The report said China currently has ten times more sites to support 5G communications than the United States. In just the first three months of 2017, Chinese cell phone tower companies and carriers added more sites than the US had done in the previous three years.
The first countries to adopt the next generation of wireless communications will experience “disproportionate gains” as 5G brings an “era of untapped economic potential”, the report said.
China has outspent the United States by $24 billion since 2015 and has built 350,000 new cell phone tower sites, while the US built less than 30,000.
The report notes it may also be about 35 percent cheaper to install equipment necessary to add carriers to 5G in China as compared to the United States.
Dan Littmann, a principal at Deloitte, said in a statement that “for the U.S. to remain competitive and eventually emerge as a leader, the race to 5G should be carefully evaluated and swift actions should be taken”.