China Mobile set to commence pre-5G trials in 100 cities

The world’s biggest mobile operator – China Mobile – has commenced trials of 5G equipment that will cover over 100 cities according to a report in the South China Morning Post.

Citing both a Bernstein Research report and a ZTE spokesman, the report says China is keen to get ahead of the game on 5G, making the gold-rush to secure as big a piece of the 5G standard as possible into a national matter. Of the three big Chinese MNOs only China Mobile’s 5G roll-out is confirmed in the story but surely the other two won’t be too far behind.

“We believe ‘China Inc’ has a strong vested interest in ensuring a significant amount of Chinese technology is embedded in the [5G] standard – finally freeing them of their dependency on foreign technology and the need to pay royalties,” Bernstein Analyst Chris Lane apparently wrote in a research note.

The Post quoted David Dai Shu, spokesman for ZTE, as saying that China Mobile is planning “pre-5G trials in more than 100 cities across more than 20 provinces.”

As the jostling for position ahead of the 5G standard intensifies there’s going to be a lot at stake when the 3GPP eventually decides what’s in and what’s not. Of course operators are free to do their trials and call them whatever they want, but things could get heated if it turns out they were barking up the wrong tree.

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