The Chinese government confirmed plans to launch 5G prototype products by mid-2018

The Chinese government aims to complete the second phase of China’s 5G testing program by the end of this year, Chinese press reported. According to Wen Ku, director of the telecom department at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the government will kick off a third phase of testing next year.

In a move to foster mobile leadership, the Asian nation has established the IMT-2020 (5G) development group in 2013.

The IMT-2020 Promotion Group completed the initial phase of its trial program in 2016. That phase included testing wireless technologies including Massive multiple-input-multiple-output, novel multiple access, new waveforms, advance coding, ultra-dense network implementations and high-frequency communications. The trial phase also included network slicing, edge computing and network function reconstruction.

Wen also said China will introduce the first global 5G standard as well as initial prototype products by June next year.

Five companies including Huawei and ZTE have built 15 stations in Huairou District in Beijing for further testing.

China had previously announced plans to commercialize 5G mobile networks as early as 2020.

Operators participating in the IMT-2020 Promotion Group include China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and Japanese telecoms operator NTT DoCoMo. Vendors which are part of the initiative are Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, Nokia, Datang and Samsung. A number of chipset and test measurement vendors, including Qualcomm, Intel, Mediatek, Ctec, Keysight Technologies and Rohde & Schwartz are also part of the initiative.

GSMA forecasts 30% of Europe’s mobile connections to run on 5G networks by 2025

In related news, a recent study by the GSMA reported that more than 30% of Europe’s mobile connections will be running on 5G networks by 2025.

The study forecasts that there will be 214 million connections in Europe by 2025, establishing the region as one of the largest 5G markets in the world by that point. The first commercial networks in Europe are due to be switched on by 2020.

“Europe has an opportunity to reestablish itself as a global technology leader as we move toward the 5G era, but this can only happen if policymakers move quickly and boldly to make the necessary regulatory reforms to boost the region’s competitiveness on the global stage and bring innovative services to Europe’s citizens,” said Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA.

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