China builds more 5G stations than rest of world combined, while those lagging behind back off from its technology
Beijing boasts that it’s installed around 700,000 5G base stations across the country – more than it had planned to have by year’s end, beating other major powers in the development of the superfast mobile networks.
The figure was announced by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) vice-minister Liu Liehong earlier this week. While the official did not provide data from other countries, he noted that his country has managed to build twice the number of 5G installations than the rest of the world.
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The network is currently connecting more than 180 million devices in China. With growing customer interest in the technology, the country is set to further accelerate 5G development and boost investment in this strategic sphere. It was earlier reported that three of the largest Chinese state-run telecom companies may quadruple their 5G spending this year, to reach 180 billion yuan ($25 billion). Industry players are reportedly expecting that China’s investment in 5G will exceed 800 billion yuan ($121 billion) in the 2021-to-2025 period.
Most European countries are far behind the Asian power when it comes to the development of the next-generation networks. According to the latest analysis from the European Round Table for industry (ERT), more than half of EU member states have not yet launched 5G for commercial use.
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The ERT data shows that South Korea is ahead the rest in terms of the number of 5G stations per capita, followed by Switzerland and China. The European Union as whole has the least number of 5G stations per citizen, while the US and the UK also lag behind China. However, by the total amount of installations providing access to the ultra-fast networks, China still seems to be outperforming its peers.
Washington has for long been pushing and even offering money to its allies to avoid using Chinese technologies and to ditch Huawei, one of the world’s leading suppliers of 5G equipment. While a number of countries are still standing their ground, others, such as the UK and Sweden, have already caved in to US pressure.
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