The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has issued the country’s three major operators - China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom - with commercial 5G licences.
The China Broadcasting Network also received a 5G licence. The country’s Academy of Information and Communications Technology projects that the technology will create over 3 million jobs for the five years between 2020 and 2025, generating around CNY10.6 trillion ($1.53 trillion) of economic value.
Reports in the Chinese media indicate that the operators could spend as much as $150 billion on deploying 5G networks and services. The three largest players were issued mid-frequency 5G spectrum in December last year in order to conduct wide-ranging trials. All three have stated that they aim to launch 5G services in 2020, but have had to wait months for an official green light.
A spokesperson for the MIIT said that foreign firms were welcome to invest in China’s 5G market – a remark likely intended for the US, which is demanding that its allies drop the use of Chinese-made equipment from the 5G core networks.