China currently has ten times more sites to support 5G communications than the US. During just three months in 2017, Chinese carriers and cell phone tower companies added more sites than the US had during the course of the past three years.
The countries that adopt the next generation of wireless communications first will experience “disproportionate gains” due the to “untapped economic potential” that 5G brings.
Since 2015, China has outspent the US by $24bn and has built 350,000 new cell phone tower sites while the US built less than 30,000 during the same time period. Deloitte noted in its report that it may also be around 35 per cent cheaper to install the necessary equipment for carriers to offer 5G in China than in the US.
Principal at Deloitte, Dan Littmann highlighted the economic benefits of being the first to offer 5G in a statement, saying:
"We predict that 5G will expand the network effect dramatically by extending the reach of the internet to almost any kind of connection, by almost any kind of device, anywhere a wireless signal can reach. The potential economic benefits of 5G will soon become a key differentiator for cities looking to attract both businesses and residents. For the U.S. to remain competitive and eventually emerge as a leader, the race to 5G should be carefully evaluated and swift actions should be taken."
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