China plans rapid shift from 4G to 5G

China has over 1.1 billion 4G mobile phone subscribers as of August 2018 and should have 1.2 billion by March, 2019.

5G will have twenty times higher peak data rates compared to 4G. 5G will be the connective tissue for new mobile applications like the internet of things, autonomous cars and smart cities.

5G smartphone users will be able to send high-resolution 4K video within a few seconds, and both video games and apps based on augmented and virtual reality technologies will be seamless.

5G networks will support far more connected devices globally. This will include fitness-tracking watches, internet-linked televisions and smart speakers at home.

5G will support
* 1 million connected devices per square kilometer
* 1-millisecond latency
* greater efficiency in terms of power and use of radio spectrum
* peak data download rate of up to 20 gigabits per second.

5G trials are ongoing. Commercial launch in large and mid-sized cities in China will start in 2020.

Total 5G subscribers in China are forecast to reach almost 600 million by 2022. There will be about 32 million in 2019.

China owns about 10 percent of 5G patents in radio access, modulation and core networking as of last year, according to LexInnova Technologies, a US legal services and technology consulting firm. That is up from about 7 percent of essential patents in 4G. Huawei had the most 5G patents among the Chinese entities surveyed, followed by ZTE. Qualcomm leads the industry with ownership of more than 15 percent of the essential 5G patents.

China will spend $411 billion on 5G infrastructure from 2020-2030.