The Big Four and China: The race toward faster network speeds and China’s big investment in 5G

Mobile Industry News for the Week of June 19, 2017

Two reports released this week reveal significant improvements in carriers’ network speeds, and show China’s anticipated role in laying the foundation of the 5G network. While carriers continue to vie for a slice of the customer pie, the big four — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon — have each improved across different aspects over the last few years. In China, telecoms are also looking ahead to 5G adoption, with an expected investment that will launch the country ahead of any other country in the world. The stories on our minds are below.

The need for speed — RCR Wireless reports that a network test conducted in the Houston and Kansas City mobile markets, revealed that while T-Mobile had the fastest download speeds in Kansas City, Verizon took the honors in Houston. PCMag also released the results of their network testing for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon in 30 United States cities. Verizon leads the pack overall, but each carrier has made strides toward improved network reliability. In fact, PC Mag reports that when they began their annual test in 2010, no carrier averaged over 5Mbps — and each network now averages over 20 Mbps. No matter where each carrier falls along the results, it’s no question that mobile users’ need for faster download speeds are driving carriers’ movement toward enabling a faster network.

Forging ahead on 5G — Telecommunications companies in China are expected to spend a combined $411 billion on building out 5G mobile networks from 2020 to 2030, according to a report highlighted by Business Insider. Such an investment will make China the biggest 5G market, with subscribers expected to reach 588 million by 2022. This doesn’t come as a surprise to network experts, who know that China currently has the largest 4G market as well. While China’s booming population of over 1.3 billion will certainly benefit from a faster network, it’s exciting to see that China telecoms are ready to move forward. These are important industry predictions, as China’s eagerness to lay the foundation for 5G could further all global efforts toward 5G adoption.

What news stories are on your minds this week? We’d love to hear what stories you’re dialing into.