The first 5G licenses were awarded by Chinese telecom operators, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technologies said on its website. Four national operators (China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Broadcasting Network) are allowed “to operate fifth generation digital mobile cellular communications”, it says. By 2018, tests of 5G were already carried out in several cities of China. The operator China Mobile, the world’s largest subscriber, said it will cover this year forty cities in China in 5G.
“As always we invite foreign companies to actively participate in the 5G market in China, to collaborate on its development and share its achievements,” said Minister of Industry and Information Technologies Miao Wei.
Beijing “will continue to expand its openness” in the context of a trade war with the United States, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said during a daily press briefing. The deployment of 5G, which is being touted as the next big telecom challenge, is raising hopes for many new applications, as well as security concerns. In April, South Korea announced full coverage of its territory in 5G, which will enable very large amounts of data to be transmitted much more quickly.