SHANGHAI: China on Thursday granted 5G commercial licences to four domestic companies, taking a big step in its bid to be a global leader in next-generation wireless networks amid fierce rivalry from the United States.
5G is the next-generation cellular network that offers faster data transfer speed and could enhance technologies such as autonomous driving, remote medical diagnosis and mobile payments.
The Industry and Information Technology Ministry said state-owned telecom providers China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Broadcasting Network Corporation received business licences to operate fifth-generation digital cellular mobile communication services.
“After the issuance of 5G licences, we will continue to welcome foreign companies to actively participate in China’s 5G market, seek common development of China’s 5G, and share the achievements of China’s 5G development,” said Miao Wei, the minister of industry and information technology, according to the ministry’s Twitter-like Weibo account.
Chinese telecom giant Huawei is a global leader in 5G development but its ambitions have faced challenges from the United States, which has urged other countries to shun the company over concerns that its equipment could be used by Beijing’s intelligence services.