GSMA: The Right Policy Incentives will Help Realise 5G Opportunity in China’s Enterprise Sectors

To Deliver Full Potential of 5G, Governments Encouraged to Support New Policies to Incentivise Industry Collaboration; China Expected to be the Largest 5G Market by 2025

Shanghai: For China to realise the full potential of 5G, it needs to create a more supportive policy environment that empowers mobile operators to work with other sectors to innovate and launch new 5G services faster, according to a new report released by the GSMA today in partnership with GTI. The report, ‘5G in China: The Enterprise Story’, draws on interviews with China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom and explores three vertical sectors where 5G will play a key role: automotive, drones, and manufacturing.

“China’s leadership in 5G is backed by a proactive government intent on delivering rapid structural change and achieving global leadership – but without industry-wide collaboration, the right incentives or appropriate policies in place, the market will not fulfil its potential,” commented Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “Mobile operators should be encouraged to deliver what they do best in providing secure, reliable and intelligent connectivity to businesses and enterprises across the country.”

“Wide collaboration and a right policy environment are essential for 5G to unleash its potential in various verticals, and the three sectors addressed in the report are only a beginning,” said Craig Ehrlich, Chairman of GTI. “The Chinese government and all three operators have been propelling 5G trials and cross-industrial innovation, and the valuable experience gained from the process should serve as a worthwhile reference for the other markets around the globe.”

China is expected to become the world’s largest 5G market by 2025, accounting for 430 million 5G connections or one-third of the global total, according to GSMA Intelligence. By looking closely at China as a leader in 5G, the report also offers other markets important insights into how 5G can serve key enterprise sectors and what’s needed to create an enabling environment for its future development.

The report, authored by GSMA Intelligence and GTI, also explores how to manage spectrum efficiently to encourage 5G network rollout. It highlights the major risks of allocating spectrum to different verticals directly, which will lead to potential fragmentation and inefficiencies, and encourages governments to continue to assign spectrum to mobile operators, who can apply their experience in driving spectral efficiencies for the benefit of the wider industry.

All three Chinese operators are currently conducting live 5G trials as part of a multi-year plan that includes R&D, network deployment strategy and development of harmonised standards, with a view to large scale commercial launch by 2020. The first deployments will focus on dense urban centres initially before rolling out to surburban and rural areas. The GSMA and the GTI are working closely with government and operators in China to facilitate a better policy and business environment to drive 5G commercialisation, including setting the right policy incentives, 5G spectrum planning and business case evaluation.

China’s Connected Car Market
To facilitate the introduction of autonomous driving, the report calls for China to promote the development of legislation for areas such as car-hacking and data privacy. New policies should be pro-innovation and pro-investment to encourage future developments in the sector. All three operators are currently trialling 5G autonomous driving and working on solutions such as Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) for remote driving, vehicle platooning and autonomous vehicles.

Accelerated Growth of Drones Market
The report also calls for common standards for connectivity management in the drones market to help accelerate investment and the deployment of new infrastructure and service models. The drones market, estimated to be worth RMB80 billion ($13 billion) by 2025, is developing rapidly in China in applications such as parcel delivery and tracking, site surveying, mapping and remote security patrols, among others. Improvements in mapping, real-time video distribution and analytics platforms are also helping to establish the technology in industrial verticals.

China Entering Age of Industry 4.0
Backed by government support, China is transforming its manufacturing industry through embracing the use of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and analytics. The government’s aim is to increase productivity and drive new revenue opportunities. The report calls for common standards for interconnection between platforms and devices to avoid market fragmentation, drive economies of scale and increase speed to market. GSMA Intelligence estimates that there will be 13.8 billion global Industrial IoT (IIoT) connections by 2025 with China accounting for 65 per cent.

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The report, ‘5G in China: The Enterprise Story’, is available here in English and here in Chinese. Further information on the GSMA’s work on 5G is available here. A 5G spectrum guide is also available here.


About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences. 

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

About the GTI
GTI (Global TD-LTE Initiative), founded in 2011, has been dedicated to constructing a robust ecosystem of TD-LTE and promoting the convergence of LTE TDD and FDD. As 4G evolves to 5G, GTI 2.0 was officially launched at the GTI Summit 2016 Barcelona, aiming not only to further promote the evolution of TD-LTE and its global deployment, but also to foster a cross-industry innovative and a synergistic 5G ecosystem.

For more information, please visit the GTI website at
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