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Report forecasts major gains from 5G tech

By Fan Feifei | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-17 09:28

As China moves to the forefront of fifth-generation or 5G mobile communication technology, 6.3 trillion yuan ($925 billion) of economic output and 8 million jobs will be created by 2030, a telecom academy said.

The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology said in a report that 5G will accelerate digitalization and promote the rapid growth of telecom, equipment manufacturing and information services.

The report also said at the initial stage of commercialization of 5G mobile networks, telecom carriers will carry out large-scale network construction. Revenue from the investment on network equipment will become the major source of economic output related to 5G.

China and the rest of the world are going through a crucial period of development of 5G standards and applications, the report said.

"The report underestimates the impact of 5G on social economy. It isn't yet more than five years since 4G was launched, but it has had a huge influence in boosting the development and popularization of mobile payments. I expect 5G will bring greater economic benefits and generate more new jobs," said Xiang Ligang, a telecom expert and CEO of cctime.com, a telecom industry website.

The country has attached great importance to 5G in its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), with the aim of commercializing it by 2020.

In March, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced the country had established the world's largest 5G test field in the race to standardize the technology.

China Mobile Communications Corp, China United Network Communications Group and China Telecom Corp, the country's major telecom operators, have already accelerated their efforts to develop 5G technology, with their total investment in 5G infrastructure forecast to reach up to $180 billion over a seven-year period.

That would dwarf their estimated $117 billion investment in 4G from 2013 to 2020, an analyst at Jefferies, an investment bank, was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post.

Xiang said the commercialization of 5G not only involves network construction by telecom carriers but inputs on terminal devices such as refrigerators, air conditioners and automobiles. So 5G network inputs would be more than estimated.

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