There are already 126,000 5G base stations deployed in China
All the 300 prefecture-level cities in China are expected to be covered by a 5G network by the end of 2020, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
“We are planning to firmly develop the expansion of 5G and seek to cover all prefecture-level cities with 5G network by late 2020,” the Ministry said.
China approved the commercial use of 5G technology in June, triggering a surge in consumer demand and an acceleration in industrial investment in the 5G field.
According to data from MIIT, Chinese state carriers have already deployed a total of 126,000 5G base stations across the Asian country.
Chinese telcos China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom had launched commercial 5G services in November 2019. The service was initially available in large cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Tianjin.
According to previous reports, the three operators were expecting to operate nearly 130,000 5G base stations by the end of 2019. China Mobile announced plans to install 50,000 5G sites by end-2019, while China Unicom and China Telecom each target about 40,000, according to press reports.
In June, 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. At the end of 2018, the MIIT issued licenses for 5G trials in a number of cities across China.
In September 2019, China Telecom and China Unicom inked an agreement to cooperatively build a 5G mobile network, with the main aim of reducing costs.
Under the “co-build, co-share” deal, the carriers will work together to outline districts in 15 cities for the network construction, with their respective total scale of 4G base stations in mind.
Meanwhile, China Mobile, the world’s largest telco in terms of subscribers, recently said it already provides 5G services in 50 cities across China.
According to a recent report by China Daily, China Mobile aims to end 2020 with a total of 70 million 5G users, with a planned investment of CNY20 billion ($2.85 billion).
China Mobile is working with Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson and ZTE in the deployment of its 5G network. According to a previous report published by the South China Morning Post, China Mobile has awarded half of its 5G network equipment contracts to Huawei Technologies.
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