How 5G Became a 'Cash Cow'

Huawei factory in Shenzhen, China

Huawei factory in Shenzhen, China

  |  Jason Lee-Reuters

Do governments want the best networks or do they prefer to make billions from frequency auctions?

How to price a license for the use of the telecommunications spectrum? Chinese phone operators have received it for free, as part of Beijing's effort to promote the national launch of 5G networks.

Yet, in some regions of Europe, recent auctions have been so expensive that at least one company had to cut its shareholders' dividends. In the United States - where President Donald Trump has declared that "the 5G war is a war America needs to win" - telecommunications frequency licenses are being sold at historically low prices.

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