China to Still Lead 5G as Network’s Catalyst Role for Blockchain in Telecom May Start 2020

The increasing adoption of the 5G network whose infrastructure spending is expected to almost double globally this year according to Gartner’s latest release on Tuesday July 28, is somewhat inching closer to realise its anticipated role as a catalyst for blockchain implementation in the telecom sector.

With Greater China predicted to continue to be a global leader in 5G development, latest predictions by the analyst firm indicate that the 5G networking infrastructure market revenue will almost double in 2020 to reach $8.1 bln. It adds that investment by communications service providers (CSPs) in 5G network infrastructure, which accounted for 10.4% of total wireless infrastructure revenue in 2019, is expected to reach 21.3% in 2020.

Nearly half (49.4%) of all worldwide 5G-related investment in 2020 is currently attributed to the Greater China region – due to the cost-effective infrastructure manufactured in the region, state sponsorship of related initiatives and reduced regulatory barriers. The consulting firm notes that the combination of the three factors contributes to major CSPs in China being able to quickly build 5G coverage.

“Early 5G adopters are driving greater competition among CSPs,” says Gartner’s senior research director, Kosei Takiishi. “In addition, governments and regulators are fostering mobile network development and betting that it will be a catalyst and multiplier for widespread economic growth across many industries.”

True to an earlier forecast, a Mordor Intelligence market research puts the blockchain in telecom market at a value of US$151.93 mln in 2019 and expects it to reach US$677.66 mln by 2025 at a CAGR of 28.3% between 2020 and 2025. The growth outlook is hinged on blockchain technology’s capability to address telecom subscription fraud which is estimated to be more than US$12 bln or, worse, between 3% and 10% of the operators’ gross revenues every year according to Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre and Trend Micro.

The market study shows that the deployment of smart contracts for automation in internal operations like billing, supply chain management and roaming will help telcos save cost as they prevent fraudulent traffic by eliminating the process of going through a clearing-house to authenticate their transactions. Smart contracts’ automation will also rid the process of post-processing which will save them the time and money spent on auditing and accounting.

It tips the Asia-Pacific region to see the highest growth for its market potential for mobile payments particularly in China and India. That top Chinese telcos – China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom – are members of China Academy of Information and Communications Technology’s Trusted Blockchain Initiative is also cited as instrumental to see the telcos focus on blockchain-based apps related to IoT data sharing and customer identity verification.

It’s worth-noting that reports have it this week that a global leader in the 5G space, Huawei Technology, has applied for several new patents including blockchain-based storage technology and equipment.

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