5G race between China and America 45G race between China and America 4

China has more 5G subscribers than the US, not only in total but also per capita.

But when it comes to what’s supposed to revolutionize 5G, beyond just improved applications for greater speed and capacity, China’s lead is less solid.

For both countries, life-changing 5G applications, such as self-driving cars, remote surgery and automated factories, are still years away from widespread use.

Edison Lee, telecommunications analyst at Jefferies Investment Bank (Hong Kong), doesn’t think there is much difference between the two countries.

Workers work at a 5G broadcasting station in China.

According to Handel Jones, CEO of International Business Strategies, by the end of this year, China will have about 690,000 5G broadcasting stations, compared to 50,000 stations in the US.

Apple only launched its first 5G-enabled device last month, and US consumers had just 16 5G smartphone models to choose from as of September, according to market tracking firm Canalys.

Analysts say China’s leadership in 5G deployment and adoption is largely due to Beijing’s policy, which has set aggressive 5G connectivity targets for the country’s three carriers

The top-down approach has created a more uniform version of 5G across the country, compared to the US, and more consistent speeds, said Wayne Lam, research director at CCS Insight.

In contrast, the US has more fragmented 5G coverage and uneven speeds.

To promote the development of services that take advantage of 5G, China is conducting trials of various applications and encouraging industries to think about the use of 5G, said Mr. Lee of Jefferies.

For example, Huawei has introduced solutions that allow remote Covid-19 diagnosis using 5G networks.

China’s 5G network rollout is not without its shortcomings.

Mr. Ding also cited cases of Chinese smartphones displaying the 5G logo on their screens despite only having 4G connections and frequently switching back and forth between 4G and 5G networks.

`Currently, China has built the largest 5G network in the world,` Mr. Ding assessed, but admitted that when compared with South Korea, Switzerland and some other countries in terms of 5G technology, the country still has a lot to do.

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