The GSMA predicted the 5G market would contribute almost $260 billion to China’s economy in 2030 in its latest report, as the association separately revealed the nation’s leading operators released their first commercial API since signing up to its Open Gateway initiative.

In its Mobile Economy China 2024 report, the association predicted more than half of China’s mobile connections will be 5G by the end of this year.

In 2030, the technology is expected to account for 88 per cent of all connections in the country. At that point its 1.6 billion connections are expected to make-up a third of the total across the globe.

At the end of last year the nation’s 5G figure was 810 million, with this expected to hit the billion mark during 2024. This is in-line with predictions in the 2023 edition of the report, which forecast the milestone would be reached by 2025.

In a statement, GSMA director general Mats Granryd said: “As China surpasses 1 billion 5G connections this year, we expect to see further investment and potential in evolutions such as 5G-Advanced, 5G New Calling and 5G RedCap to improve user experience and unlock new revenue streams for operators.”

The previous edition of the report pinned the economic value of 5G in the country in 2030 at $290 billion, slightly above its latest estimate.

Gateway moves
In a separate statement, also released to coincide with its “post-MWC sharing event” in Beijing, the GSMA announced China Unicom, China Mobile and China Telecom commercially launched One Time Password API.

The API, which is certified under the Open Gateway initiative, is designed to aid developers secure mobile apps by delivering one time passwords using SMS.

Granryd noted the move “demonstrates the commitment of China’s leading operators in keeping the country’s 1.28 billion mobile users safe from cybercriminals”.

Progress by the country’s largest operators on universal APIs comes as ICT player CITIC Telecom, Huawei and ZTE became the latest channel partners to sign-up to support the Open Gateway initiative.

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