What happened: The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of China has granted licenses for the next-generation wireless network to the country’s major three telecom carriers—China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom—as well as the state-owned China Broadcasting Network Corp. The MIIT minister Miao Wei said China welcomes foreign companies to actively participate in the construction of the country’s 5G market and share benefits generated by technological progress. Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei said in a statement on Thursday that the company is ready to help China accelerate the commercial use of 5G.
Why it’s important: China planned to commercialize the 5G in 2020, while the latest move makes a statement that China’s 5G won’t be delayed because of the US trade ban on Huawei. It will also push the three major telecom carriers to accelerate their 5G network rollout plans. As of now, South Korea, the US, Australia, and the UK have launched their commercial 5G services. But Huawei equipment is either totally banned or restricted from the 5G rollouts in all of these markets except South Korea. Huawei said in the statement that it had so far obtained 46 5G commercial contracts in 30 countries.