Answering China's call for international players to take part in its 5G network initiative, European telecom giants Nokia and Ericsson have reportedly signed new contracts in the world's fastest growing 5G market.
Both companies have signed separate contracts that are part of the country's first phase in rolling out and commercializing the new ultra-fast wireless technology.
The country's own China Mobile leads the way for China's technological revolution with a $2 billion contract to supply cutting-edge 5G network equipment for its planned infrastructures. China Mobile, the world's largest carrier by subscriber count, subcontracted some of the equipment from various international players as well as domestic firms.
The Chinese telecom firm signed a contract with Ericsson to supply it with new Mobility Management Entity (MME) telecom equipment.
The Swedish telecom firm promised to supply 153 MME units, which accounts for 34 percent of the company's international orders. Meanwhile, Nokia agreed to supply China Mobile with 56 MME units, or around 12 percent of its total orders.
Apart from MME equipment, Ericsson will also be delivering 231 System Architecture Evolution (SAE) to China Mobile. Nokia will be delivering 60 units. The orders are a clear indication that China Mobile is now accelerating its efforts to put up the country's fifth-generation wireless technology.
The company got its 5G commercial license last month and is apparently wasting no time in its efforts to fulfill its goals of offering commercial 5G services before the year ends. China Mobile is initially aiming to provide commercial 5G services in 40 Chinese cities as early as September this year.
The new contracts are a realization of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's call for more international cooperation to establish China's 5G wireless infrastructures. China's telecom regulator mentioned earlier in the month that it was urging foreign firms to participate in the country's technological revolution and that major opportunities await those who till take advantage of China's push for faster connectivity.
The regulator issues a total of four 5G commercial licenses at the start of June. This marked the country's foray into the 5G era, which is expected to greatly improve China's economy and to bolster its various industries. China plans to fully transition to the new network technology and to commercialize it to the public and to corporations by 2020.
Nokia China's president Markus Borchert mentioned in an interview that the Chinese government has been very accommodating and supportive of multi-national companies. This apparently increases investor confidence in the sector and Borchert believes that this should lead to the healthy and sustainable development of the country's 5G industry.