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5G: The chance to lead for a decade

The study by Deloitte proves that China will dominate in the sphere of wireless communications of the fifth generation in the nearest decade. China is making massive investments and building 5G network site density at an unprecedented rate. The U.S. still has a chance to turn the tide of battle for the billions-worth market but this will be extremely hard to do.

According to calculations by Deloitte, China built 350,000 new sites since 2015, while the United States built fewer than 30,000. Another fact which works in China’s favor is that the equipment necessary to add a 5G carrier in China is about 65 percent the cost of adding a carrier in the United States. This suggests that the United States would need to spend 2.67 times the amount that China spends to generate an equivalent amount of wireless network capacity. Moreover, Deloitte experts believe that spending on 5G infrastructure in China is likely to grow further in the nearest future. This means multibillion-dollar investments in communications infrastructure.

The United States currently has 4.7 5G sites compared to China’s 14.1 sites per 10,000 people. Of significant interest is the speed at which China is constructing new wireless sites to add capacity to its digital infrastructure. Deloitte experts conclude that the United States underspent China in wireless infrastructure by $8 billion to $10 billion per year since 2015. With 5G, cities will become truly smart as this technology will allow numerous sensors and detectors to exchange data in a fast, effective, and low-loss way. Experts emphasize that the economic potential of the technology is immense. The report by Deloitte is intended to serve as a warning that China and other countries may be creating a 5G tsunami, making it near impossible to catch up. Policy makers, carriers, and industries with the most at stake should move now to streamline policies and processes and collaborate with ecosystem players to help create efficient solutions to investment barriers.
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