Huawei to cheer as China overtakes United States in 5G spending

US behind China in 5G race

As a result of all this, the U.S. risks ceding its tech leadership position to China, Deloitte concludes - particularly because of the disproportionate economic benefits that come with early tech adoption.

China is now outspending the United States in the global 5G race and is deploying next-generation wireless technologies at an unprecedented pace, a Tuesday report from market insight firm Deloitte found.

The report, titled, "5G - The chance to lead for a decade", shows that in addition to outspending the USA in wireless communication infrastructure investments, China is deploying technologies more efficiently and quickly achieving higher levels of tower density.

"We're talking about billions of devices on the same network, not just millions", said Dan Littmann, a principal at Deloitte and an author of the study. The cost of the equipment necessary to add carriers to 5G, however, is about 35% cheaper in China than in the USA, the report noted.

But, on the bright side, the ability of customers to gain access to increasing amounts of data would be a potential boon to other industries and national economies, it said.

The country's five-year economic plan, which runs through 2020, calls for spending $400 billion on 5G investment, it pointed out.

The report says, in just three months of 2017, Chinese cell phone tower companies and carriers added more sites than the USA had done in the previous three years.


China built around 350,000 new cell sites over this period, compared to fewer than 30,000 for the US.

The report notes it may also be about 35 percent cheaper to install equipment necessary to add carriers to 5G in China as compared to the United States. On a per capita basis, the United States' tower density lags China by approximately three times.

"Consequently, China and other countries may be creating a 5G tsunami, making it near impossible to catch up", the report said. This means the U.S. has 0.4 sites compared to China's 5.3 sites for every 10 square miles.

The Nokia hardware, software, and services will enable T-Mobile to provide wide coverage on the 600MHz spectrum and ultra-high-speed capacity on 28GHz airwaves in dense urban areas.

The report concludes that even normalizing China's larger population, China has overspent the U.S. in wireless infrastructure by around $8 billion to $10 billion per year since 2015.

At the same time, the new revenue streams carriers expected to create with LTE networks largely failed to materialize, Deloitte says.

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