Skip to Content
Smart cities

China aims to dominate 5G mobile technology—and it’s off to a strong start

The country has spent tens of billions more dollars than the US on infrastructure that will support next-generation cellular networks, according to a new Deloitte study.

What it’s for: 5G is the successor to today’s 4G networks and will be deployed in limited areas in some countries later this year. Because 5G will use different frequency bands than 4G, it is expected to bring greater capacity, higher speeds, and more rapid reaction times to everything from autonomous vehicles to VR headsets and smartphones.

The upshot: Countries that roll out 5G early will have a head start creating and selling a wide range of technology products and services. That’s one major reason the Trump Administration considers the development of 5G a national priority. Currently, China is in the lead, with 350,000 5G cell sites compared to fewer than 30,000 in the US.

But: No country has deployed 5G broadly for public use yet. Deloitte says the US could catch up by simplifying requirements for 5G equipment and encouraging mobile carriers to work together.

Deep Dive

Smart cities

Rendering of Waterfront Toronto project
Rendering of Waterfront Toronto project

Toronto wants to kill the smart city forever

The city wants to get right what Sidewalk Labs got so wrong.

baidu worker (left) and autonomous vehicle driving on highway (right)
baidu worker (left) and autonomous vehicle driving on highway (right)

A day in the life of a Chinese robotaxi driver

We spoke to Liu Yang, who has one of the strangest jobs around: to sit in the passenger seat and monitor how self-driving cars cope with Beijing’s streets.

Terminal bi-articulated bus in Curitiba Brazil
Terminal bi-articulated bus in Curitiba Brazil

We need smarter cities, not “smart cities”

A singular focus on high-tech will dilute the vibrancy of our cities and limit their potential.

Marseilles surveillance cameras
Marseilles surveillance cameras

Marseille’s battle against the surveillance state

The boisterous, rebellious port city is trying to fight the growing ubiquity of policing cameras.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.