China has announced it has already installed nearly 700,000 5G base stations so far this year, exceeding the country’s original target of 500,000, South China Morning Post reported.
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.
There are currently over 180 million devices operating on China’s 5G networks, the official revealed in his presentation at the China Development Forum, held in Beijing last week.
To achieve complete 5G coverage, China will need approximately 10 million 5G base stations in total, which will require a total investment of CNY 2 trillion (US$280 billion), according to Zhang Yunyong, president of the China Unicom Research Institute.
South Korea, the first country in the world to launch commercial 5G services, has 115,000 base stations in operation, according to government data released in April. The Korean government had recently announced that the number of 5G service users in the Asian nation reached 8.65 million as of August.
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 last week 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.
China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, 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.
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