The 5G race is over, and US lost... 6G is next frontier

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/18 21:43:46

China's telecom giant Huawei has taken the lead over US companies in the race for 5G technology supremacy. The US, as a global superpower in the technology of the future, has lost the 5G battle.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei was quoted by New York Times as saying earlier this month that the company is open to sharing its 5G technologies and techniques with US companies, and those companies can even change the software. 

In that case, the US can modify Huawei's 5G technologies and build up its own 5G industry.

Technologies are the lifeblood of such companies, so the decision was beyond market expectation, and it came as a last resort to conciliate US officials and get Washington's trust. Why is Huawei confident about sharing its 5G technologies with US companies? Even if US companies get Huawei's 5G technologies, the Chinese giant can keep a competitive edge in the 5G game. 

Huawei is leading the world in 5G development and has built a complete ecosystem. Despite pressure from Washington on its allies to ban the Chinese telecom giant, Huawei has reportedly secured more than 50 commercial contracts for 5G across the world. China's production ability gives Huawei a substantial cost advantage and enables the company to price its 5G equipment competitively. 

Huawei has accelerated commercialization of 5G technologies, but most US companies are still developing their own 5G technologies. Technology transfer can help 5G-related industries in the US complete the process of technology accumulation and begin the next phase of 5G commercialization. It can narrow the gap between the two countries in 5G development. But merely copying technology from Huawei cannot create US leadership in 5G development.

The US has failed in the race for 5G technology innovation. US President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on Huawei 5G technologies will be in vain. Cooperation is now the best choice. 

At the very least, an open mind and technological cooperation will help the US gain ground in the race for 6G development.

The Trump administration is focusing on banning Chinese companies from its 5G network, but China is already talking about what comes next: 6G. Chinese companies, Huawei included, are researching 6G at their development centers around the world. 

If the US bans Huawei's 5G technologies, Washington's narrow mind will prevent the country from developing 6G. China looks forward to competing with the US in the next round of competition: 6G.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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