China has released 5G licences to four nationwide operators as it prepares for the world’s biggest 5G rollout

China has released 5G spectrum licences to its big four mobile network operators, as it looks to expedite the rollout of next generation mobile network services across the country.

The decision to release the licences ahead of schedule is believed to be a response to the US’ decision to ban the country’s biggest tech manufacturer, Huawei, from doing business with US firms.  The decision to allow Chinese telcos to press on with their own 5G rollout plans will open up an enormous market for Huawei to sell into.

China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and the China Broadcasting Network were all issued with licences to proceed with their 5G buildout programmes.

"After receiving its 5G licence, China Telecom will continue to adhere to the development principles of “innovation, coordination, environmentalism, openness and sharing”, commence 5G network construction with high-quality development as the target," said a China Telecom spokesman.  

"The company will proactively explore and promote co-building and co-sharing of 5G network to reduce the costs of network construction and maintenance, and ensure a superior network quality as well as flourishing applications and services. With open cooperation, China Telecom will participate together with domestic and foreign companies in 5G network construction, business innovation, as well as application R&D and promotion, to foster industrial prosperity and share the fruits of development," they added.

The Chinese Academy of Information and Communications Technology estimates that launching 5G will add $912 billion to China’s economic output by 2030.

“This marks China’s official entry to the 5G era,” a spokesperson for Huawei Technologies, told the South China Morning Post, upon the release of the licences.  

“Huawei will fully support Chinese operators to build 5G [networks] with comprehensive end-to-end 5G capabilities. We believe that in the near future, China’s 5G will lead the world.”

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