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5G subscriptions skyrocket in China – 600,000 5G base stations will be built in 2020

China Mobile and China Telecom reached a combined total of 65 million 5G subscriptions as of April 2020

According to local authorities, China Mobile and China Telecom reached a combined total of 65 million 5G subscriptions as of April 2020. Market leader China Mobile ended the month with 44 million 5G subscribers and China Telecom with 22 million. Third largest operator China Unicom has not released April subscriber numbers and did not issue 5G statistics over the opening three months of 2020.

However, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, less than 44 million 5G phones have been shipped in China since 5G began six months ago. The gap between 5G subscriptions and 5G phones sold could be explained by the activation of 5G networks before the actual usage of it by the subscribers.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that up to date, telecommunications companies have built more than 250,000 5G base stations across the country. China expects to build more than 600,000 5G base stations by the end of the year, covering cities above the prefecture level in the country.

The largest state-owned mobile operator by subscribers, China Mobile, signed up 15.4 million “5G Package Customers” by the end of February 2020, excluding IoT subscribers. The company is targeting 70 million 5G subscribers in 2020, and 100 million self-brand and third-party 5G smartphones sells in 2020. The operator said it will launch 5G services in all cities above the prefecture-level in 2020, investing 20 billion CNY (2.6 billion EUR). This means that more than 340 cities across the country will open 5G networks.

In early October 2019, the three major mobile operators had already registered almost 9 million 5G users before the official launch. China Mobile announced 5.32 million subscribers, China Telecom hit 1.76 million subs, and China Unicom was right in line with 1.75 million users. Each player activated their network in 50 cities at launch, installing over 50,000 5G base stations across the country by the end of 2019.

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