China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, has already deployed 385,000 5G base stations nationwide, Chinese press reported.
Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile, reportedly said that the carrier finished its annual 5G network build target ahead of schedule and has built the world’s largest 5G SA network.
The executive also said that China Mobile will invest several hundreds of billion yuan into 5G-related industries through equity participation and mergers and acquisitions over the next five years.
“Next year, China Mobile is expected to achieve sound 5G coverage in cities, counties as well as key towns and countryside, while increasing the installed capacity to 1.08 million,” the executive said at this year’s China Mobile Global Partners Conference.
Meanwhile, Wang Hengjiang, deputy general manager of the terminal subsidiary at China Mobile, said that the carrier has so far sold 85 million 5G terminals and will exceed 100 million units by the end of the year.
China Mobile added 44 million 5G subscribers in the third quarter of 2020. The state-run telco said it ended September with a total of 114 million 5G subscribers, compared to 70 million 5G customers at the end of June.
Meanwhile, rival operator China Telecom added 7.66 million subscribers in September to take its total 5G subscribers base to 64.8 million.
China Unicom hasn’t revealed its 5G numbers.
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.
According to a report by the GSMA, China is set to account for 70% of global 5G connections this year. China is also forecast to have 450 million 5G connections by 2025.
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