Can anyone hear the tumbleweed?
I thought the whole point behind LTE and the switch to an IP stack was to make future network upgrades less monumental? In the West, in most places (defined by % population) coverage is good enough for most people already. We only got the moniker 5G because manufacturers wanted something to badge their kit with.
The drivers for 5G are countries with higher population density and, supposedly, the billions of sensors clamouring to be online constantly. Still waiting for the credible use cases which don't include things like cars sending monitoring data in real time and fridges that take all the bother out of stocking up, …
So, China needs 5G as its citizens are mobile first / mobile only. Hardly surprising then that Huawei and ZTE have done so much work in the area.