China’s largest state-owned mobile carrier has turned almost entirely to homegrown telecoms vendors Huawei and ZTE to build out its next-generation 5G mobile network, which is expected to facilitate everything from instant film downloads to self-driving cars, reported the Financial Times.
In recent months Beijing has repeatedly said that foreign companies are welcome to participate in the build out of its 5G networks, while in turn pressuring other countries to allow China’s national champions to build their critical network infrastructures.
But the latest contract from state-owned carrier China Mobile shows that, at home at least, China will rely mostly on domestic companies. The RMB 37.1 billion ($5.2 billion) contract covers 232,143 5G base stations; the majority of the company’s targeted build out this year.
Huawei was awarded 57.2% of the contract by number of base stations, followed by ZTE with 28.7%. Swedish telecoms group Ericsson, the only foreign company granted a tender, received 11.5%, while a smaller Chinese company got the remaining 2.6%. Finnish vendor Nokia was not awarded anything.