By Juan Pedro Tomás
China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, ended May with a total of 55. 6 million subscribers in the 5G segment, the company said in its website.
In May alone, the carrier added 11.86 million 5G subscribers. At the end of January, China Mobile had 6.7 million 5G subscribers while 5G customers at the end of last year amounted to 2.55 million.
China Mobile’s total user base increased by 252,000 in May to 947 million. The telco also added 3.8 million 4G customers to end the month with 757.5 million.
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 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.
Meanwhile, China Telecom added 8.4 million 5G subscribers in May for a total of 30.1 million. China Telecom ended May with a total of 341.2 million mobile subscribers.
Third-largest operator China Unicom has not released 5G figures this year. China Unicom has already deployed a total of 130,000 5G base stations 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.
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.