Posters about 5G technology by China Mobile are seen at the 2nd World Intelligence Congress. Getty Images Zhang Peng
10 August, 2018, 04:01
For sites per 10,000 people, Japan leads the world with 17.4, while China has 14.1, Germany boasts 8.7, and the USA figure is 4.7.
According to a report by Deloitte consulting, China already has 10 times more sites to support 5G communications than the United States.
The report also claims that because of this lag, United States is at the risk of losing out on the potential economic benefits, according to a report by consultants Deloitte published on Tuesday.
Since 2015, China has outspent the U.S. by $24bn and has built 350,000 new cell phone tower sites while the USA built less than 30,000 during the same time period.
"The potential economic benefits of 5G will soon become a key differentiator for cities looking to attract both businesses and residents", Deloitte principal Dan Littmann said in a statement. Deloitte's Dan Littmann said that in order for the United States to stay competitive in the race, "swift actions must be taken".
Despite the economic gains that are widely expected to come from 5G, investing in network infrastructure isn't always an obvious choice for carriers, the report points out.
In one 3-month period in 2017, China's carriers and service providers built more sites than the United States did in the previous three years.
Deloitte considers a range of actions that could address this challenge including light-touch regulatory frameworks, collaboration between carriers and other organizations, and the establishment of a national communications infrastructure database.
During 2017, China Tower, the state-owned cell phone tower operator, added roughly 460 cell sites per day.
"China Tower has a total of approximately 1.9 million wireless sites, compared to approximately 200,000 in the US".
"Consequently, China and other countries may be creating a 5G tsunami, making it near impossible to catch up", the report said.
Deloitte estimated that the equipment necessary to add a carrier in China cost about 35 percent less than the USA, suggesting that Washington would need to spend 2.67 times the amount that China does to generate an equivalent amount of wireless network capacity.
There are now 14.1 cell sites per 10,000 people in China, and 5.3 sites per 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.
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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