China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, added 15.2 million 5G subscribers in October, the telco said on its website.
The operator said it ended October with a total of 128.8 million 5G subscribers, compared to 6.7 million 5G customers in January.
China Mobile’s overall mobile subscriber base was reported as 946.34 million at the end of October, up compared to 943.59 million in October 2019.
The carrier has already deployed 385,000 5G base stations nationwide, according to recent press reports.
Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile, reportedly said that the carrier finished its annual 5G network build-out targets ahead of schedule and has built the world’s largest 5G SA network.
Meanwhile, rival operator China Telecom added 7.06 million subscribers in October to take its total 5G subscribers base to 71.86 million. The operator has attracted 67.2 million subscribers in the 5G segment since the beginning of the year.
China Telecom’s overall mobile base amounted to 360.16 million subscribers at the end of October.
China Unicom hasn’t revealed its 5G numbers.
Chinese carriers China Unicom and China Telecom have jointly built and currently operate over 300,000 5G base stations across China.
In September 2019, China Telecom and China Unicom announced that they would jointly build a 5G network in certain parts of China and that they were working together to build 5G networks in 15 cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Nanjing.
The state operators had previously announced that they aim to launch 5G services via a standalone architecture by the end of September as they currently offer the technology though non-standalone 5G networks.
China Unicom and China Telecom also confirmed that their 5G network has so far expanded to all prefecture-level and above cities in China.
The Chinese government recently announced that local operators have already installed nearly 700,000 5G base stations so far this year, exceeding the country’s original target of 500,000.
According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) vice-minister Liu Liehong, this figure is more than twice the number of 5G base stations already installed outside China.
Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies expects 5G users to account for 20% of total mobile users in China and South Korea by the end of June 2021, Ryan Ding, president of Huawei’s carrier business group, said during a presentation at the company’s Global Mobile Broad Forum, which took place earlier this month in Shanghai, China.
In June 2019, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) officially issued licenses for the launch of commercial 5G networks in the country. Those 5G permits were granted to China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and state-owned broadcaster China Broadcasting Network.
Large cities including the capital, Beijing, and Shenzhen already have full 5G coverage and 5G deployments are also accelerating in Shanghai.
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