In the ongoing international race to achieve 5G dominance, China is currently the country to watch. That's according to a new report compiled by Analysys Mason which ranks the top ten countries in pursuit of next-generation mobile networking. The region's leadership is a direct result of cooperation between government and network operators. Each of the leading providers in China has already committed to their own launch dates, while the government is working to ensure that the carriers and equipment manufacturers will have the spectrum to operate on. That includes a minimum of 100 MHz in the mid-band and at least 2,000 MHz of high-band for each of those providers. That lead could turn into relatively massive gains for the region if it can be kept up. In the prior drive to attain the world's first 4G coverage, the U.S. saw an 84-percent increase in associated jobs, alongside a $100 billion boost to GDP.
Meanwhile, China is currently followed in close succession by South Korea, with the U.S. falling in at third and Japan ranking fourth. Countries that are prioritizing cooperation in allocating spectrum, as China has been, are showing the most promise. That bodes well for the U.K., Spain, and Italy, which are all planning spectrum auctions this year. But that isn't necessarily good news for the U.S. By the end of the year, the U.S. is expected to fall in at sixth in terms of the crucial mid-range band of spectrum between 3 and 24 GHz. That places the country alongside Russia and Canada as the only ones on the top ten list that don't have announced plans for that spectrum before 2020.
However, the industry leaders in the U.S. are not going down without a fight. Hoping to help the country reprise its role in the expansion of 4G for 5G, with CTIA leading the charge. The trade association plans to host its own Race to 5G Summit on April 19 with the aim of bringing together the appropriate authorities and executives to determine the best path forward. That represents just the latest in a series of pushes from the representative organization to inform policymakers with regard to how 5G can be accomplished more quickly.