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Feature Article

Telecom: The Coming 5G Surprise is Worth Waiting For

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 10, 2022

Huawei Technologies’ 5G-enabled “smart ports” promise to debottleneck China’s famously clogged global shipping. And linking digital innovations, artificial intelligence, big data, Internet of Things and automation solutions offers both a potential 50 percent increase in efficiency and 50 percent cut in operating costs as well.

Once dominant in global 5G network deployment, Huawei has been caught in the crosshairs of American and Chinese Cold Warriors the past few years. Otherwise, we might have seen similar advances here already. But China’s new smart ports do demonstrate the productivity revolution 5G offers, thanks to geometric advances in bandwidth, capacity, latency reduction, reliability and support for private network solutions.

Because Huawei was forced to focus on its home Chinese market, China’s Big 3 are the first communications companies to benefit from 5G. China Mobile (Hong Kong: 941, banned in US), for example, has already amassed nearly half a billion users.

Now that’s translating into revenue growth. The Big 3 reported 35 percent higher Internet service sales in the first four months of 2022, and now expect 10 percent overall revenue growth. But the best is yet to come: The Chinese government has set a target of 10 percent for its digital economy share of GDP, up from 7.8 percent in 2020. That means massive growth for telecoms, particularly in industrial applications like smart manufacturing.

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