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China To End 2020 With Over 600,000 5G Base Stations: Report

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By Juan Pedro Tomás

Chinese mobile operators are expected to deploy over 600,000 5G base stations by the end of the year, covering cities above the prefecture level in the country, Chinese press reported.

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom have already built more than 250,000 5G base stations across China, said deputy director of the Information and Communications Administration of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Lu Chuncong.

As of the end of May, shipments of 5G mobile phones in the country had reached 59.85 million units. The shipments of 5G phones are expected to exceed 180 million by the end of the year, the official said.

Lu also highlighted that there are over 400 5G innovation applications in the country, covering sectors including industry, transport and medical treatment.

According to official data, the number of 5G subscribers in China currently exceeds 36 million.

Chinese carriers will deploy a total of 500,000 5G base stations this year, according to information provided by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The increase in 5G infrastructure has the main aim of boosting the digital economy in China, according to the Chinese government.

China Mobile, the world’s largest operators in terms of subscribers, said it has added 29.17 million 5G subscribers in the first quarter of 2020. The carrier said it ended March with a total of 31.72 million 5G subscribers, compared to 2.55 million 5G customers at the end of last year.

In a new phase of its 5G programme, China Mobile is aiming to acquire over 232,000 5G base stations as it looks to extend coverage to 28 regions across China.

The Chinese carrier has already completed the first phase of its 5G network deployment.

China Mobile had already deployed nearly 50,000 5G base stations across the country as of the end of last year and currently provides 5G technology in 50 cities across 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.

It is forecasted that 28 per cent of China’s mobile connections will be running on 5G networks by 2025, accounting for about one-third of all 5G connections globally, according to a previous report by the GSMA.

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