Chinese operators have installed around 580,000 5G base stations this year, local press reported, citing statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Wen Ku, spokesperson for the ministry said at a press conference last week that all prefecture-level cities are now covered by 5G networks.
China has accelerated 5G development during 2020, expanding its network while encouraging a variety of 5G applications, the official added. As of the end of last year, operators had installed more than 100,000 5G base stations.
Shipments of 5G mobile phones amounted to 144 million units in the first 11 months of the year, with 199 new models hitting the market, according to the report.
The ministry will continue to build high-quality 5G networks and data centers while promoting the applications of 5G technology in fields including manufacturing, energy and transport, Wen said.
Chinese telecom carriers are likely to build over 1 million new 5G base stations in 2021, as the cost of 5G base stations is expected to go down next year, according to recent Chinese press reports that cited a Chinese telecom expert.
According to estimates from Wu Hequan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the total number of 5G base stations in China could reach more than 1.7 million by the end of next year.
China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, added 18.6 million 5G subscribers in November, according to statistics published on the carrier’s website.
The operator said it ended November with a total of 147.38 million 5G subscribers, compared to 6.7 million 5G customers in January.
The carrier has already deployed over 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 7.62 million subscribers in November to take its total 5G subscribers base to 79.48 million. The operator has attracted 67.2 million subscribers in the 5G segment since the beginning of the year.
China Unicom hasn’t revealed its 5G numbers.
Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies expects 5G users to account for 20% of total mobile users in China 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 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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