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Japan joins ‘6G race’, but will the early R&D find its way into standards?

Trade and cybersecurity wars between the USA and China have created an artificial ‘race to 5G’ which threatens the future of the mobile standards-making process. As both sides try to reduce reliance on the other’s technology and patents, they are retreating behind their walls, investing in building up homegrown suppliers and threatening to block the other’s vendors from their 5G contracts. Of course, the race is unequal – China has Huawei and ZTE to set against the USA’s clutch of start-ups and $1bn support fund in the RAN; and has already rolled out more than 10 times the number of 5G base stations, despite starting deployment later than AT&T and Verizon. But that will only increase western defensively, none of…

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