit on Thursday, April 19 in Washington, D.C. The summit will bring together leading policymakers and technology and wireless industry executives involved in shaping America’s 5G future.
- Race to 5G Report: www.ctia.org/news/race-to-5g-report
- Race to 5G Facts and Figures: www.ctia.org/the-wireless-industry/the-race-to-5g
- Analysys Mason: Global Race to 5G – Spectrum and Infrastructure Plans and Priorities: www.ctia.org/news/global-race-to-5g-spectrum-and-infrastructure-plans-and-priorities
- Recon Analytics: How America’s 4G Leadership Propelled the U.S. Economy: www.ctia.org/news/how-americas-4g-leadership-propelled-the-u-s-economy
About the Analysys Mason Research
This research was commissioned by CTIA. Analysys Mason compared 5G spectrum and infrastructure policies proposed in markets worldwide to advance 5G technology and facilitate successful network deployment, and to prepare a readiness comparison between markets.
About Analysys Mason
Analysys Mason is a global consultancy and research firm specialising in telecoms, media and technology for more than 30 years. Our consulting and research expertise in telecoms, media and technology underpins everything we do to help change our clients’ businesses for the better. Since 1985, Analysys Mason’s consulting and analyst teams have played an influential role in key industry milestones and helping clients around the world through major shifts in the market. Our consulting and research divisions continue to be at the forefront of developments in digital services and transformation are advising clients on new business strategies to address disruptive technologies. Our experts located in offices around the world provide local perspective on global issues.
About the Recon Analytics Research
This research was commissioned by CTIA. This is the fifth report over the last thirteen years that Recon Analytics has authored on the impact of the wireless industry on the U.S. economy. Building on the same consistent framework, these reports have documented how the U.S. wireless industry has revolutionized society and the U.S. economy, relying on extensive primary and secondary research for these studies.
About Recon Analytics: The mission of Recon Analytics is to clear the clutter, help focus executives and policymakers on what is actually happening in the marketplace and what really matters, and make a positive impact on business and policy decisions. Founded and led by leading telecom analyst Roger Entner, Recon Analytics’ approach is bolstered by its industry-first executive advisory board, which helps us hone our strategy, improve our research, and provide unparalleled insights into the matters most relevant to the business and the public policies impacting it. With this foundation, Recon Analytics focuses on three core areas: Syndicated research, custom consulting, policy related data analysis, as well as white papers.
CTIA® (www.ctia.org) represents the U.S. wireless communications industry and the companies throughout the mobile ecosystem that enable Americans to lead a 21st century connected life. The association’s members include wireless carriers, device manufacturers, suppliers as well as apps and content companies. CTIA vigorously advocates at all levels of government for policies that foster continued wireless innovation and investment. The association also coordinates the industry’s voluntary best practices, hosts educational events that promote the wireless industry and co-produces the industry’s leading wireless tradeshow. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C.